JVC

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For other uses, see JVC (disambiguation).
Victor Company of Japan, Ltd.
日本ビクター株式会社
Type Subsidiary
Industry Professional electronics and consumer goods
Founded Yokohama, Japan (1927)
Headquarters Yokohama, Japan
Key people Shoichiro Eguchi, President
Products Audio, visual, computer-related electronics and software, media products
Revenue Decrease ¥658.4 billion (Fiscal year ended March 31, 2008)[1]
Employees 19,044 (Consolidated, as of March 31, 2008)
Parent JVC Kenwood Corp.
Subsidiaries Victor Entertainment
Website JVC Global

Victor Company of Japan, Ltd (日本ビクター株式会社 Nippon Bikutā Kabushiki-gaisha?), TYO: 6792, usually referred to as JVC,[2] is a Japanese international consumer and professional electronics corporation based in Yokohama, Japan. Founded in 1927, the company is best known for introducing Japan's first televisions, and for developing the Video Home System (VHS) video recorder. In 2008, JVC merged with Kenwood Corporation to create JVC Kenwood Holdings. From 1953 to 2008, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. was the majority stockholder in JVC.

History[edit]

1920s creation to World War II[edit]

JVC was founded in 1927 as "The Victor Talking Machine Company of Japan, Limited," 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. In 1932, JVC started producing radios, and in 1939 Japan's first locally-made television. JVC severed relations with its foreign partners during World War II. Today the record company in Japan is known as Victor Entertainment.

Post-war[edit]

JVC HR-3300U VIDSTAR (1977)

In 1953, JVC became majority-owned by the Panasonic Corporation. Panasonic released its ownership in 2007.[3]

In 1970, JVC marketed the Videosphere, a portable cathode ray tube (CRT) television inside a space-helmet-shaped casing with an alarm clock at the base. It was a commercial success.[citation needed]

In 1971, JVC introduced the first discrete system for four channel quadraphonic sound on vinyl records - CD-4 (Compatible Discrete Four Channel) or Quadradisc, as it was called by the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) in the United States.[citation needed]

In 1975, JVC introduced the first combined portable battery-operated radio with inbuilt TV, as the model 3050. The TV was a 3-inch (7.6 cm) black-and-white cathode ray tube. One year later, JVC expanded the model to add a cassette-recorder, as the 3060, creating the world's first boombox with radio, cassette and TV.[citation needed]

KY D29 Digital-S camcorder.

In 1976, the first VCR to use VHS was the Victor HR-3300, and was introduced by the president of JVC at the Okura Hotel on September 9, 1976.[4][5] JVC started selling the HR-3300 in Akihabara, Tokyo, Japan on October 31, 1976.[4] Region-specific versions of the JVC HR-3300 were also distributed later on, such as the HR-3300U in the United States, and HR-3300EK in the United Kingdom.

The 1970s, 1980s and the VHS/Betamax format war[edit]

In the late 1970s, JVC developed the VHS format, introducing the first VHS recorders to the consumer market in 1976 for the equivalent of US $1060. Sony, which had introduced the Betamax home videocassette tape a year earlier, became the main competitor for JVC's VHS format into the 1980s, creating the videotape format war. The Betamax cassette was smaller, with slightly superior picture quality to the VHS cassette, but this resulted in Betamax having less recording time. The two companies competed fiercely to encourage others to adopt their format, but by 1984 forty companies were using JVC's VHS format, while only 12 used Betamax. Sony began producing VHS recorders in 1988 and after 1993 stopped making Betamax recorders completely.[6]

Other notable achievements[edit]

In 1979, JVC demonstrated a prototype of its video high density (VHD) disc system. This system was capacitance-based, like capacitance electronic disc (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 suffered numerous delays, and the product was launched in 1983 in Japan, followed by the United Kingdom 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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

During the 1980s JVC briefly marketed its own portable audio equipment similar to the Sony Walkman on the market at the time. The JVC CQ-F2K was released in 1982 and had a detachable radio that mounted to the headphones for a compact, wire-free listening experience. JVC had difficulty making the products successful, and a few years later stopped making them. In Japan, JVC marketed the products under the name "Victor".[citation needed]

In 1986, JVC released the HC-95, a personal computer with a 3.58 MHz Zilog Z80A processor, 64 KB RAM, running on 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.[citation needed]

JVC video recorders were marketed by the Ferguson Radio Corporation 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 video8. Ferguson was later acquired by Thomson SA, which ended the relationship. JVC later invented hard drive camcorders.[citation needed]

21st century[edit]

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.[citation needed]

JVC has been a worldwide football supporter since 1982, having a former kit sponsorship with Arsenal and continued 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 corporate partnerships with ESPN Zone and 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+R DL in 2005.[7]

In December 2006, Matsushita entered talks with Kenwood and Cerberus Capital Management to sell its stake in JVC.[8]

In 2007, Victor Company of Japan Ltd confirmed a strategic capital alliance with Kenwood and SPARKX Investment, resulting in Matsushita's holding being reduced to approximately 37%.[9]

In March 2008, Matsushita (Panasonic) agreed to spin off the company and merge it with Kenwood Electronics, creating JVC Kenwood Holdings on October 1, 2008.[10]

JVC no longer manufactures television sets themselves.[citation needed] JVC TVs are now being manufactured by AmTRAN Video Corporation along with distribution, service, and warranty under brand license by JVC KENWOOD Corporation.

Sponsorship[edit]

JVC is a well-known brand among English football fans due to the firm's sponsorship of Arsenal Football Club from 1981 to 1999, when Sega took over as Arsenal's sponsors. JVC's 18-year association with Arsenal is one of the longest club-sponsor associations with any professional club football.[citation needed]

JVC also sponsors the away shirts of the Australian A-League club, Sydney FC, and Dutch race driver Christijan Albers.[citation needed]

Brand name[edit]

Victor logo used in Japan

JVC is generally known within Japan by the Victor brand, preceded by the His Master's Voice (HMV) logo featuring the dog Nipper. Because of a conflict in trademarks between HMV and Victor, HMV is not allowed to use Nipper in Japan.[11] At one time, the company used the Nivico name (for "Nippon Victor Company") overseas. Therefore, the Victor and JVC-Victor web sites look quite different. Conversely, the HMV store chain exists in Japan (though no longer owned by HMV Group), but it cannot use the His Master's Voice motto or logo; its logo is a stylized image of a gramophone only.[12]

Subsidiaries[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Annual Report 2008 Financial Section for JVC". JVC Kenwood Holdings, Inc. Retrieved 2012-05-22. 
  2. ^ JVC: Japan's Victor Company.
  3. ^ "Matsushita owned JVC 1953-2007". Retrieved 2012-10-08. 
  4. ^ a b "Always Helpful! Full of Information on Recording Media "Made in Japan After All"". Nipponsei.jp. Retrieved 2011-07-11. 
  5. ^ "JVC HR-3300". Totalrewind.org. Retrieved 2011-07-11. 
  6. ^ "Video / DVD - A Brief History of Home Video" (timeline), 2005, Entertainment Scene, webpage: ES-hvid-hist.
  7. ^ JVC's April 2005 announcement on DVD+RW DL
  8. ^ "Matsushita Says No Decision on Sale of Victor Shares to Kenwood". Bloomberg. 2006-12-23. Retrieved 2012-05-22. 
  9. ^ "Kenwood, JVC Take First Merger Steps". TWICE. 2007-08-06. Retrieved 2012-05-22. 
  10. ^ Takenaka, Kiyoshi (2008-05-12). "JVC, Kenwood to merge under holding company". Reuters. Retrieved 2012-05-22. 
  11. ^ Why Nipper is Disappearing from Record Labels
  12. ^ "HMV Japan" website

External links[edit]