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  #31  
Old 11-13-2017, 11:02 AM
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Yeppers...(grin) Now, THIS is "Reaching Back', but seems like TVs worked better if they were hooked up to an antenna, rabbit ears, whatever... Ones hooked up toa"Cable" system, just didn't look all that great. This was the era of WBIR TV-10, which was at the time, ONE of the tallest structures on Earth. Something was WRONG w/that antenna-It NEVER quite lived up to all the fol-der-all they dreamed up for it.
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  #32  
Old 11-13-2017, 11:14 AM
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Yeppers...(grin) Now, THIS is "Reaching Back', but seems like TVs worked better if they were hooked up to an antenna, rabbit ears, whatever... Ones hooked up toa"Cable" system, just didn't look all that great...
Analog cable systems consisted of cascades of multiple analog RF amps. Each one had to be flat within a gnat's eyebrow, or the variations would add up to something visible (and typically did) by the time the signal got to your home.
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  #33  
Old 11-13-2017, 11:26 AM
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I remember the opposite, CATV always had a beautiful picture in my area. Videotron had it nailed, the test pattern looked ideal, and the signal was always strong and beautiful. No interference from electric motors or car ignitions, no signal loss according to time of day... no need to every touch fine tuning. just beautiful colour TV.

The installers always used the best products too, they would hook up your TV with Belden coax cable, with the best terminations, and expensive low loss splitters... miles better than the junk you could buy at Radio Shack.

I do remember though that "private" systems in places like hotels often looked like garbage compared to the CATV system at home.

Last edited by maxhifi; 11-13-2017 at 11:29 AM.
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  #34  
Old 11-15-2017, 12:05 PM
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An antenna and lead-in with a "notchy" or otherwise non-flat response over the 6 mc of your favorite channel, would likely cause issues similar to a sloppy CATV system.

Dad was certain the 10-foot JFD-LPVCL500 and the Belden fat-foam lead-in was the bees knees for the 1971 Chromacolor with "super gold video guard" tuner. The wacky-disc helical UHF part of that antenna would barely get channel 17 though.

And being 45 miles and just one big hill away from Philly's Roxborough tower farm should have made perfect color on 4 VHF channels a slam-dunk but... WFIL 6 looked really good compared to 3, 10 and 12. Color for ABC's 1972 Olympics was out of this world on that Zenith.
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  #35  
Old 11-15-2017, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by DavGoodlin View Post
An antenna and lead-in with a "notchy" or otherwise non-flat response over the 6 mc of your favorite channel, would likely cause issues similar to a sloppy CATV system.



And being 45 miles and just one big hill away from Philly's Roxborough tower farm should have made perfect color on 4 VHF channels a slam-dunk but... WFIL 6 looked really good compared to 3, 10 and 12. Color for ABC's 1972 Olympics was out of this world on that Zenith.

Your area is much closer to Lancaster than to Philadelphia, as I found out on TVGuide.com when I searched on your zip code, 17601. How was your area's reception of channel 27, WHTM-TV in Lancaster? I would think, given that you are in the Lancaster metro area and in a near-fringe area for Philadelphia TV, you would have much, much better reception on channel 27 than on Philadelphia's channel 6. You wouldn't have needed a big outdoor antenna to get all three Lancaster network stations.

BTW, the reason you were getting such poor reception on Philadelphia's channel 17 may well have been because of the distance involved (45 miles). UHF signals do not reach as far as VHF ones, so fringe-area reception of the former is somewhat iffy when you are some distance from the transmitters. That you are 45 miles from Philadelphia's TV towers, with a hill thrown in (!), makes matters somewhat worse, requiring the use of an outdoor antenna (or cable) almost mandatory for good reception of all four of the city's VHF stations. Channel 12 is in Wilmington, Delaware, which is probably outside the Philadelphia metro area, probably won't reach your area without an outdoor antenna. I live in northeast Ohio and remember what a dickens of a time we had when Cleveland's first UHF station, a PBS (then NET, National Educational TV) affiliate went on the air in 1965. I was perhaps 16 miles from downtown, 30+ miles from the station's towers, and could barely see the station's test pattern through heavy snow, even using a small outdoor TV antenna mounted on an old window-shade roller and attached to the side of the TV stand. Our TV was not that great, either; just a 17-inch Sears Silvertone all-channel portable. That the PBS station was only running one million watts ERP at the time wasn't helping matters much, either. I bet no one much except the local elementary school, just down the road from me at the time (it has since been torn down), was seeing this station in its early years. I doubt very much if anyone in those days saw Cleveland's PBS station where I live today, a small village some 30 miles from Cleveland and 35-40 (!) miles from the transmitters. The station had several UHF translator stations to address this issue, but none of them were meant to reach my area.
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Last edited by Jeffhs; 11-15-2017 at 03:45 PM.
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  #36  
Old 11-16-2017, 11:43 AM
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I did extensive antenna testing since moving here in 1989, testing all manner of antennas all on 40-foot Rohn Towers. The VCR's had all the possible channels programmed in, even Washington DC's 4-5-7-9 and a rotor was a must. On a few memorable summer nights, every VHF channel showed a picture here, while some were BW only, others made no sound! On extra-special nights and summer mornings - with e-skip New York channels over-powered Baltimore-DC, while New Haven and Hartford stepped all over KYW-3 and WGAL-8, no small feat!!!

Adding mast pre-amps, knowing the effect on cheaper amps from image frequencies of nearby FM flamethrowers, I was able to select equipment because I could S-E-E what was happening a Sony KV-1711 or Magnavox T995. I even saw effects of radiated noise and interference from switch-mode power supplies. No more.

I had the key benefit of knowing how analog reception was here before the shutdown and only the frequencies have changed NOT the transmitter locations. Appalachia, these Blue Mountain and Pocono foothills and even most of New England is similar this way. Good UHF over 40 miles away required an amp, including Philadelphia UHF's.

In a 1962 PF reporter, I read with nostalgia how Winegard and JFD antenna full page ADs touting the Midwest's VHF reception over 200 miles. Channel 13 of Toledo received in Milwaukee was in one ad, 248 miles! That dealer sure was proud, I bet.

Out of all the "local channels" for this market area, WHTM is the elusive one like WOIO is in Cleveland, every area has at least one problem channel that drives the minimum acceptable installation, and its usually VHF.

WHTM was RF 27 in analog days, but was still a bugaboo to get 40 miles away unless the rotor was dead-on for 27, ABC default was WPVI-6. Normally, all but channels 4-5-7-9 was receivable on my 1967 Philco hybrid color, using built-in rabbit ears , but only up in the attics of both our 2.5 story houses. This is how good it was compared to WHTM.

Low rolling and wooded hills west of Philly are small but biggest factors affecting digitized RF are nearby trees, not reflected signals. Multipath was not a problem due to agricultural surroundings, so increasing antenna elevation is mostly used to overcome near-obstacles like trees, and equally important, reduce terrain-reflected noise.

The distance factor is why Antenna rabbit or antenna web shows "one edge", not line of sight, reception for all the Philly and Baltimore Stations.

The VHF signals for the ABC channels in Harrisburg-10 and Philadelphia-6 (with 2-3 subs each) are generally hard to get without an outdoor fringe-rated VHF antenna. Forget using anything else, even the little broadband ones like "Radio Shack's VU-90, or the ones sold now by CM that are similar.

Believe it or not, the most reliable local ABC reception is from WMAR, which was VHF-2, now DT RF-38. But that is in a different direction.
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Last edited by DavGoodlin; 11-16-2017 at 11:48 AM.
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  #37  
Old 11-16-2017, 10:04 PM
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Anyone who DOESN'T believe that there is a healthy dose of Black Magic in TV & FM reception oughta come down here. Sometimes, you could BARELY get any of the Knoxville stations on FM,& then other times, the ENTIRE FM band was one solid station. The BEST times, generally, are when the weather is changing over from one season to another. The sky is that gorgeous "Chrome Blue" that you'll have for maybe a week in the spring & fall. Roanoke, Virginia, is roughly 200 miles from here-a tough catch, ordinarily, but on the "Chrome" days they boom in here like there's no tomorrow..
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  #38  
Old 03-22-2018, 01:57 PM
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Cool

I agree that the flat chassis SS Zeniths were great. I did like the CTC-40 chassis that RCA made, but the sweep circuitry with the SCR's was complicated. But that was probably my favorite of the RCA until XL 100 came out. I never liked Colortrak sets. Zenith seemed to have reliability over RCA models, but once the Trinitron sets came on strong there was no comparison. As you can see by my post that I'm trying to get our thread back on subject.
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  #39  
Old 03-23-2018, 04:12 AM
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I'd like to cast a vote for Setchell Carlson roundies They were excellent performers, and the Unitized Chassis was beautiful. I sold and maintained many of these.
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  #40  
Old 03-23-2018, 05:30 AM
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Here in Britain I'd say the Sony KV 1300's & KV 1800's were best, they sort of converted PAL to NTSC to get round the PAL patent's & it worked brilliantly. My parents had a KV 1800 in 1972'ish & it was still working perfect in 1994 when Mam passed away. It was UHF only with a rotary tuner as there were never any colour transmissions on VHF & Britain became a de facto UHF only country in the early/mid 70's. Colour didn't fire up in Britain till 1967 & then only on BBC2, BBC1 & ITV fired up in November 1969 in the main population areas then was rolled out to the rest of the country in the 70's...

In the late 60's there were some dual standard (405/625) colour sets that were right beasts, they were very unreliable as they had mechanical switching to change from one standard to another. In 1969 they started making single standard 625 UHF only sets in both colour & black & white & they became more reliable...
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  #41  
Old 03-23-2018, 08:20 AM
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This is a really interesting discussion. I wonder what percentage of these various rankings is based on the bias of personal perception and what percentage is more empirical.

For example, I have seen a few people mention Philco, Sylvania and Admiral sets. I grew up in a small town where we had Zenith and RCA dealers, and that's 95% of what everyone had. We were a Zenith family (19FC45 with the slidey-up-and-downy tuner - my interest in TVs started the day the guy came out to change the 4-lead capacitor that was recalled). By the time I started working at the TV shop, it had become a Quasar dealer but we still serviced mostly Zeniths. And I remember that anything that wasn't a Zenith, or maybe an RCA, was viewed with quite a bit of disdain - especially Admirals, Sylvanias, and Philcos. Those were considered hot garbage, unreliable and poorly made. I have no idea if that was true or not, but in my 15-year-old, small-town-myopic worldview, it was fact. But it's interesting that those brands would have had to come from Kansas City, 60+ miles away, and so it's possible we just discounted them as outsiders and not one of us.

Presumably there were also scores of Admiral towns, and Philco towns, etc.; What are the odds that the people listing those sets as among the best are from one of those towns?
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  #42  
Old 03-23-2018, 10:13 AM
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I'd probably vote Sony. They had their problems, but nothing could touch the picture on one with a good CRT.

Back in the 80's and 90's when I was picking up TVs to repair and sell (or use) I never acquired a Sony with a good CRT. I think much of that is because people used them until the CRT was DEAD DEAD DEAD. Even then, the chassis was usually still working fine. Some of my family and friends had 70's Trinitrons, and they all looked perfect, and just kept on going.

Zeniths were my favorite at the time because they would always fail for some simple reason long before the CRT was getting weak (usually bad soldering). RCAs were a mix because they usually failed right around the time the CRT was also getting weak. I really wanted a nice Trinitron, but I saw very few, and they almost always worked, but had a weak CRT.
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  #43  
Old 04-02-2018, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by AlanInSitges View Post
This is a really interesting discussion. I wonder what percentage of these various rankings is based on the bias of personal perception and what percentage is more empirical.

For example, I have seen a few people mention Philco, Sylvania and Admiral sets. I grew up in a small town where we had Zenith and RCA dealers, and that's 95% of what everyone had. We were a Zenith family (19FC45 with the slidey-up-and-downy tuner - my interest in TVs started the day the guy came out to change the 4-lead capacitor that was recalled). By the time I started working at the TV shop, it had become a Quasar dealer but we still serviced mostly Zeniths. And I remember that anything that wasn't a Zenith, or maybe an RCA, was viewed with quite a bit of disdain - especially Admirals, Sylvanias, and Philcos. Those were considered hot garbage, unreliable and poorly made. I have no idea if that was true or not, but in my 15-year-old, small-town-myopic worldview, it was fact. But it's interesting that those brands would have had to come from Kansas City, 60+ miles away, and so it's possible we just discounted them as outsiders and not one of us.

Presumably there were also scores of Admiral towns, and Philco towns, etc.; What are the odds that the people listing those sets as among the best are from one of those towns?
I grew up in a GE town; our single dealer had once also sold Zenith & Admiral so you saw a few of those. The neighboring town was mostly Magnavox & Admiral, while another was Motorola & GE. Oddly, among those 3 little towns we didn't have a strong RCA dealer.
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  #44  
Old 04-14-2018, 06:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxhifi View Post
Looking at performance, reliability, durabity, design. What's your vote for best?

Is it as simple as RCA versus Zenith?

I can't make up my mind, I like RCA, and Zenith, and Sony, even Motorola.

Zenith Chromacolor II. The best reliability. The best durability. The easiest to repair. The best American built Color TV period. And the finest picture and overall performance in classic Color TV.
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  #45  
Old 04-14-2018, 06:48 PM
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Flat chassis was 1st Zenith 100% solid state color. It sat in the
cabinet "flat" as opposed to being fold down vertical like
the later CC2 chassis. Sold in 25" C, D, E & probably a few F year
sets.
Still built on steel chassis with hand wiring & abt. 8 small modules.
All semis also plugged in.
Even at the time they were known for ruggedness, servicability,
almost immortal CRT's & had a great pix ! Everyone loved them, even
the RCA guys.

73 Zeno
LFOD !
Nobody disliked the flat chassis Zenith first SS chassis. The most reliable Color TV hands down, rarely ever gave trouble. Agree highly about the early SS chassis from all the major makes being the best built and most service friendly from RCA, Motorola, and others.
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