View Full Version : Why the color tv sets where so expensive at the beging?


Telecolor 3007
07-04-2016, 07:22 AM
Why in the early days the color tv sets where so expensive? It was becuase manufacturing cost where high (no printed boards, a lot of time to assamble the components, delta color picture tube where more expensive and harder to adjust) and that 1964 selling boom of color tv sets camed because by that time printed circuit borads and semiconductors camed into tv set, making them more easy to be manufactured?

dieseljeep
07-04-2016, 09:48 AM
Why in the early days the color tv sets where so expensive? It was becuase manufacturing cost where high (no printed boards, a lot of time to assamble the components, delta color picture tube where more expensive and harder to adjust) and that 1964 selling boom of color tv sets camed because by that time printed circuit borads and semiconductors camed into tv set, making them more easy to be manufactured?

In this country, producing volume reduces cost of manufacturing!
Before the mid-60's color boom, there was only one network that had a lot of color programing.
Most of the TV buyers, were still buying B/W sets in the late 50's, early 60's.

bluenorm
07-04-2016, 10:14 AM
in addition to all mentioned, some licensing patents were active and royalties were due to them.

old_tv_nut
07-04-2016, 12:03 PM
Printed circuits were used in early RCA sets. The major parts cost was in the picture tube, and that was reduced only slowly over the years. Of course, there were also more parts in total than black and white. The manufacture of the sets itself took more set-up labor than a black and white set. So, although there were cost reductions, most of those except for the color tube could be applied to black and white sets too. As stated above, the overhead costs per set were reduced when volume increased.

The history of TV prices is one of either being constant or decreasing while general inflation increased the prices of everything else. So, the inflation-adjusted price was always decreasing, sometimes fairly rapidly and other times very rapidly. This was a positive feedback loop in the market, with falling real prices spurring sales and increased production reducing costs. The adoption curves showed the expected result, with one B&W TV per household, then multiple B and W, then color, then multiple color sets. Both B&W and color showed this "S-shaped" curve of number of households with sets, B&W in the late 40s and color in the mid-late 60s.

correction: if you consider the mid-points of the durves rather than the first upturn, it was the early 50s for B&W and early 70s for color:
https://findwhatworks.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/technology-adoption.jpg

zeno
07-04-2016, 12:50 PM
RCA was the major inventor of NTSC TV & held tons of
patent rights for it. They charged fees to use it & that
was one early problem. When they stopped charging things
started to take off. Just about everyone started to make there
own & drove the cost down.

Building in quantity saves money. If you have a CRT plant
that can make 250,000 CRTs a yr but only make 100,000
you better find a way to run it at 100%. The excess gets sold
off at lower prices.

PCB's save money & almost everyone used them. Zenith
hand wired sets then slowly evolved in the '70's to all PCB
due to cost & tech advances. Zenith & RCA sold for the same
money & they were considered the 2 premium sets.

73 Zeno:smoke:

Steve D.
07-04-2016, 04:35 PM
You have to also figure in the R & D costs in developing color tv. RCA absorbed most of these costs and lost money on each color set sold until the mid 60's. Smaller manufacturers that did not sell rebadged RCA clones and developed their own chassis suffered even more losses on color tv. With the additional expense of using RCA & Hazeltine licensing fees. Slow color tv acceptance by the public showed up as red ink. Hence, by the later 50's, most electronic manufacturers producing color receivers dropped out. Giant RCA with it's NBC TV network soldiered on and finally showed a profit w/color tv in the mid 60's.

Telecolor 3007
07-04-2016, 05:31 PM
But what caused that boom in 1964? Generally there wheren't more than 20.000 color sets sold per year, but in 1964 there where sold 100.000 (one hundred thousand).

WISCOJIM
07-04-2016, 06:42 PM
But what caused that boom in 1964? Generally there wheren't more than 20.000 color sets sold per year, but in 1964 there where sold 100.000 (one hundred thousand).

More programming available in color.

.

Eric H
07-04-2016, 07:26 PM
Every new Electronic technology is expensive at first, it usually drops like a rock after a few years when they've learned how to make it cheaper.

Look at Personal Computers, CD players, DVD Players, Video Cameras, large screen TV etc...
Early Plasma sets were $10,000 or more, by the end they could be had for $500.

According to this chart from tvhistory.com there were 1.6 million Color TV's in the U.S. in 1964.

That would mean they had to sell an average of 160,000 sets per year since 1954, if they sold 100,000 in 1964 when did they sell the other 1.5 million?
Judging by this chart 1968 was the big year for Color?
http://www.tvhistory.tv/Color_Households_64-78.JPG

etype2
07-04-2016, 08:13 PM
All three major networks, NBC, CBS and ABC went 100% color in the 1966/67 prime time season. This together with dropping prices spurred a rush to color by the buying public.

There were many publications saying color television was finally ready for prime time and the public was eger to adopt. I was 19 at the time (1966) and purchased my first color television which was a RCA 19 inch rectangular console.

Eric H
07-04-2016, 09:34 PM
I didn't get a color set until 1979 or 80. :no:

wa2ise
07-05-2016, 05:39 PM
PCB's save money & almost everyone used them. Zenith
hand wired sets then slowly evolved in the '70's to all PCB
due to cost & tech advances.

Those cone shaped terminal strips and tube socket terminals that poked above the chassis were wave soldered. The workers stuffed resistor and cap leads into the cones before the wave soldering, (a little like circuit boards) and then they added IF transformers and such above chassis parts later. "Hand crafted"...

Telecolor 3007
07-05-2016, 05:45 PM
Wow. In just 2 years the number of color tv sets sold increased 3 times.
The number of color sets sold overcome the number of black and white set sold in 1972 as far as I know.
In Western Europe it took about 10-12 years for the number of color sets to outnumber the numer of b & w sets. But Europeanens got a little bit less costly production methodes and where closer to more modern tehcnologies (solid state sets, in line picture tubes). In Eastern-Europe the number of color sets increased only after 1989.
Yes, a lot of old set where expensive, but the people got jobs manufacturing/assembling them... now in a lot of countries those jobs are gone :tears:
As we get close to modern times, the time of adopting new techology is decreasing. But it's strange how modern technology is not uniting people... it's making them become lonlier. Oh, it's a pitty that isn't like in the old days when you invited people to you in order to see movies on V.H.S., L.D., D.V.D.

@ EricH : why it took so long for your family to get a color set?
In Romania... but that's another story.

N2IXK
07-05-2016, 09:38 PM
We got color TV as soon as our area got Cable, because the OTA reception was just barely adequate for B&W (down in a valley, in an apartment complex that forbid outdoor antennas). In the early/mid 70s, when CATV came to town, almost everyone bought new color sets to enjoy all the new channels and snow-free pictures.

Was a boom time for a young kid trashpicking parts from discarded sets to build electronic projects...:D

fixmeplease
07-05-2016, 09:51 PM
My families first color tv was a 1982 RCA 19". Its never had any work done except to the tuner and still works and looks great. Its in my bedroom. But we were WAY behind the times watching B&W Tv's. Put simply, they just cost a lot more money than we had. We had a few working B&W's all the time so were never without a tv to watch.

Telecolor 3007
07-06-2016, 02:48 AM
1982... my birht year. :D
But how expensive was a tv set compared to a sallary? :sigh:

hi_volt
07-06-2016, 08:45 AM
In 1982 I purchased a top of the line RCA Colortrak console with Dual Dimension sound (simulated stereo) to replace my old CTC-38. I paid dealer cost which was something like $1200, which was a lot of money at the time. I was making $19,000 a year. Our family purchased our first color set in 1967....a CTC-22 portable. I think we paid around $400 for it. My dad was bringing home around $200 a week at the time.

KentTeffeteller
07-06-2016, 04:06 PM
More programming available in color.

.


Yes, in the earliest days of Color, Color programming was limited, and the early Color TV chassis cost $1,000.00. And the sets were much more prone to needing repairs (many early Color set owners reported 2-4 service calls a year). And servicing these early pioneering Color efforts was also more difficult, especially convergence and alignments. Not all TV set manufacturers were producing Color TV sets either. RCA, Motorola, and a few others were mainly it, and quite a few companies only had developmental sets to show at that point. Zenith Radio Corporation did not produce a production Color TV set for one until 1962. And quite a few manufacturers early on had to use RCA Victor TV chassis or variants of it, GE included for their early production color sets, under RCA licenses.

And also TV Color broadcasting was a pioneering art, much more expensive to do, much more intensive lighting was necessary, color cameras were also very expensive, their alignments and maintenance much more labor intensive. 1960 was when Color TV began showing signs of life and of sustaining itself. By 1964, set prices were getting lower, bigger screens than 21" were possible, and more color programming was being shown. Remember there was no videotape let alone color in 1954, 1956 was when Ampex announced the VR 1000 2" Quadruplex video recorder, and by 1960, Ampex and RCA collaborated on patents and color VTR equipment became reality. By 1966, all 3 networks had their evening programming schedules in Color. And in many cases until the late 1960's-early 1970's time frame, many smaller markets did not have locally originated programming in Color, many such network affiliates and independents had to make do with second and occasionally third hand equipment, much of it well used by then, local news was still filmed on 16mm cameras.

Just trying to point out the events of the day, and the forces of the market and set adoption by consumers. And also until around the middle 1960's, many Color set owners elected to use their expensive set for color programming only and to use their monochrome sets for all else, due to being less wear on CRT and also to keep down the service calls on the big color set. Dealers and repair service technicians also had to buy new service gear, and get trained on color set repair and diagnosis also, many had a difficult time gaining comfort with such repairs. And also the transition from tubes to solid state technology and more.

Bill R
07-06-2016, 07:14 PM
In 1978 I bought a new Magnavox star system set for $800. Retail was $1200. It was at the time state of the art 25inch console with remote. I was making about $15,000 per year. Our first set was an RCA CTC-22B portable in a white cabinet. Cost about $400. Mom and dad made about $16000 together in 1966. I would like to find another of these sets.

Telecolor 3007
07-06-2016, 07:14 PM
19.000 / 12 = 1.583,3. Uh-oh, a top model tv set was almost a good sallary.
Gush, in Romania, <<Telecolor>> 3007 had a price of around 14,000 (14 hunder thouthand) lei ("lyons") when a good decent sallary was around 3,000-4,000 lei... and with all this you had to wait to get your hands on one. Some people bought 2 and sold one for 18,000-20,000 lei.
After 1989 we had more tv broadcasting and after that we had private tv station. Second-hand * sets brought from Germany where the option for many, because they where cheaper then new sets. And some of those sets where used for more then 10 years after they where bought in Romania...
When my maternal granfather bought himself a new color tv set - "Panasonic", 21" (54 c.m.), mono but with teletext in June of 1995 he payed for it around 1,500,000 lei - avarage sallary in that month was 205,080 lei. Well, I think you could bought Romanian assambled sets for less then 1,000,000 lei.

* well, we still buy second-hand stuff from Germany. But mostly vehicels.

Eric H
07-06-2016, 09:09 PM
@ EricH : why it took so long for your family to get a color set?
In Romania... but that's another story.

Basically because we were poor. :D Well not super poor but my folks weren't going to go out and drop $400 or more on a Color TV.

We only had a B&W set after 1970 because my Mom won it in a Raffle, when that died we got a used Bradford B&W set for $35.

I bought our first color set myself, it was a 19" GE and cost around $400. it was the model without VIR or remote and had a knob tuned electronic tuner.

Must have been 1980 because the set was built in late 79 as I recall.

One of the features I liked about it was it had full DC restoration, that was actually mentioned in the sales literature as I recall. I had it about 10 years and it was only repaired once.

Telecolor 3007
07-07-2016, 05:37 AM
Well, I think you where almost like me.
But loans wheren't avaible? Payed 15-25% in advance, and then loan rates for about 10-20 Dollars per month. You payed for 1-3 years, but the set would have had work for more then 10 years.

Gosh, those old tv sets where very good looking!

KentTeffeteller
07-07-2016, 09:57 AM
Facts, Americans then often didn't like to go into debt for very much, a house or cars would be the main things bought on time. And in the early days of Color, those sets were very prone to repairs, like 3-4 repair calls a year. And the first two or three Color CRT types were shorter lived. $150-$300 per year in repairs was average on a Color TV through the 1960's in the tube era. Also, remember the fact that until 1966-1967, only part of the USA TV evening network schedule was Color, NBC was first in Color. Many Americans waited for more Color programs, sets to get more reliable, and less expensive before they bought one. Bear in mind what I quoted for average repair cost on a typical 1960's Color TV Receiver on repair costs in one year, this was not a CRT replacement either. And TV set warranties were often 90 days parts, 1 year on a CRT. And 90 days labor. Companies who offered service contracts like RCA Service Company, that service contract cost extra, and often was a wise purchase if available. 10 years without a repair, very rare if non existent in the 1960's on a daily watcher, even Zenith. Those service calls were a major item in family budgets. TV sets really didn't get super reliable until 1975-1978 onwards save few.

When my Mom, my brother and I moved to Oak Ridge with my stepdad, my Grandmother gave us a Zenith Color TV, in 1969. When the set had a major failure, my stepdad bought a Penncrest 19" Black & White in 1973 which was our main set until Christmas of 1977, my brother was home on leave from the US Navy and didn't like the idea of watching football games on that set, so he plopped down nearly $500 on a 17" Sony Trinitron (the biggest available stateside) and it was the family Christmas gift, and from then on we had Color. We went from bottom end to Top Of the Line. Dad and Mom didn't buy anything but necessities on time, and didn't do that unless necessary. it was cash or layaway as a rule.

dieseljeep
07-07-2016, 10:38 AM
In 1982 I purchased a top of the line RCA Colortrak console with Dual Dimension sound (simulated stereo) to replace my old CTC-38. I paid dealer cost which was something like $1200, which was a lot of money at the time. I was making $19,000 a year. Our family purchased our first color set in 1967....a CTC-22 portable. I think we paid around $400 for it. My dad was bringing home around $200 a week at the time.

I bought a RCA CTC-22 with a bad damper diode in 1967 for $150.00. The owner couldn't afford to get it repaired and wanted to sell it. It was 6 months old and perfect condition. It was the TOTL model with the walnut grain plastic cabinet and slide-rule UHF tuner. That set, MSRP was $329.95, where the plain-Jane, white or gray model was $299.95 MSRP.
I used it sparingly and sold it for $200, but I did change all the 5GH8's and a few others. The picture was still excellent!
The improved damper diode never failed. RCA furnished two clipped together.

Telecolor 3007
07-07-2016, 11:54 AM
Yeah, I can understeand the thing with debt. During the economic bubble a lot of Romanians bought a lot of stuff (some necesary, some not) and after that...
But I think I would have had bought me a set around 1966 if I had money for the loan (teorethical ideea, since I'm borned in 1982).
When sets started to become more relaible?

fixmeplease
07-07-2016, 04:08 PM
You have to remember, everyone was used to B&W's, and had not been spoiled by color tv's yet. you knew color was available, but why buy a Mercedes when a Ford was available to 1/4 the cost. They were just to expensive to think about, plus the B&W worked fine, so why spend money when you didnt have too?

KentTeffeteller
07-07-2016, 04:49 PM
Indeed. And also the B&W needed repair less often, was cheaper to buy or replace. And a bunch of B&W only programming. You made do. Growing up for me, there also was two channels available, WATE-TV 6 in Knoxville, TN (then NBC) and WBIR-TV 10 in Knoxville, TN, (Then CBS). WTVK-TV 26 (then ABC in the same city was a weak signal, often difficult to receive). My first used Color TV was a Admiral Roundie around 1977, needed a rejuvenation on the CRT, then after two years got a rebuilt jug.

KentTeffeteller
07-07-2016, 04:51 PM
Yeah, I can understeand the thing with debt. During the economic bubble a lot of Romanians bought a lot of stuff (some necesary, some not) and after that...
But I think I would have had bought me a set around 1966 if I had money for the loan (teorethical ideea, since I'm borned in 1982).
When sets started to become more relaible?


In the USA, 1975 roughly was when Color TV sets became reasonably reliable if you bought the right one. Zenith Chromacolor II and the Sony Trinitron were good stable, reliable sets.

etype2
07-07-2016, 04:53 PM
All three major networks, NBC, CBS and ABC went 100% color in the 1966/67 prime time season. This together with dropping prices spurred a rush to color by the buying public.

There were many publications saying color television was finally ready for prime time and the public was eger to adopt. I was 19 at the time (1966) and purchased my first color television which was a RCA 19 inch rectangular console.


I would like to add to my earlier comment. I was reading about and watching the new advances being made with color television starting in 1964. Publications like Popular Science and many other electronic magazines were constantly bringing out articles about color TV. Even TV Guide magazine, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967 buying guide inserts, etc. The local newspaper would have tech articles about color TV on Sunday's. They talked about the better reliability, brighter richer colors introduced by the "rare earth phosphors", automatic degaussing, AFT "one touch tuning", better reliability by switching to solid state, Moto's "Works in the drawer" color set, the switch to rectangular screens so you could see more of the color image being broadcast, etc, etc. The magazines would say, "now more then ever, it's much easier to tune in a color image and the prices were dropping." They would say the model selection was better then ever from a wide variety of manufacture and that was true. They would explain the proper antenna and using 75 ohm coax cable and why. I remember all this vividly, because I wanted to buy my first color set soon.

As stated in my earlier comment, and for me personally, I was able to buy color after starting my first full time job in 1965. Had to save up and wait until Summer of 1966. All the networks were promoting their new color fall show lineups and it was an exciting time. I felt it was worth my investment because now, all the prime time shows were in color.

etype2
07-07-2016, 05:13 PM
In the USA, 1975 roughly was when Color TV sets became reasonably reliable if you bought the right one. Zenith Chromacolor II and the Sony Trinitron were good stable, reliable sets.

Push back the color TV reliability date to 1968 and 1969. In those years, Sony introduced first the KV 7010UA 7 inch Trinitron followed by the 12 inch KV 1210U. Both sets were were rock solid. We purchased both models as new in those two years and both sets worked perfectly without a single service call until my wife mistakenly gave both away by mistake. That was in 2006. We were able to find replacement recently.

I still have my original purchase 1973 Sony KV 1722 17'inch Trinitron. Still works today, never had a service done to it. 43 years of service free operation. I call that fantastic reliability.

Telecolor 3007
07-08-2016, 02:37 PM
But there where any 100% tube or hybrid sets that where relaible?

N2IXK
07-08-2016, 02:53 PM
But there where any 100% tube or hybrid sets that where relaible?

Compared to other tube or hybrid sets, some brands were certainly more reliable than others. But compared to 100% solid state sets, none of the tube sets were anywhere near as reliable.

In the days of tubes, it was expected to have a TV repair person out to service a set at least a couple times a year, if only to replace worn out tubes. The heat from the tubes took its toll on other set components, as well.

Once semiconductors were advanced enough that 100% solid state TVs were available, you got rid of tube wearout/burnout and a lot of excess heat baking the other components and circuit boards, giving a HUGE boost in reliability overall. Sure, individual models would have their own reliability issues (like safety caps in Zeniths, or bad "griplets" in GE sets), but overall, TV sets got much more reliable after the transition away from tubes.

Telecolor 3007
07-08-2016, 04:35 PM
But if nothing was broken, except a valve, you could replace the valve yourself, no?

N2IXK
07-09-2016, 08:42 PM
Sure. And many people did just that. Probably a lot of the same people who did their own oil changes and tuneups on their cars. Or their own home repairs.

Everybody else called the TV repair shop, of which there were 2 or 3 in any decent sized town. Their numbers began to decline shortly after the switch to solid state began, and nosedived after cheap foreign made sets started being dumped in the US, shifting the "repair vs. replace" economics dramatically...

Phil Nelson
07-09-2016, 09:12 PM
Many US drugstores had tube testers, so you could bring in your tubes for testing and buy replacements on the spot. Here's one for sale on eBay:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-1950s-Drugstore-U-TEST-M-self-service-tube-tester-working-w-tubes-etc-/391365679772

In the 1950s, many pamphlets and short books were published describing how you could fix your TV by replacing tubes. They included photos and descriptions to guide you in which tubes to check.

TVs can have many other problems, of course, but tube replacement was probably the most common service procedure.

Phil Nelson
Phil's Old Radios
http://antiqueradio.org/index.html

maxhifi
07-09-2016, 09:26 PM
But there where any 100% tube or hybrid sets that where relaible?

Zenith hybrids can be extremely reliable, case in point my 16" chromacolor from '73

dtvmcdonald
07-10-2016, 11:57 AM
My Heathkit GR-180 19 inch set was almost perfectly reliable for 20 years. It had only
one failure of anything, at about the worst possible time in 50,000 years of humans:
5 hours before the first man stepped on the Moon, the CRT developed a green gun heater-cathode short.

Despite using a VERY rare small-pitch mask CRT I found one at a shop
less than 3/4 mile from my house and got it installed in time.

KentTeffeteller
07-10-2016, 04:46 PM
Push back the color TV reliability date to 1968 and 1969. In those years, Sony introduced first the KV 7010UA 7 inch Trinitron followed by the 12 inch KV 1210U. Both sets were were rock solid. We purchased both models as new in those two years and both sets worked perfectly without a single service call until my wife mistakenly gave both away by mistake. That was in 2006. We were able to find replacement recently.

I still have my original purchase 1973 Sony KV 1722 17'inch Trinitron. Still works today, never had a service done to it. 43 years of service free operation. I call that fantastic reliability.


1968-1969 Sony Trinitrons were also the exception. And really as good as they were in 1976, Zenith hybrids also the exception, RCA's XL-100 was also a pioneering uber reliable RCA set in the 1971-1972 time frame. Zenith's ChromaColor and ChromaColor II were far and away the finest, most reliable US built Color TV receiver ever made. And yes, the KV 1722 was Sony's very finest set.

Telecolor 3007
07-13-2016, 05:03 PM
I guess "R.C.A." color sets from 1965-1966 wheren't so reliable (but the did need more then tubes replacement?).

truetone36
07-13-2016, 08:30 PM
RCA sets developed problems with the tube sockets due to heat damage where they were mounted on the PC boards.

Telecolor 3007
07-13-2016, 09:28 PM
But other sets from the same period developed the same problem.
Electronic tubes that generate heat installed on p.c.b. isn't the best ideea.

Electronic M
07-13-2016, 09:56 PM
But other sets from the same period developed the same problem.
Electronic tubes that generate heat installed on p.c.b. isn't the best ideea.

RCA's had issues with solder joints and other things failing from the heat. Zenith, Packard Bell, and Setchell Carlson at least used point to point wiring in the mid to late 60's (Zenith kept at it till mid way through the 70's) and I'd say their color TV reliability was comparable to an average monochrome set of the period...I'd say that you could get a GOOD brand tube color of comparable reliability to an average monochrome set by 1964.

KentTeffeteller
07-13-2016, 11:18 PM
PC boards and tubes, don't mix. Tube heat and PC boards the issue.

NewVista
07-13-2016, 11:51 PM
PC boards and tubes, don't mix. Tube heat and PC boards the issue.

Like those PC boards in the Tanberg tube reel to reel machines would really cook & warp!

Telecolor 3007
07-14-2016, 03:31 AM
What menat relaibility for an avarage tv set in 1964-1966?

kvflyer
07-14-2016, 06:43 AM
I remember seeing some tubes not lighting in a few 60's RCA color sets. It was often solder cracks at the ground connections on the edge of the boards no doubt caused by heating/cooling cycles. Reflow of solder was an easy fix. Kinda goes with the bad tube socket issues.

KentTeffeteller
07-15-2016, 04:39 PM
In short, if you owned a color TV set, you budgeted for 3-4 repairs a year early on, and buying a manufacturer service contract was a good investment. You averaged between $120-$230 a year in repairs on a daily watcher color TV assuming you had to pay a technician. When the late 1960's began coming in, and hybrid and early solid state sets got introduced, the reliability began getting better and the repair calls gradually got reduced to 1-2 a year, then usually many sets became 1 every few years repairs unless lightning damaged or CRT issues.

NowhereMan 1966
07-16-2016, 12:45 PM
Wow. In just 2 years the number of color tv sets sold increased 3 times.
The number of color sets sold overcome the number of black and white set sold in 1972 as far as I know.
In Western Europe it took about 10-12 years for the number of color sets to outnumber the numer of b & w sets. But Europeanens got a little bit less costly production methodes and where closer to more modern tehcnologies (solid state sets, in line picture tubes). In Eastern-Europe the number of color sets increased only after 1989.
Yes, a lot of old set where expensive, but the people got jobs manufacturing/assembling them... now in a lot of countries those jobs are gone :tears:
As we get close to modern times, the time of adopting new techology is decreasing. But it's strange how modern technology is not uniting people... it's making them become lonlier. Oh, it's a pitty that isn't like in the old days when you invited people to you in order to see movies on V.H.S., L.D., D.V.D.

@ EricH : why it took so long for your family to get a color set?
In Romania... but that's another story.


Yeah, we did not get color until 1971, around the time when 50% of U.S. homes had color sets. My aunt had a color set since the early 1960's. As to technology and society, I do remember hearing a commentary form the old NBC radio program "Monitor" where John Chancellor (IIRC), a famous newscaster, made the point where radio and later, TV, helped unite the country and society. It is like where the Ed Sullivan Show for example usually had acts for everyone like circus type performers and so on, but it also provided acts for people who like comedy (George Carlin and Bob Newhart), then the next act was an opera piece or concert for those who are into classical music, after that, the teens and young adults would be treated to the Beatles, The Doors, Rolling Stones and so on. The young kids would be treated to Topo Gigio, Jim Henson with Kermit the Frog and other muppets (pre-Sesame Street). Things like that bring people of different tastes together and helps unite the country. Chancellor made the point where it made all of us feel more America and not just a Chicagoan or wherever one was from.

Cable TV and now the internet changed that where we are able to break apart into different tribes of different tastes and so on. In some ways, that is good if you are like a sci-fi or anime junky but still it can make us more apart.

NowhereMan 1966
07-16-2016, 12:48 PM
We got color TV as soon as our area got Cable, because the OTA reception was just barely adequate for B&W (down in a valley, in an apartment complex that forbid outdoor antennas). In the early/mid 70s, when CATV came to town, almost everyone bought new color sets to enjoy all the new channels and snow-free pictures.

Was a boom time for a young kid trashpicking parts from discarded sets to build electronic projects...:D

I lived in a flight plan to the airport, heck, the planes flew directly over my house a few hundred feet up. Mom said that when we get our first color TV, we are going cable, that was in 1971.

Robert Grant
07-16-2016, 01:45 PM
One other factor that seems to be ignored here: Set replacement.

Before 1965, when an existing TV set was deemed "spent" (i.e., not worth repairing in the eyes of its owner), the typical owner would note that color sets were far more expensive, needed more repairs, that most programs were black-and-white, and a new black-and-white set would still be as useful as it had been forever (they will still work in 2016, provided a converter box, with the added benefits of remote control and all-channel tuning).

Thus, all but the wealthiest viewers, and real TV fans, would replace their 1951 Muntz with a 1964 Zenith B&W.

Just a few years later, the number of people who bought their sets in the mid fifties went from a trickle to a flood, right around the same time that the big three networks went to full-color schedules. Household income was also higher as prices were reasonable (the percentage of households with discretionary income had reached an all-time high and after a few years started falling ever since).

The "chicken-and-egg" paradox had been broken.

fsjonsey
07-17-2016, 05:56 AM
Basically, this is a classic example of "Capitalism" (free/mixed market economy) VS Soviet Communism (Military first command economy)

Color TV was a luxury when it was introduced in 1954 by RCA. In the early years Wealthy people mostly bought color sets because they could afford them.

Telecolor:
Here in the USA there was never a clearly imposed class line between the "proles" and the "Nomenklatura". My grandfather grew up dirt poor in Appalachia, fought almost to the death at the battle of Monte Cassino as a squad leader carrying a BAR, became an X-ray technician at Huron Road Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio after WWII VIA the GI Bill, and married my grandmother (she was a nurse there) . He used his new found wealth to build a house in the Cleveland suburbs, buy a 1959 Buick Invicta, and later a Zenith color Roundie TV in 1963. My dad grew up being the first house on the block with Color TV. 25 years earlier his father was doing back breaking farm labor for a bag of biscuits and butter for his family.
http://i.imgur.com/HoJzUMb.jpg
Grandpa's last car bought new was a 1964 Buick Wildcat...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZSq8WEoZMU

etype2
07-20-2016, 10:37 AM
The Chicago Tribune Sunday supplement always had a lot to say about color tv back in the day. We used to buy it every Sunday.

Here is a link to a November 14, 1965 edition.

http://archives.chicagotribune.com/1965/11/14/page/443/article/color-television-booming-with-much-more-for-everyone

This will give you an idea of the mood of the country at that time. It was a full color spread.

After reading that and other articles at the time, it was hard to resist buying a color TV. I had to wait another 9 months to save up for my first purchase.

oldtvman
08-30-2016, 12:50 PM
The 6GH8 became very popular around that time, shops stocked lots of them, then came the 5gh8 for portables which was even worse.

Eric H
08-30-2016, 02:45 PM
What "Miniature" color sets were available in 1965? The Portacolor doesn't go back that far does it?

Edit: this article came out in November of 65 so the Portacolor may have been available or soon to be available.

Tom9589
08-30-2016, 03:06 PM
I got my first GE Portacolor in 1966. The Sams for it (#883) is dated 5/67 which is about right.

The original Portacolor had an 11" CRT (11SP22) and did cost about $250 when introduced.

Steve D.
08-30-2016, 07:17 PM
Also bought my GE Portacolor from the GE distributor here in L.A. the first day they were available for sale. The exact model seen in the ad. A model w/o handle or wood grain was also available for less money.

etype2
08-31-2016, 02:21 PM
What "Miniature" color sets were available in 1965? The Portacolor doesn't go back that far does it?

Edit: this article came out in November of 65 so the Portacolor may have been available or soon to be available.


Yes, you could see the Portacolor in stores in late 1965. I was shopping for my first color set at the time. I passed on it because of the poor resolution.

DavGoodlin
08-31-2016, 04:19 PM
Zenith hybrids can be extremely reliable, case in point my 16" chromacolor from '73

I'll second that!:thmbsp: Heat was a major fail factor in most all tube sets and IIRC, Zenith, Sylvania and Motorola (mostly 19-inchers) were about the only good hybrids.
RCA went from sets loaded with tubes straight to SS in 1972 as did Philco and some other domestic sets.

The RCA's from 1965 to 1969 had many fails of flyback transformers, giving Zenith even more momentum as the new leader in quality. RCA did not recover until the XL-100s came out in 1972 or so.

Since late 1965, GE portacolor sets were affordable and repairable, becoming the first color set for many folks.

Tom9589
08-31-2016, 08:40 PM
The original Portacolor used the 11SP22 CRT. Later versions used the 11WP22 which had a finer dot pitch - much better picture.

reeferman
09-26-2016, 09:01 PM
They were still to expensive for my parents to afford a new one in the late 60's, too

Telecolor 3007
02-12-2017, 03:51 PM
Speaking of realibity, the color sets assambled in Romania with East-German components (<<Telcolor>> 3007 was one) had an issue with flyback transformer. They needed replacemnet from time to time. And sometimes some of them would have had electronic issuses too. But overall, they where lasting sets. And they had modular construction.

From 1965-1966 made sets, what models where the most relaible? Any of 'em was a roundie?

Electronic M
02-12-2017, 04:42 PM
Zenith would be the best in my book, possibly Setchel Carlson...Zenith was still offering roundys back then.

tvcollector
02-13-2017, 12:21 PM
Why in the early days the color tv sets where so expensive? It was becuase manufacturing cost where high (no printed boards, a lot of time to assamble the components, delta color picture tube where more expensive and harder to adjust) and that 1964 selling boom of color tv sets camed because by that time printed circuit borads and semiconductors camed into tv set, making them more easy to be manufactured?

It's kinda like today with cars.. They've been producing electric cars for over 10 years, and hybrids even longer, but yet people are still buying all gas cars the most.. But then again I don't think the technology is there yet with 100% electric cars or they are still way too expensive for average consumers..

Electronic M
02-13-2017, 01:19 PM
In the states hybrids were rare till the end of the 60's....A decent number of sets had 1-2 transistors between 1962-68 but most all were majority tube or majority SS. Most all mostly SS sets prior to 1968 were portable monochrome sets. SS sets were typically twice as expensive as their based tube equivalent models.

Really it was all economy of scale...In the early days color sets were expensive and little was on. they tried to keep the price the same or make it cheaper over time, and as the number of receivers increased programming increased, and so did demand eventually demand reached economies of scale that put color in a competitive position with monochrome, and then color took off.
When the late 60's color boom (/tv shortage) hit most color sets were all tube and all sets except GE portacolors were deltagun.

If you have need x employees in a factory, they are making 10 sets a day when it would be possible for them to make 100 or 1000 what happens to TV set price when consumers decide they don't want enough for 10 a day anymore, but more like 100 or 1000 a day?