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Early Color Television

NBC Hatches Rainbow of Color

Early Television

Early Television

Dave Arland, who sent the article, comments:

Ran across the attached story from a 45 year old local TV listings publication highlighting the fact that the 1966-67 TV season is the first "all color" prime time season -- with NBC having only two prime time black-and-white shows in its 1965 year.  (Much of daytime was still B&W, of course.)

Interesting prediction in this piece (from NBC), forecasting 82% penetration of color TV sets by 1977 -- ten years after this article was published in the Houston Chronicle's TV section.

I have access to the Consumer Electronics Association's historical data -- which shows that NBC wasn't far off in their prediction.  By 1977, color TV penetration reached 77.1% of homes.  Three years later, it reached 83% (and today is at 98%.)

The story credits "Bonanza" with lighting the fire with consumer demand, also noting that "color TV has become so important that at least one national motel chain is installing color sets in all its rooms" despite the fact that a survey found that "TV sets in guest rooms are rarely turned on."

Another interesting figure is the projected per-station conversion cost for color -- up to $1million per station....or the equivalent of $4.6 million in 2006 dollars, which is when the digital TV conversion started.  Most stations made that conversion for $2 million or less.  Adding Mobile Digital TV today is generally $100K or less.

Lastly, the article notes that with this issue they are stopping the practice of noting which programs are in color -- and instead will note when shows are in black-and-white!