Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by LMFAOschwarz, Oct 6, 2013.
Color mode button? What country, Brazil?
I was lucky as a kid, we had cable from about 1970 onward, so I never had to play the rabbit ears game - although, oddly enough, I do remember when the station that showed Star Trek got better copies of the show and the picture quality and color improved noticably.
Yeah, I never heard of that. And it seems like an unnecessary function, since b&w broadcasts will show up just fine on a color set.
It's possible some of those early color TV's in the 50s or 60s had remotes that did that, as not all shows were color then. I didn't buy a color tv with remote until the 70s though (a Magnavox), and I think it did have something like that. In poor reception areas, a black and white show could have multi-colored "snow" specks, which was more distracting than black and white snow. A poorly received color show could have color snow, making the intended image harder to see, but easier to see in black and white.
I feel pretty silly now, but this is almost starting to ring the faintest imaginable bell. I can't quite remember it, but I think we had that on our first color set, too. When there was not enough signal for a color picture, you'd pop that button and stop trying to pull in color at all. I think there was a button for that!
No worries. I was in my 20s in the 70s, but there's a lot of details I'm hazy about when trying to remember some things. Though I still remember two different street addresses we had before I was in kindergarten.
We were the last people on the block to get a color tv. Back then those puppies were made to last!
btw, I'm going backwards. I've been exploring marvelous radio shows (like Suspense) that no one seems to talk about anymore.
^ You might want to check the Internet Archive at http://archive.org/index.php
They have some old radio shows there, but I'm not sure which ones. I've downloaded old movies, cartoons, and tv shows from there.
And for you really younger folk (IE under 20 years old) - now you'll understand why the producers of Star trek were concerned about using a 17XX number for the Constellation in "The Doomsday Machine" as with TV sets and rabbit ear antennas of the day, the audience could very well think (at some point) they were looking at the Enterprise in the opening titles shot of the damaged Constellation.
Video killed the radio star.
When I was in high school in the 60s, I was buying books about old radio shows I'd never heard, and even had a record album of old radio show openings, and my dad remembered quite a few of them.
"Who knows what EVIL lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!"
Thanks - yeah, they have thousands of hours of radio. Direct link is http://archive.org/details/oldtimeradio
I can't recommend Suspense (http://archive.org/details/OTRR_Suspense_Singles) highly enough. The whole archive is available by (legal) bittorrent.
Every episode features first rate movie and stage actors (Orson Welles and Peter Lorre show up many times), excellent writers like Lucille Fletcher, and solid scores (usually by Bernard Herrmann).
Sad that these are virtually unknown, even among people like us, today.
XM has an OTR, Old Time Radio, channel. My kids have grown up hearing, yes, Suspense (we turn off the lights), plus Jack Benny, Dragnet et al. Aren't there some fan productions of Trek done as audio?
This is probably TMI, but my other hobby is antique electronics... so I can't resist. Please forgive.
Yes, many of the color televisions of that era had "color switches," either on their front panels or on their remotes, that were used to disable their color. Turning off the color was often needed to remove the color noise from black and white broadcasts (e.g., color snow), and switches were sometimes employed for a couple of reasons:
1. To keep the prices of color sets as low as possible, many manufacturers took shortcuts in their circuits in order to eliminate parts (one manufacturer that comes to mind is Madman Muntz). Normal, "higher end" sets, e.g., those from Philco, Zenith, RCA, etc., employed circuits in them called color killers that looked for signals in the analog broadcast transmissions called color bursts. These color bursts were added by the stations to tell the television receivers that the transmitted pictures were in color. If the broadcasts were in black and white, then the stations didn't transmit the color bursts and their absence from the broadcast signals caused the color killers in the receiving sets to disable the circuits associated with displaying color. Thus, the color killers effectively removed all the color noise from the black and white broadcasts. Cheaper sets - e.g., those from Muntz, Montgomery Ward, etc. - replaced the color killer circuit components with simple on/off switches. The switches weren't as elegant and as automated as the killer circuits, but they did their jobs.
2. In the 1950's-1970's, television stations were still getting used to the newfangled concept of "color" broadcasting. Previously, they had been transmitting strictly monochrome signals. When color came along, they had to add this new type of signal to their broadcast repertoire and learn to switch back and forth between the old and the new formats. To make a long story short, a lot of station operations were done manually back then, and the engineers often forgot to turn off the color burst signals when transmitting black and white programming. Thus, the home television receivers with color killers got confused, and they tried to display the black and white programming in color. The result was not pretty, and so the color switches were often added to them for a good fix.
OK, sorry, l'm done. Oh, except for this. Here's an old snapshot from 1967, which I thought was not only apropos for this thread, but also for the upcoming holiday.
Color tv is such a 'living laboratory' of how time flies. At one point, color tv was a new big thing, and now the ratio of time is sliding the black and white era into just a brief blip in the past.
Kind of like how as a teenager, you're chomping at the bit to get your driver's license, and the next thing you know, you've been on the road for decades!
Due to both a lousy job and outright stubborness, I used a 1982 TV until March of 2012. I doubt even the designers expected it to last 30 years!
It was one of those big sets that sits on the floor, has wood paneling, and big brass knobs and handles everywhere that don't actually open anything.
Courtesy of some device from Radio Shack I even had it hooked up to a DVD player.
I was determined to keep it until it just sort of stopped working entirely one day, but it didn't go that way. The image steadily grew more and more wavy. Finally when it was becoming difficult to identify people on screen I caved and got rid of it.
I was hoping it was worth something to a collector but apparently no TV set made after about 1965 or so has any value. But while it sat on the curb on garbage day someone still ripped out its circuitry. Can you melt that down or something?
I've now got a 46" 1080 awesome thing with a wi-fi blu-ray player. Who knew Star Trek could look that good?
I wanted to attach a picture of the poor old TV here but I don't quite know how to do that.
If you have an account with a photo hosting site like photobucket, you can post photos with the instant image button here.
That's great information, thanks. I had heard of the color burst signal before but forgot about it.
46 inches of 1080 awesomeness... and the best thing on it is reruns. Oh, the ferrous patella.
Actually, there's a whole breed of TV shows that will never look any better than they did on original broadcast. As video equipment improved, it began to encroach on film. I believe STAR TREK TNG was shot on film (including the VFX plates), but was completely "posted" in video—including all the VFX composites. Unless the camera negatives still exist, such a show will be locked into the format it was mastered in. There are companies like Lowry which can clean up old film and even video (such as the Apollo 11 video), but even that is limited... until the Talosians come along.
Ah, suffering a type of amnesia known as blanking.
I was delayed for an interval after tripping over it on the back porch, but it didn't phase me. I just called the naval yard for a subcarrier.
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