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Early Television Early Television
Early Television Early Television

Early Television

Vintage Television Sets and Colour Television Sets from the Dawn of Television until Now

Echard Etzold's Site

Hoffman Colorcaster

Color Television:

Documentation: Hoffman Colorcaster M4021A


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[Text in deutsch]

Hoffman Colorcaster

When color television began in the United States in 1954, people were disappointed due to the small tv screens of the first generation's color tv sets. Those tv sets with 15" screen diameter did not have more visible screen than the first PC monitors, too less for enjoying television from a distance. Although those early color tv sets had wide gamut phosphors, this could not convince with respect to the small screens. So, people interested in color tv did not bought these early sets but waited for color tv sets with larger screens. In fall of 1954, the first 21" color picture tube, the 21AXP22 was produced. With this 21" color picture tube, people could actually enjoy television in color. The Hoffman company, located in Los Angeles, produced the first color television sets on the U.S. west coast.

Hoffman Colorcaster Hoffman Colorcaster

The Radio Corporation of America (RCA Victor) was the leading company of the development of color television. Beside RCA, other brands were involved in producing their own designs of color television. This color tv set here was made by Hoffman, and is not an RCA clone. It is an independent development in chassis and design. The Hoffman Colorcaster was sold in 1955, and was fitted with the new 21" color picture tube 21AXP22. This tv set here has as a replacement the 21FJP22, which was inserted in the 1970s. Since the 21FJP22 was an all-glass tube, it has more weight than the metal cone 21AXP22. Two brackets, mounted on the top of the cabinet, carry the additional weight of the picture tube.

Hoffman Colorcaster Hoffman Colorcaster

Worldwide only four Colorcasters survided until today. Therefore this tv set is rarer than many early color tv sets from 1954. The caps were replaced to get the Colorcaster in working condition again. The U.S. american color tv system NTSC was aflicted with the fame that is is unreliable in color reproduction (... Never The Same Color...). The experiences with operating such old color tv sets like this one here showed that these early color tv sets are as good as tv sets of today in color reproduction and reliability. Their only handicap is the lower brightness of these old color picture tubes.

Hoffman Colorcaster Hoffman Colorcaster

Here are two screenshots with color bars and with crosshatch lines. They show the actual picture quality. Especially the crosshatch lines show an excellent convergence of the tricolor beams. The replacement picture tube has still a high brightness and very good focus.


under construction.


under construction.

Photos: © Nick R., 2008.


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Stand: 3. Februar 2008,