Color television had larger impact than digital television

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Larry Melton, Jul 18, 2019.

  1. Larry Melton

    Larry Melton Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Mishawaka, Indiana
    As a kind that grew up in the fifties, IMO color television was much more impactful than the introduction of digital, which btw I serviced and sold both. At the time color was approved by the NTSC in December of 1953, television itself was still feeling growing pains and even as black and white tv changed the world forever, the magic of color seemed surreal. My dad took me to a tv store in the mid to late fifties and there on display was an RCA color set with "The price is right" in living color.

    Granted early color was a challenge from setting up the antenna system, to maintaining the sets which were loaded with vacuum tubes. The other issue is color was in it's infancy and Rca held all the cards, building the broadcast and receiving equipment. The result was it became a situation of what came first the chicken or the egg. People weren't buying sets because there weren't enough shows on and the broadcasters were reluctant to spend the money to broadcast shows in color.
  2. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    First color tv I seen was in 1967/68.
    tv show ? The High Chaparral.
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2019
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  3. Claus LH

    Claus LH Forum Resident

    Color was an interesting hurdle (in Denmark, even after color came in, we had a high-quality Grundig B/W set in '72). We did, however, get a plastic color-tinted screen to hang on the front of the set to simulate (very badly) the idea of color TV. People wanted the sets, but they were very expensive even then.

    In terms of psychology, a book should be written about the relative impact of mass TV images in B/W vs color, and what effects this had on both the viewers and their general perception of (and belief in) the material shown.

    Octavian likes this.
  4. royzak2000

    royzak2000 Senior Member

    My first colour experience was Star Trek in a shop window in Piccadilly I knew I had to have it it was like a H i-Fi moment.
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  5. Leepal

    Leepal Forum Resident

    Swindon, UK
    Well it certainly had a larger impact on me personally. My first childhood memory is when we got a colour TV. This would have been the early 70s.
    alexpop likes this.
  6. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    High End color TV show was Rowan & Martin‘s Laugh In.
  7. kevywevy

    kevywevy Forum Resident

    We got the first colour TV on my block and all my friends wanted to come over and watch TV at my place. Nobody wanted to come over and watch my brand new flatscreen TV.
  8. mr. steak

    mr. steak Forum Resident

    tempe az
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  9. Taxee

    Taxee Forum Resident

    Kansas City
    My first Color TV experience was in 1965. The neighbors across the street had just got an inflatable swimming pool and the wife/mom of the family told my mom that I could come over and swim anytime as long as I knocked on their door first to let them know I was there. While swimming with the son of the family the mom comes out to the backyard and says if I wanted to come in and watch the MLB All-Star game (it was in the afternoon in those days) that I could. So me and the son eventually get out of the pool and as I'm drying off I can hear the game on the TV but could not see it yet. When I walked into their living room I was just floored. I couldn't believe how great a baseball game could look without actually being there.
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  10. Grand_Ennui

    Grand_Ennui Forum Resident


    I wasn't around in 1955, but I've always heard (and probably even read somewhere) that the earliest color TVs had a slight green tinge to them... Do you have any recollections of that?
  11. Rick Bartlett

    Rick Bartlett Forum Resident

    Younger people, including me, have no idea what it must have been like seeing color TV for the first time.
    Can't even comprehend it.
    Must have been like the scene in 'Wizard of Oz'.
  12. m5comp

    m5comp Classic Rock Lover

    Hamilton, AL
    When I was growing up in the 1960s, my family only had a B&W TV because my father thought color TV was a waste of money. He finally bought a color TV in 1975.
    marcb likes this.
  13. Alan G.

    Alan G. Forum Resident

    NW Montana
    We knew these people, early employees of HP, who had a color set in 1956. I remember seeing a golf tournament on it and the Perry Como Show. At one point Perry had a green spotlight above him, which made his hair mostly green. Kinda odd. At the time, we had a 17” Coronado B&W set. It took 9 more years for us to get a color TV.
  14. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    Central PA
    Digital TV was an overall improvement of a picture we had long since taken for granted.

    Color TV however, was an improvement in "everything". So I'd go with Color.

    By the time digital had come along, community antenna cable systems had criss-crossed the country, and comb filters had already improved pictures for most people in your community, perhaps less-so in fringe areas, or for the poverty-stricken. What we got in digital TV was more of a refinement of a quality we were already used to expecting. Color on the other hand, was an obvious innovation and, when the signal was right, something you didn't have to be a purist to understand as an improvement.
  15. HGN2001

    HGN2001 Senior Member

    Color TV was definitely the bigger of the two (I could say 'three' if you include the switch to stereo sound in the 80s). Digital television had a dual effect on TV pictures. On the one hand, high definition, widescreen images with no ghosting was a tremendous improvement, but by the same token, the pictures for the low-def, subchannels often look like crap. And as I get older, I find more familiar programming on those older retro signals.

    Color TV was a huge deal. We were the first on our block to get a color TV. It happened in the spring of 1966. We'd all watched as one-by-one, all of our favorite shows were displaying "In Color" bumpers before they began, making us all curious as to just what they really looked like. So Mom and Dad went to Sears and came home with our first color TV.

    Based on what I'd seen in stores for the prior decade, our new color TV was a lot more natural in the picture hues than some of those early sets. I think "green" is a good term for describing those early color pictures - at least the ones I saw in passing the TV sections of the department stores. Our Sears set was generally quite good at making the colors look natural - at least on the regular programming of the day. When it came to commercials, forget it. Their color tints were way off much of the time. And certain also-ran, UHF stations that were trying to dabble in color often looked pretty bad as they showed dubbed spaghetti westerns, just because they were in color. But as I say, the regular network shows looked great.

    The fall of 1966 was the big-time event for color TV as all network prime-time shows went color that year. NBC had attempted full-color the prior year, but still had a couple of black-and-white shows ("CONVOY" and "I DREAM OF JEANNIE"), but all-three networks went full color in the fall of 1966.

    Every show began with one of these:
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  16. GreenDrazi

    GreenDrazi Truth is beauty

    Atlanta, GA
    Color television had larger impact than digital television

    Duuuuuh. And did you know that television has had a bigger impact than radio. :-plnktn-:
  17. HGN2001

    HGN2001 Senior Member

    ^ Charming response.
    musicfan37 likes this.
  18. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    Central PA
    Ya know what? I'm not quite sure that is the case, Drazi. Of course we weren't there. But the advent of radio is really up there with Edison's light bulb, in terms of how it changed how we live. As far as the impact of television at it's beginning, one might even be able to make a case that it was radio; just radio with shadowy, flickering light on top. Because at first, TV was only giving us what we were already getting in an existing audio medium.
    Simon A likes this.
  19. Larry Melton

    Larry Melton Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Mishawaka, Indiana
    The other interesting part of early color was getting next weeks issue of the TV Guide. Back then there was a section showing what programs were in color for the next week. Occasionally a network like CBS would sneak in a program, I understand that Red Skelton had his own TK 40 color camera and paid for a couple of his programs to be broadcast in color.
  20. Slackhurst Broadcasting

    Slackhurst Broadcasting Forum Resident

    For a very long time a colour TV was a kind of symbol of luxury, even when they became more common than b/w sets. People would get indignant about, say, inmates in prison being too comfortable, and would cite their being allowed to watch colour TV as an example.
  21. Jay_Z

    Jay_Z Forum Resident

    People could certainly huddle around the radio, and did at certain times. But radio could and can be in the background much more than TV ever could. That's why radio never received the boob tube/idiot box comments where it drew away from other things. A driver can't watch TV in their car. Same issue with cell phones. Audio only works, texting doesn't.

    With radio you also had the rural issue. Rural electrification came after WWII, so some people never had regular access to radio the way they would with TV. By the time they got power, radio was on its way out as the central medium.

    The thing with color versus digital is that color was probably more important, but it took a lot longer to be implemented. A lot of people waited until the 1970s to get a color set, and B&W cheapos were still for sale in the 1980s. Whereas digital was implemented much more quickly.
    Vidiot, Grand_Ennui and Dillydipper like this.
  22. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    Central PA
    True, particularly in that color did not "replace" b&w sets, as you could still watch b & w sets.
    Bluesman Mark likes this.
  23. torcan

    torcan Forum Resident

    I love those! I've got some copies of older shows with these and it really adds to the flavor.

    Odd thing is that each network had a different time frame for how long they ran those bumpers. CBS stopped using this by January 1968 (approx). They may have still used it on some daytime shows for a while longer. After a short time, ABC switched to having each show start with its own color bumper instead of this (for example, "Bewitched, next in color", or a "That Girl" bumper announcing it was in color). This continued until the fall of 1971. NBC ran their's the longest. There were still some daytime shows ("Hollywood Squares" and "Jeopardy" for example) that were still using it at late as 1975.
  24. I remember our first color TV back in 1978 that lasted around two weeks at home. My father had a friend who had a shop that sold electronics, washing machines,freezers etc..
    He got a 17" Telefunken set as it was advertized everywhere "Get a Telefunken, from the inventors of PAL color". The set was a mess, color went on and off, got out of tune easily, lost sincrony...
    After two weeks my father got fed up of the Telefunken set, took it tohis friend's and got a Philips set, I think it was a K-7 model. It looked great, it worked reliably, it was a bit bigger than the Telefunken one, maybe a 19", it was better made. In 1991 the Philips set was still working fine,but while we were on a department store a saw a 25" Sony Trinitron set which picture quality amazed him. He got it and brought it home, I remember it was heavy, my father was happy with his new Sony set and I got happy two as I got the old Philips set for my bedroom.
    Rufus McDufus and CDV like this.
  25. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!


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