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Old 05-18-2018, 11:52 AM
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Color Television comes to Lansing via WJIM

Here are some early color advertisements and an article about the very first color cast from WJIM. Of note is the odd looking 1955 Admiral color console (do any survive?) and the Sparton color set ads. First listed at $1000, then marked down to about $500, then marked down again. Also shown are Motorola and CBS-Columbia 19 inch ads.







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Old 05-18-2018, 04:37 PM
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Thanks!
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Old 05-18-2018, 06:22 PM
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In addition to the never seen Admiral large screen color set, this caught my eye:

"The station expected only limited color responses, since the transmitter now in operation does not contain the full color adaptation equipment."

Can anybody explain what equipment might have been missing, or was that perhaps just a CYA statment, in case viewers were disappointed, as many had been at some early demos of 15" sets.

Thanks for posting this historic material!

jr
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Old 05-18-2018, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jr_tech View Post
In addition to the never seen Admiral large screen color set, this caught my eye:

"The station expected only limited color responses, since the transmitter now in operation does not contain the full color adaptation equipment."

Can anybody explain what equipment might have been missing, or was that perhaps just a CYA statment, in case viewers were disappointed, as many had been at some early demos of 15" sets.

Thanks for posting this historic material!

jr
I spoke with the designer of the Sparton 15 incher before he died, and I'm currently negotiating with the family to purchase his set. We're about $2K apart on price at the moment, but either I'll fold or they'll fold eventually.

Anyway, he said that the transmitter at WJIM was an old DuMont unit that had to be jerry-rigged into working. Later in the year they received a new RCA unit.
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Old 05-18-2018, 07:14 PM
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The old transmitter could have had several shortcomings:
Poor high frequency video response
Poor differential gain
Poor differential phase

Also, I wonder if they could have been running without a color proc amp and just passing the complete network signal including sync and burst for these brief tests. Technically, this would be an FCC no-no, but if they claimed that it was not part of their regular service and only a test that they didn't expect anyone to watch (in either color or B&W) maybe they could get away with it.
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Old 05-18-2018, 07:29 PM
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The original transmitter, according to this engineer, was the 1945-1946 unit originally used by WWDT (WWJ-TV) in Detroit. He said they were told by engineering at WJIM that the transmitter upgrade later in the year would give better reception on the sets they were working on at Sparton. This proved to be the case, but alas, the receiver never actually worked properly. The chroma sync circuit didn't work well at all. On the rare instances that it worked, it looked OK, not really any better or worse than the RCA set.
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Old 05-21-2018, 09:50 PM
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Wow, color marked down to the price of a fancy b/w, my kinda bargain! Based on benman94's last comment, I picture it sitting in the showroom barber-poling to the frustration of a the sale manager & the top-level techs.
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Old 05-22-2018, 05:17 PM
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I picture it sitting in the showroom barber-poling to the frustration of a the sale manager & the top-level techs.
Well, at least it's color
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Old 05-22-2018, 09:22 PM
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Well, at least it's color
I further picture some housewife swooning over the swirling colors, "Ooh, that's pretty!"
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Old 05-24-2018, 01:13 PM
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Here is the TV Guide listing for the Dinah Shore color telecast on Thursday January 21, 1954. As mentioned in the WJIM-TV newspaper article:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg addtext_com_MTQwMDIwNDgxMjU (1).jpg (132.4 KB, 29 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_1748.jpg (120.0 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_1749.jpg (147.0 KB, 23 views)
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Last edited by Steve D.; 05-24-2018 at 01:17 PM.
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Old 05-25-2018, 10:47 AM
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Here is the TV Guide listing for the Dinah Shore color telecast on Thursday January 21, 1954. As mentioned in the WJIM-TV newspaper article:
Thank you Steve. It's so sad this doesn't survive on a color kine. Can you imagine how beautiful circa 1954 NYC would have looked on a 15G?

Last edited by benman94; 05-25-2018 at 12:39 PM.
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