The Changing Face of TV Technology

I was just thinking the other day that in the nearly 38 years we have been married, Maria and I have had only 4 primary TV sets. Those 4 sets certainly highlight the changing face of television technology.
Set #1 from the early 1970s was a 20 inch Zenith Chromacolor (The Quality Goes In Before The Name Goes On.) It probably still featured handwiring and some tubes in the chassis. The set was hand delivered and set up by the local Zenith dealer. It featured a rotary dial tuner that could get 12 or so VHF channels and was connected by coax cable to an “over the air” antenna.
Set #2 from 1982 was a handsome 26 inch RCA (In Living Color) Colortrak wooden console TV. This time it took two guys from the Local RCA dealer to deliver it and one stayed behind to set it up. It had a remote control and was connected by coax to analog Cable TV that featured at that time about 30 channels.
Set #3 from 1999 (still running VCR and DVD in our rec room) is a 32 inch RCA Home Theater Premiere. This big heavy monster was again delivered by two guys and not much setup was needed. Eventually this set was connected by coax to a digital cable box and tuned into hundreds of standard definition channels. This was one of the Thomson Electronics RCA models and performed pretty well (still does.)
Set #4 from 2009 is a 37 inch Samsung series 5 LCD HDTV. It’s not a feature laden set but it does have pretty nice TV performance. Nobody did anything to deliver or set it up. I carried it home in the back of my Jeep and set it up myself, connecting it by HDMI cable to an HDTV cable box. In addition to the other standard definition, it gets an additional 35-40 high definition channels.
From vacuum tubes to solid state, CRT to LCD, standard def to high def, antenna to cable, analog to digital, 12 channels to hundreds – it’s been a long and interesting ride. Zenith and RCA are Asian brands today – part of television history. And so am I, probably.

1 Comment
  1. Sarah in Ottawa 12 years ago

    I remember all 4 of them!

    1) Fuzzy recollections of the knobs we'd have to turn on the right hand side, and of the stand it sat on in the 'room that would become the library' upstairs in Georgetown.

    2) This one saw me through my formative years! I loved its heft, and the fact that it would swivel on the base. And I remember our first VCR, with the remote control that had to be plugged in; we'd tuck the cord behind the corner of the TV so it wouldn't block the screen.

    3) I last watched it when I helped Mom set up some of the PVR stuff when we gave you our old one.

    4) I haven't seen it in action yet, but I am looking forward to it!

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