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Early Television

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The Set: Pete Deksnis's Site about the CT-100

Restoring a Vintage Color Television Set

Early Television Pete's thoughts... (mostly about the cover shot).

(update 01-22-2001. The pattern on the screen is typical of a Hickok 656XC color bar generator of the era.)

(update 10-19-2008. The mystery has at long last been solved. This set is a developmental DuMont and the image was provided by them. Thanks to Cliff Benham for providing the contents page of Radio Electronics magazine for April 1954.

1. It may be an actual picture of color bars from a tricolor kinescope, but it's almost certain that this guy wasn't looking at it when photographed. The saturation and hue of the bars are striking. If it is an actual photograph, it was probably shot separately.

2. The photo is probably a composite. Easy to do digitally today, but back then a separate photograph of the color bars would be "stripped in" manually to the transparency of the "talent" and the tv.

3. Notice also that the offset of the screen image may be excessive to be the result simply of parallax.

4. There is no decorative mask visible, suggesting it may be a CBS tube.

5. The traces on the scopes were phony so I didn't include them in this image to save bandwidth.

6. There is a matching network on the upper right which may well be feeding a test signal to the tuner. There seems to be a two-terminal strip of the type used for 300-ohm balanced outputs.

7. It is possible that this is not a composite. One can photograph both the dim screen, the talent, and the tv set on a single piece of sheet film. In a darkened studio with only the test pattern generating light, a l-o-n-g exposure of the screen is made. Then, using the same f-stop (quite small, 64 or so) a second exposure is made using flood and/or flash. It's a delicate balance; one must keep the second exposure from fogging the first. I don't think that's how this cover was shot, though.

8. Your comments...

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