Sinclair FTV1/TV80 flat-screen pocket television, 1981.
3 2 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 24cm

Sinclair FTV1/TV80 flat-screen pocket television, 1981.

© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


Designed by British inventor Clive Sinclair (b 1940), this flat-screen, multi-standard UHF pocket television measures just three and a half inches high by five and a half inches long and is only one inch wide (9cm x 14cm x 2.5cm). It used a specially designed cathode ray tube (CRT) in the side of the television. A strong electric field deflected the electron beam through 90 degrees to create a picture on the two inch (4.7cm) phosphor screen. The TV80 (so named because of its retail price of £80) was released in the UK in 1981 but was not a commercial succes. Although the technology was impresive, its narrow viewing angle made it awkward to watch and only about 15,000 were sold.

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