|LabGuy's World: Sony AV-5000A
non-Standard Color EIAJ Videocorder
New Addition! 010423
Sony AV-5000A (non-standard) Color / EIAJ B/W Videocorder
I have wanted one of these since I was in high school! This machine is unique. As the story goes, and I am quoting the description as I remember it from a 1975 Denson Electronics quarterly catalog, that Sony jumped the gun on the color EIAJ standard. Sony was so certain that the EIAJ committee was going to approve their color recording method, they actually started shipping these VTRs before the standard was established. The committee considered Sony's behavior to be so arrogant that they went with JVCs 767 kHz color under system instead. The AV-5000's use what is called a pilot tone system instead. Each system has pluses and minuses and is too involved to go into here at this time.
AV-5000A Threading Diagram and Connector Bay
The Sony AV-5000A was preceded by the AV-5000. After shipping some AV-5000's Sony engineers determined that they could raise the pilot frequency a few hundred kilohertz and get better color bandwidth. What this means, of course, is that a recording made on an A type machine won't play back on a non-A type machine and vice versa! So, not only where the 5000's not compatible with the rest of the EIAJ community, they weren't even compatible among all members of their own family!!! We can easily see that there was quite a race going on in the video industry to get VTRs to market in the late 60's! All of this culminated, of course, with Betamax in 1975. Needless to say, all the players learned a lot of hard lessons in those short ten years from the time the CV-2000 was introduced until Betamax finally succeeded on the market.
Labguy's World just obtained its fourth AV-5000A in April, 2006. Finally! A deck that actually runs and is not filthy to the point of nausea. Three previous 5000s were not candidates for restoration due to their degraded physical conditions. One is completed coated in rat waste! Yeccchhhh! This is the newest addition to the Sony collection and it is in great shape. Operational, yet needing some TLC. What a great start!
In the first photo, we see the video playback of some material I recorded off air and on the spot. The fellow who sold me this deck recorded mostly BW episodes of the original Outer Limits series. Just a few seconds of color were available at the start of the tape prior to the start of the program. How silly is that? The picture quality is fair, with limited resolution of perhaps 250 lines. The picture is a bit soft, but that might be my vintage monitor as well. Color is accurate and richer than the photos show, but it is full of moiré interference or "herring bones". FM demodulator could use a tweak too as their is some black streaking following light-to-dark transitions, even when recorded at normal level.
The AV-5000A has a flip over cover that hides the controls when they are not needed. This is visible between these two photos. The head covers were removed as well to gratify the curious. In all the first two photos, the deck is running, but the strobe on my camera freezes all movement.
The AV-5000A is 18 inches wide, 16 inches deep and 11 inches high. It weighs s hefty 48 pounds. (46 cm wide, 41 cm deep, 28 cm high, 21.8 kg) Big and heavy says it all. A portable hernia.
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Last updated: April 06, 2006