Wednesday, November 30, 2011

1951 "CBS Color" TV Experiment In Cleveland

September 29, 1951:Advertisement for Sears featuring early color TV..

September 29, 1951:WEWS Statement explaining the CBS Color TV system..

September 30, 1951:Front Page Plain Dealer article describing the Color College Football Gane aired on CBS (WEWS-TV 5)

Part 2 of the Article above-September 30, 1951..

As so often happens, when I look for one thing in an archive, I find something different to feature that is much more interesting..The FCC, in it's "Wisdom" awarded CBS the first crack at color tv with a "spinning disc" system in 1950,,,By the fall of 1951 they felt ready to test it out..The only problem (a big one) was that CBS color system was not "backwards compatible" with current black and white sets, meaning that if you bought or had an already functioning Black and White set, the CBS Color Picture would be scrambled..The first tests were done with College Football in September-October 1951..The California-Penn game was televised in Color on CBS (WEWS) September 29..

Among the exhibits above: A Sears ad for the first color tv's in Cleveland..A WEWS-TV 5 ad (some might call it a "disclaimer") Basically stating while they were participating in the test, their main focus was still their original monochrome programming..Explaining the picture would be scrambled on all Black and White sets and basically inviting folks to tune to channels 4 and 9, and that to call a TV repairman would be futile..

There is also a Plain Dealer from a day later with a review of the proceedings..The reporter(unnamed)..Stated while there was potential, there was a long way to go..

The CBS experiments lasted only a few weeks..All the CBS Color TV sets were ordered destroyed and CBS ultimately adopted the RCA system..

1 comment:

  1. Makes me wonder if my town ever had anything like that at all (though we didn't have a single CBS station technically at the time).