Today is the day of Sony Kanji Video Titler XV-J555
|The Sony Kanji Video Titler XV-J555|
The first thing that we can saw is: Sony tried something different this time, at least in design. This isn't the first time that we saw a MSX with an integrated Trackball; nor the first Sony video equipment with a trackball. But, definetly, this is the first Video Titler with an integrated Trackball that we saw in this blog.
|Connections of Sony Picture Computer XV-T600, |
look the trackball connected to the "joystick" port
|National FS-5500, a MSX2 with integrated trackball|
|All the controls that the other Sony Video Titlers have |
in their mini keyboards are integrated in XV-J555
|Only one set of input and output connectors. The switch at |
right selects the video between the RCA and S-Video
This lack of connectors isn't bad as it sounds: the Sony XV-J555 is Video Titler, not a computer. With all controls and interfaces packed in a single unit, it saves in maintenance as it have less connectors to break; for home users, less connectors equals simpler to learn; to the "home-pro" user being in a single unit will save space in his desk (that already have at least two VCRs, a camcorder, maybe a digitizer and color corrector...).
Anyone who buys vintage computers with separated keyboards can say another advantage of the all-in-one design: less items to be lost in the attics, storage units and basements.
What is inside Sony XV-J555?
|At left side the mainboard. At the right side, the top|
have the power supply and the bottom the trackball
Although with an inovative external design, the inside of Sony XV-J555 is very boring. Maybe some electronic engineer or technician could highlights something impressive in XV-J555's mainboard, but to my untrained eyes the only interesting stuff here is how this board looks compact compared with the others.
To our "MSX based" checklist, Sony XV-J555 checks all items: it have a Z80 compatible from Sharp (LH0080A), the MSX2 video processor (Yamaha V9938), a huge amount of ROM ICs (5 in total) and, at solder side, an Yamaha S1985 (MSX-System II) with all MSX2 logic. I still didn't dumped the ROMs, but even without the dumps I am pretty sure that this machine is an MSX based appliance.
|From top to bottom: two 8KB SRAMs from Toshiba (TC5564APL)|
powered by the CR2032 battery at its right side; then we
have three Fujitsu MB834000A ROMs, which one with 512KB;
the last one is a SONY MaskROM LH53103A.
|Here we can see the a 128KB MaskROM (SONY LH531067), |
the CPU (Sharp LH0080A) and a 30-pin connector
The XV-J555 have the same ROM ICs than XV-J550 and I won't be surprised if it have the exact the same or a slightly updated contents. Comparing with XV-J550, the XV-J555 doesn't have the big OKI IC and the, nice for hacking, MSX slot connector. I still don't have idea what the OKI M71H003 does, but I guess the 30-pin connector in the XV-J555 is the MSX connector substitute: you can connect a 128KB ROM with the diagnostics software there or some other auxiliar board.
|The V9938, the four VRAMs (128KB) and the two RAMs (64KB)|
The solder side of XV-J555 have the Yamaha S1985 (we already knew that), the Sony MB64H444 custom mapper and another two big Sony ICs. My guess is that one (or both) those Sony ICs are the OKI M73H003 substitute, but it's only a guess.
|Sony XV-J555 solder side|
|Can't read the top IC, but I guess it's a SONY L7A0264.|
The one at center-middle is the SONY MB64H444
|Yamaha S1985 (MSX-System II) and, hey, another board from Mitsumi|
|The SONY CXD1358, this same IC is in XV-T550, XV-J770 and XV-J777|
This board signalizes again that Sony XV-J550 is the "father" of all Sony Video Titlers that we saw in this blog. The custom Sony custom ICs that we saw in XV-J555 are shared by XV-T550, XV-J770 and XV-J777, only XV-J550 has a different configuration.
After all, plus one to our list of MSX based Video Titlers. Next step, another two Video Titlers to check!