1954: RCA Vs. CBS For Color TV Creation

From a January 4, 1954 issue of Life magazine, the beginnings of color TV.

RCA and CBS were at war over how to do color TV. The FCC played referee and they each came up with a method of being compatible with monochrome TVs (most of the TVs sold and owned then).

Eventually, the RCA method won. As you’ll see, CBS had a crazy Rube Goldberg-like method with several points of failure.

Original images (click to enlarge):

ColorTV001

ColorTV002

Look at that RCA studio camera! Today a cellphone camera people can carry in their pocket can do full 1080p HD, a resolution far exceeding the NTSC of those days (which was more theoretical than what people actually experienced with their home TVs).

That was fifty-nine years ago. What will it all be like fifty-nine years from today?

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2 Comments

Filed under TV

2 responses to “1954: RCA Vs. CBS For Color TV Creation

  1. And don’t forget that was all ANALOGUE. Still is too in some places, but I bet lots of readers don’t even know what that means anymore.

  2. jayessell

    You can read about the opening shots of The Color War in the January 1950 Popular Mechanics
    (Page 97. Go to Archive.org, texts, Popular Mechanics 1950, January)

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