JVC: Wikis

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JVC
日本ビクター株式会社
Type Corporation TYO: 6792
Founded Yokohama, Japan (1927)
Headquarters Yokohama, Japan
Key people Kunihiko Sato, President
Industry Electronics
Products Audio, visual, computer-related electronics and software, media products
Revenue 840 billion Yen (Fiscal year ended March 31, 2005)
Employees 34,493 (Consolidated, as of March 31, 2005)
Parent JVC Kenwood Holdings
Website JVC Global

Japan Victor Company Ltd. (日本ビクター株式会社 Nippon Bikutā Kabushiki-gaisha ?) (TYO: 6792), usually referred to as JVC, is a Japanese international consumer and professional electronics corporation based in Yokohama, Japan which was founded in 1927. The company is best known for introducing Japan's first televisions, and developing the VHS video recorder.

Contents

History

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1920s - 1960s

JVC was founded in 1927 as "The Victor Talking Machine Company of Japan, Limited" as a subsidiary of the United States' leading phonograph and record company, the Victor Talking Machine Company. In 1929 majority ownership was transferred to RCA-Victor. In the 1930s JVC produced phonographs and records, but in 1932 JVC started producing radios, and in 1939 they introduced Japan's first TV. JVC severed relations with its foreign partners during World War II, and since 1953, JVC has been owned by Matsushita (Panasonic Co.), who held a majority stake in the company until August 2007.

1970s - 1980s

In 1970 JVC marketed the Videosphere, a modern portable CRT television inside a space helmet shaped casing with an alarm clock at the base. It was a commercial success. In 1976 JVC introduced the 3060, a 3" portable television with an included cassette player.

JVC developed the VHS format, and introduced the first VHS recorders to the consumer market in 1977 for the equivalent of US $1060. Sony who had introduced the Betamax home videocassette tape a year earlier, became the main competitor to JVC's VHS into the 1980s creating the videotape format war. The Betamax cassette was smaller with slightly superior quality to the VHS cassette, but this resulted in Betamax having less recording time. By 1984, forty companies utilized the VHS format in comparison with Betamax's twelve. Sony tacitly conceded defeat in 1988 when they also began producing VHS recorders.

In 1979 JVC demonstrated a prototype of their VHD/AHD disc system. This system was capacitance-based like CED, but the discs were grooveless with the stylus being guided by servo signals in the disc surface. The VHD discs were initially handled by the operator and played on a machine that looked like an audio LP turntable, but JVC used caddy housed discs when the system was marketed. Development was interrupted continually, but in April 1983 it was first marketed in Japan, and then in the UK in 1984 to a limited industrial market. By this time both Philips and Sony already had compact discs on the market, and the VHD format never caught on.

In 1981 JVC introduced a line of revolutionary direct drive cassette decks, topped by the DD-9, that provided previously unattainable levels of speed stability.

During the 1980s JVC had a brief appearance in marketing their own portable audio equipment similar to the Sony Walkmans at the time. The JVC CQ-F2K was released in 1982 and had a detachable radio that mounted to the headphones for compact, wire-free listening experience. JVC had difficulty making a success of the products, and a few years later abandoned the product line. In Japan, JVC marketed the products under the name Victor.

In 1986 JVC released the HC-95, a personal computer with a 3.58 MHz Zilog Z80A processor, 64KB RAM and ran MSX Basic 2.0. It included two 3.5" floppy disk drives and conformed to the graphics specification of the MSX-2 standard. However, like the Pioneer PX-7 it also carried a sophisticated hardware interface that handled video superimposition and various interactive video processing features. The JVC HC-95 was first sold in Japan, and then Europe, but sales were disappointing.

JVC video recorders were marketed by Ferguson in the UK, with just cosmetic changes. However Ferguson needed to find another supplier for its camcorders when JVC produced only the VHS-C format, rather than the much more popular video8. Furthermore, Ferguson was taken over by Thomson SA and so ended the relationship. At the time, JVC had a reputation for reliable, high quality equipment. JVC has gone on to invent hard drive camcorders.

Present

JVC ProHD video camera. 2006

In October 2001, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences presented JVC an Emmy Award for "outstanding achievement in technological advancement" for “Pioneering Development of Consumer Camcorders.” Annual sponsorships of the world-renowned JVC Tokyo Video Festival and the JVC Jazz Festival have helped attract the attention of more customers.

JVC has been a worldwide football supporter since 1982, having a former kit sponsorship with Arsenal and continues its role as an official partner of 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea / Japan. JVC made headlines as the first-ever corporate partner of the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. JVC has recently forged elite corporate partnerships with ESPN Zone and with Foxploration. In 2005, JVC joined HANA, the High Definition Audio-Video Network Alliance to help establish standards in consumer electronics interoperability.

JVC developed the first DVD+RW DL in 2005.

In December 2006, Matsushita entered talks with Kenwood and Cerberus Capital Management to sell its stake in JVC.[1]

In 2007, Victor Company of Japan Ltd confirmed a strategic capital alliance with Kenwood and SPARKX Investment, resulting in Matsushita shareholding being reduced to approx 37%.

In 2008, Matsushita (Panasonic) agreed to spin-off the company and merge with Kenwood Electronics, creating JVC Kenwood Holdings, formed on October 1, 2008.[2]

Sponsorship

JVC is a well known brand among English football fans due to the firm's sponsorship of Arsenal Football Club from 1982 to 1999. In 1999, Sega took over as Arsenal's sponsors. JVC also sponsor the away shirts of the Australian A-League club, Sydney FC.

Brand name

Victor logo used in Japan

JVC is generally known within Japan by the Victor brand, preceded by the Nipper dog His Master's Voice logo. JVC is, however, not allowed to use it outside of Japan, and previously used the Nivico name (for "Nippon Victor Company") overseas. Therefore, the http://www.victor.jp and http://www.jvc-victor.co.jp/english/global-e.html web sites look quite different. Conversely, the HMV store chain exists in Japan, but they are not allowed to use the His Master's Voice motto and do not use the Nipper logo; it is replaced with a stylized image of a gramophone.

Worldwide companies

See also

References


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