View Full Version : Interesting RCA TV in "Once Upon a Time in America"


MrMaguire
12-02-2015, 12:16 PM
Hi there TV collectors,

Yesterday I watched a YouTube video from two American TV collectors that briefly mentioned the different styling on vintage European sets. I made a comment expressing my taste in those sets.

Last night I decided to watch the movie Once Upon a Time in America (boy it is long), and look what shows up!

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-g0xlQ09r1WE/Tc9-aGY3lCI/AAAAAAADMi8/PdRcaYreKio/s1600/Once%2BUpon%2Ba%2BTime%2Bin%2BAmerica%2BMSS%2B1984 _1428-5-034.JPG
Of all the dumb luck

What an interesting set! I'm from the United Kingdom, and I've never seen a TV from North America with this styling before. Can anybody tell me anything about it?

Regards,
Mr. Maguire

Sandy G
12-02-2015, 01:33 PM
Ain't no American TV- They can put ALL the "RCA" stickers they want on it, but that STILL won't make it an American set.

Eric H
12-02-2015, 02:31 PM
Definitely not an American set.
Sergio Leone directed that film, it was shot in Italy and the U.S. so likely that's an Italian TV.

Tom9589
12-02-2015, 03:03 PM
Look at all the slider pots. No American TV manufacturer used slider pots to that extent. Also note the slider pots' location - all at one extreme. You wouldn't expect all the controls to be in one extreme position for normal operation.

dishdude
12-02-2015, 03:05 PM
Never saw a TV like that, probably some kind of prop.

vts1134
12-02-2015, 03:39 PM
Yesterday I watched a YouTube video from two American TV collectors that briefly mentioned the different styling on vintage European sets.

What was the video?

MRX37
12-02-2015, 05:44 PM
Never saw an American TV that size that had the dials at the bottom.

Reminds me of some Russian/Eastern European TV's I saw once, probably on this very forum.

wa2ise
12-02-2015, 05:46 PM
All American TV manufacturers (and Japan too) never had the outer glass sides of the CRT be exposed. We always had anything beyond the viewable area masked off.

MrMaguire
12-02-2015, 07:34 PM
I didn't expect so many replies. Thanks!

Somehow I didn't think it was an American TV. I didn't notice the slider controls at the extreme left. That's very curious. I agree with dishdude, it probably is a prop. I bet they just took any old TV and put it there, then added the picture later on.

Maybe I'm mistaken, but that really does look like an RCA logo in the top right. I can't say I've seen any RCA branded sets here in the UK at least. I wonder who really made this one.

What was the video?
This video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2eQ5rA0tDA

It's a QA video, not specifically related to TVs. But they have numerous videos on vintage sets. They even own an RCA CTC-100. I believe Spats Bear is a member here.

Electronic M
12-02-2015, 08:32 PM
Maybe I'm mistaken, but that really does look like an RCA logo in the top right. I can't say I've seen any RCA branded sets here in the UK at least. I wonder who really made this one.


It does appear to read RCA, BUT it is not written in any font that RCA used for it's product name badges in that era. Most certainly it is a European set with an a fake studio added RCA badge glued on to confuse a euro audience into thinking it's an American set.

Tom9589
12-02-2015, 08:36 PM
I enlarged the photo to 400%. At that point you can see that the RCA logo is not the correct font. Also the convergence is absolutely perfect at the screen edges. I think it was a film clip "photoshopped" on to the TV screen.

Kevin Kuehn
12-02-2015, 09:04 PM
I think the entire TV might be a photo shop creation. And the artist likely didn't have a clue how to lay out the front panel. Actually if you turn that whole concoction upside down, it starts to make sense.

dr.ido
12-03-2015, 06:51 PM
Looks like they've stuck a little piece a board with a couple of channel knobs on it over the space where the push button or touch button controls were on the European set. Without those knobs it looks like a set I've seen before, but I can't remember the brand.

Ed in Tx
12-03-2015, 07:18 PM
Pretty fancy photoshoppin' that makes reflections in the cabinet around the edge of the tube...

400%

http://www.videokarma.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=189074&stc=1&d=1449188211http://www.videokarma.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=189075&stc=1&d=1449188215

Kevin Kuehn
12-03-2015, 08:08 PM
Could be a screen shot of more modern set pasted into whatever that cabinet is made of. To me it looks like there's a sliver of black plastic around the edges of that supposed CRT screen shot.

Steve D.
12-03-2015, 09:11 PM
I think you guys are making to much out of this TV. Here's a fairly close Italian TV model Autovox brand. The 1st Italian brand color set exported thru out Europe. Same characteristics as the posted TV. Sure, some prop guy stuck the letters RCA over the real brand name.

-Steve D.

Kevin Kuehn
12-03-2015, 10:30 PM
Yeah, that looks very similar. Guess I don't know my Italian sets to well. :no:

ceebee23
12-05-2015, 06:35 AM
it is probably a Euro PAL set... but a special one ... using the 24fps system that genlocks to the camera...I remember quite a few movies in 80s supposedly set in US with Euro models sets... Superman comes to mind.

dieseljeep
12-05-2015, 10:39 AM
All American TV manufacturers (and Japan too) never had the outer glass sides of the CRT be exposed. We always had anything beyond the viewable area masked off.

I have two Grundig sets built for the US market. The Toshiba CRT's protrude like that. The sets are built in Austria and strictly NTSC.

Electronic M
12-05-2015, 01:40 PM
I have two Grundig sets built for the US market. The Toshiba CRT's protrude like that. The sets are built in Austria and strictly NTSC.

I'm amazed you have examples of Grundig TVs. The only ones I've seen in person were in a Grundig store/service center in the Chicago area. Last time I was there I was about 12 years old, and even if they are still open I don't plan to return.
The old lady that ran that place was a ROYAL BITCH.....My folks helped me take a Grundig console there for repair, unbeknownst to us the changer was not bolted down and when we got there and found the pickup arm had broken in transport (and were trying to figure that out) the old bat went on a tirade and BLAMED ME without a bit of evidence, and I had bought belts, to fix a Grundig RTR, from them before! The folks got pissed at her and we left with the set, leaving them the (false) threat that we might put it in the trash.

drh4683
12-05-2015, 04:51 PM
I'm amazed you have examples of Grundig TVs. The only ones I've seen in person were in a Grundig store/service center in the Chicago area. Last time I was there I was about 12 years old, and even if they are still open I don't plan to return.
The old lady that ran that place was a ROYAL BITCH.....My folks helped me take a Grundig console there for repair, unbeknownst to us the changer was not bolted down and when we got there and found the pickup arm had broken in transport (and were trying to figure that out) the old bat went on a tirade and BLAMED ME without a bit of evidence, and I had bought belts, to fix a Grundig RTR, from them before! The folks got pissed at her and we left with the set, leaving them the (false) threat that we might put it in the trash.

Let me guess... You went to the infamous S&S electronics in Morton Grove?

Steve D.
12-05-2015, 04:52 PM
Tom,

Way back in 1969 I visited the Grundig store/service center here in Hollywood. Long since gone. I purchased, at that time, a Grundig stereo console w/turntable. I since have replace the unit and disposed of the cabinet. I have kept the radio am/fm shortwave tuner and have it in storage. I also kept the original Grundig catalog and have scanned the console I purchased, pictured here. I don't recall any TV's on display at that time.

-Steve D.

Electronic M
12-05-2015, 05:13 PM
Let me guess... You went to the infamous S&S electronics in Morton Grove?

Likely, but I can't remember the name of the place anymore. I remember a few 60's Grundig TV combo consoles in there running near the entrance, and the place being mostly gray silver and mirror on the inside. It seemed like Grundig was the only brand in there. I assume when you say infamous that I'm not the only one to leave there as an unhappy customer....

drh4683
12-05-2015, 09:38 PM
Likely, but I can't remember the name of the place anymore. I remember a few 60's Grundig TV combo consoles in there running near the entrance, and the place being mostly gray silver and mirror on the inside. It seemed like Grundig was the only brand in there. I assume when you say infamous that I'm not the only one to leave there as an unhappy customer....

Sounds like S&S and the same mean lady working there. They had a "SABA" sign in the window that was visible from the street, otherwise you would have never guessed it to be an "electronics" business. I was there back in 1995 when I was a kid. I found a 1960 Emud "Senior 60" table radio at a garage sale back then. It was my first ever German table radio and I loved that thing. It worked but was trying to figure out why the tuning eye was not responsive. I was foolishly fiddling around with it with the back off while the set was powered up and I dropped my screwdriver on top of the power transformer and it landed on some terminals and shorted it out and smoked the windings. I was so frustrated with myself over that. I found S&S in the local yellow pages and I called over there and a man with a German accent said they could fix it and get a new transformer. My dad took me over there on the weekend and I was fascinated with all of the stuff on display and Larry (the old man) gave me a tour of the place. All German stuff, Telefunken, Grundig, newer and older stuff. Seeing all that stuff under one roof was such a thrill for me as a kid. But nothing was functioning on display and I wasn't aloud to touch anything. It was like a museum in a way. Morton Grove had a ton of German immigrants and I think that place was geared toward serving them as the owners themselves were also German. It was a pleasant visit the first time around I was really happy discovering such nice place that was local.
After about 3 weeks of no contact, I started to make weekly phone calls to get status updates. The daughter was very rude and said "We are still waiting on the part to arrive" but they would never provide me with an estimated arrival date. Another week would go by, I'd call again, and sometimes it would be the daughter, or Larry who would answer and they were becoming very snarky with me when I'd (always politely) inquire on the status. Well, this went on for 3 months! Being just a kid, I told my dad that they were being jerks with me on the phone. So naturally, my dad was getting pretty upset over the whole ordeal. So he decided to call and he wanted to know what was going on. They were very rude to my dad on the phone and gave him the run around with a bunch of BS as I listened on the other phone in the house. My dad had a great way of talking to people without being rude or abrasive, but these people kind of flew off the handle on him and my dad dropped the hammer on them at this point. They got into a big argument and basically told us "get your radio out of here, we're done with you!". This place was run kinda like the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld (no pun intended!) Well, we came to find out these people were a bunch of frauds, they had ZERO knowledge on repair and simply took our down payment on the radio repair and refused to give it back which I think was a pricey $60 at the time. They never had any intention on repairing it. When we went in to get it, the radio was sitting on the counter with an invoice taped to it. Under the comments section of the invoice they wrote "Customer refuses to wait for new part to arrive, NO REFUNDS!" Nobody said a word when we walked in. We picked up the radio, and they were very arrogant and my dad said "we'll be sure to spread the word about this business!" My dad demanded the down payment back and they finally and reluctantly did so. It was quite a learning experience for me at the time as I was only 12 then myself.

So that radio sat in my collection for about 4 years in it's broken state until around 1999 when I found someone on ebay selling an actual parts chassis for the same radio. I got it for like $5 bucks and popped that transformer in there and had the radio working perfectly again. As to why the tuning eye was unresponsive? The typical ERO cap which I didn't understand back in '95. I learned a lot in between those 4 years...

Eric H
12-05-2015, 10:25 PM
Mean Germans running a shop with the initials SS? That doesn't sound suspicious at all...:D

drh4683
12-05-2015, 10:30 PM
Mean Germans running a shop with the initials SS? That doesn't sound suspicious at all...:D

So funny! After all these years of knowing that place, I never thought of that!

dieseljeep
12-06-2015, 12:27 PM
I'm amazed you have examples of Grundig TVs. The only ones I've seen in person were in a Grundig store/service center in the Chicago area. Last time I was there I was about 12 years old, and even if they are still open I don't plan to return.
The old lady that ran that place was a ROYAL BITCH.....My folks helped me take a Grundig console there for repair, unbeknownst to us the changer was not bolted down and when we got there and found the pickup arm had broken in transport (and were trying to figure that out) the old bat went on a tirade and BLAMED ME without a bit of evidence, and I had bought belts, to fix a Grundig RTR, from them before! The folks got pissed at her and we left with the set, leaving them the (false) threat that we might put it in the trash.

There is/was a sticker on the back of one of my sets. It was a firm in Illinois, but S&S doesn't ring a bell. IIRC, both came from the same firm.
One of my sets came from the SVDP in Milwaukee, the other from the SVDP in Plymouth. The sets seem to be identical. :scratch2:

Electronic M
12-23-2015, 06:51 PM
Mean Germans running a shop with the initials SS? That doesn't sound suspicious at all...:D

:lmao: :lmao: :lmao: ...You may be onto something.:D

Sounds like S&S and the same mean lady working there. They had a "SABA" sign in the window that was visible from the street, otherwise you would have never guessed it to be an "electronics" business. I was there back in 1995 when I was a kid. I found a 1960 Emud "Senior 60" table radio at a garage sale back then. It was my first ever German table radio and I loved that thing. It worked but was trying to figure out why the tuning eye was not responsive. I was foolishly fiddling around with it with the back off while the set was powered up and I dropped my screwdriver on top of the power transformer and it landed on some terminals and shorted it out and smoked the windings. I was so frustrated with myself over that. I found S&S in the local yellow pages and I called over there and a man with a German accent said they could fix it and get a new transformer. My dad took me over there on the weekend and I was fascinated with all of the stuff on display and Larry (the old man) gave me a tour of the place. All German stuff, Telefunken, Grundig, newer and older stuff. Seeing all that stuff under one roof was such a thrill for me as a kid. But nothing was functioning on display and I wasn't aloud to touch anything. It was like a museum in a way. Morton Grove had a ton of German immigrants and I think that place was geared toward serving them as the owners themselves were also German. It was a pleasant visit the first time around I was really happy discovering such nice place that was local.
After about 3 weeks of no contact, I started to make weekly phone calls to get status updates. The daughter was very rude and said "We are still waiting on the part to arrive" but they would never provide me with an estimated arrival date. Another week would go by, I'd call again, and sometimes it would be the daughter, or Larry who would answer and they were becoming very snarky with me when I'd (always politely) inquire on the status. Well, this went on for 3 months! Being just a kid, I told my dad that they were being jerks with me on the phone. So naturally, my dad was getting pretty upset over the whole ordeal. So he decided to call and he wanted to know what was going on. They were very rude to my dad on the phone and gave him the run around with a bunch of BS as I listened on the other phone in the house. My dad had a great way of talking to people without being rude or abrasive, but these people kind of flew off the handle on him and my dad dropped the hammer on them at this point. They got into a big argument and basically told us "get your radio out of here, we're done with you!". This place was run kinda like the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld (no pun intended!) Well, we came to find out these people were a bunch of frauds, they had ZERO knowledge on repair and simply took our down payment on the radio repair and refused to give it back which I think was a pricey $60 at the time. They never had any intention on repairing it. When we went in to get it, the radio was sitting on the counter with an invoice taped to it. Under the comments section of the invoice they wrote "Customer refuses to wait for new part to arrive, NO REFUNDS!" Nobody said a word when we walked in. We picked up the radio, and they were very arrogant and my dad said "we'll be sure to spread the word about this business!" My dad demanded the down payment back and they finally and reluctantly did so. It was quite a learning experience for me at the time as I was only 12 then myself.

So that radio sat in my collection for about 4 years in it's broken state until around 1999 when I found someone on ebay selling an actual parts chassis for the same radio. I got it for like $5 bucks and popped that transformer in there and had the radio working perfectly again. As to why the tuning eye was unresponsive? The typical ERO cap which I didn't understand back in '95. I learned a lot in between those 4 years...

Ouch! Sounds like they worked you over pretty good.

That repair reminds me of a IIRC Nordmede radio I got with an open primary...I cobbled in a transformer from a unsold Grundig I scrapped at the end of a Radiofest donation auction, and it worked well like that.

I've always had crappy luck with Grundig sets having unrepairable problems (I even bought and returned a new SW portable once because right out of the box it was defective)....That Console ended up at "Better Audio and TV" and of all the sets George there helped me fix that was the only unlucky one....It fell off a cart and the cabinet broke, and I had him sell the parts to somebody...The RTR I had back then is probably also gone....Could not fit it in the SUV in the move south, and left it with grandma...An aunt later conned her out of power of attorney, stuck her in a home, dumpstered all her stuff, and embezzled all her funds/assets by the time she passed on so there was no inheritance for anyone else....