Archive
Television
Flat Screen TV in 1958 (Jan, 1958)

I’m not sure this was real. It seems like if it really worked, we’d all have them. This is a Cnet article from 2004 about brand new flat CRTs and they are 16″ deep…

Update: This was real. It looks like it got abandoned more because of licensing and a standards battle than anything else. Here is a really interesting interview (pdf) done with the inventor from 1996.

AIKEN: “They finally agreed to a license. But, at the last minute, I guess at a Board of Directors’ Meeting for the final approval, somebody on the Board of Directors’ of RCA said, “Wait a minute, we’ve forgotten something. How are we going to explain to our stockholders that we wasted millions of dollars on the wrong tube?” And there was silence. And that did it. They said, “No, we will not take a license.”

Thin Tube Foretells Wall TV and Sky View for Air Pilot

BECAUSE OF NEW TECHNIQUES in the field of electronics, airplane instrument panels and home television sets may soon have something in common—a rectangular picture tube less than three inches thick. The thin cathode-ray tube was invented by William Ross Aiken and developed in the Kaiser Aircraft and Electronics Corporation laboratories. Military uses for the new TV tube were developed for the Douglas Aircraft Company. For the aircraft pilot, the thin TV tube will serve as an electronic windshield, showing an artificial picture of the terrain and sky conditions about him. For the TV viewer at home, the new picture tube may result in new designs for sets, with screens mounted in any wall or hung like picture frames. The picture tube, only 2-5/8 inches thick, is made of two rectangular pieces of plate glass with about an inch of space between them. The edges are sealed with powdered-glass solder to hold the vacuum. The surface of the thin tube is the equivalent of a 21-inch conventional screen. In the thin tube, the electron beam is injected at the bottom of one side. Deflection plates along the bottom edge bend the beam upward between the front and back glass walls. The inside of the front wall is coated with a new transparent phosphor which is said to improve the contrast. The thin TV tube also is reported to have sharper focusing properties. A new method of printing electrode elements on the inside surfaces of the glass eliminates the need for assembled metal parts. Printed circuits are used in the tube controls. The thin tube will replace many of the instruments needed for blind flying of an airplane and can be operated by a small electronic computer. A similar control system was developed by Allen B. Dumont Laboratories, Inc., for Bell Helicopter Corp.

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CATV Is Coming to Your Town (Jun, 1970)

The last sentence is the kicker: “Some experts are predicting—for less than the cost of the family car— a complete home communications terminal with access to computer libraries, two-way video, and hundreds of input channels. Cable TV could make it all come true. ”

Once just a way to get signals to distant places, cable TV is now growing fast even in big cities. Here’s why

CATV Is Coming to Your Town

One of these days soon, a salesman will ring your doorbell and offer a special service called cable TV. “Why bother?” you may ask. “I’m perfectly satisfied with the reception I’m getting now on my five [if you're average] channels.” True, you may be getting good TV reception. But CATV (Community Antenna TV) will offer you better reception, and more. Added up, here is what you will get:

• The five channels you would usually pull in with your antenna— but much sharper and clearer.

• Three, maybe four, other stations from other cities. Two or three of them will probably duplicate much of the network programing you’re already getting. But one or two may be independents that you have no way of seeing, short of moving to the next town. That’s a total of nine channels off the air.

• Three local channels—continuously broadcasting time/weather, news/stock ticker, and local live broadcasts—from town meetings to high-school ball games. That’s 12 channels so far.

• There’s more coming: pay TV on the cable. This is the most exciting home-entertainment prospect of all. Pay cable channels will cost extra.

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Augmented Reality (Aug, 1962)

‘Seeing Things’ with Electrocular
YOU can look two ways at once with this 30-oz. electro-optical viewing device. The Electrocular uses a miniature cathode ray tube 7 in. long, a deflecting mirror, a focusing lens, and a dichroic filter viewing eyepiece to present a TV-type image without distracting from the work in front of you.
The developer, Hughes Aircraft Co., Fuller-ton, Calif., says the unit will let a repairman work on the rear of a digital analog panel (Fig. 1) while closed-circuit TV camera (outlined) pipes the results to him from the screen in front. Or a pilot (Fig. 2) can see a TV picture of air traffic information and ground conditions while he’s still in flight.

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Compact Television Unit Demonstrated (Jun, 1939)

Compact Television Unit Demonstrated
DEVELOPED by a well known radio firm, a new portable television transmitter unit stands only five feet high and about two and one-half feet wide. In a recent demonstration, the transmitter was sighted on a golfer teeing off (right) and the images were picked up by a television receiver housed in a small tent erected at a point about 150 feet away from the site where the transmitter was being operated.

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Large Screen Projection TV (Jul, 1957)

Far Cry from the “Cuckoo” Clock
Germany’s Black Forest was once famed for its cuckoo clocks. Bringing its technology up to date, the Saba-Works of the Black Forest has come out with a handsome large-screen projection TV set (left) that can be remotely controlled. An image of high optical density is formed on a small-faced cathode-ray tube in back of the set and projected on the screen through a lens system.

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Microwave Pipes (Jul, 1955)

Long-Distance Microwave Pipe Carries Many Television Programs

Tens of thousands of cross-country telephone calls along with hundreds of television programs may someday be carried in a single two-inch metal tube. The longdistance wave guide, developed by Bell, could be buried underground and would funnel extremely short microwaves up hill, down dale and around corners. It is constructed of thin copper wire, tightly
coiled like a spring under pressure and wrapped inside a flexible outer coating which holds the wire in place. In laboratory tests, microwaves have been carried for 40 miles in a metal tube with the same loss of strength encountered when the waves travel 12 miles in a coaxial cable. The system uses microwaves shorter than any previously used in communications.

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Russian Proposes GLOBAL TV (Jun, 1958)

Russian Proposes GLOBAL TV

THE RATHER LIMITED conception of radio transmission we had back in 1925, when we wondered whether radio waves could be propagated through space (see opposite page), has progressed to a stage where today we are near the point of transmitting television through space. With the launching of the first Sputnik last October, the dream of global TV received a tremendous shot in the arm and it has gathered momentum with each additional satellite thrown into the sky—both Russian and American. The magazine which first published data on Sputnik I, the Soviet periodical Radio, has outlined a plan which would allow nearly every TV set anywhere on earth to pick up a program transmitted from any other point. Television today, of course, is pretty much limited by line of sight, except in those areas which have coaxial cables, and a few spots which are equipped with over-the-horizon scatter facilities. The system proposed by engineer V. Petrov would make use of satellites which would pick up signals from stations on earth and bounce them to other satellites for more distant relay.

“STATIONARY” SATELLITES

If a satellite is launched from the equator so that it follows an eastward track at the proper speed and height, it will remain over one spot on the equator. In other words, if it went into orbit over Belem in Brazil, or Stanleyville in the Belgian Congo, or Singapore in Malaya, it would remain fixed in the sky over that spot. This is because—if the velocity and height are correct—the speed of the satellite will exactly match the eastward rotation of the earth. It will be making an orbit of the earth once in 24 hours (compared to the 90 to 106 minutes or so for the present satellites. Since the earth rotates on its axis once in 24 hours, there will be no relative motion between the two spheres.

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TV Show Features “Wires and Pliers” (Apr, 1956)


TV Show Features “Wires and Pliers”

THEY’RE trying a new experiment on TV in Los Angeles. Every Saturday, those who want to see popular electronics at work can watch Dr. Martin L. Klein on the “Wires and Pliers” show, Station KCOP. Dr. Klein, a well-known electronics designer, and Harry C. Morgan, another electronics engineer, have found a novel way to interest viewers in the subject. Morgan designed a complete series of simple useful circuits, each one costing less than five dollars to build. With the help of a super-fast electronics technician, Aram Solomo-nian, they have put together on the program a crystal radio (this took Solomonian five minutes), a transistor amplifier (seven minutes), and an electronic puzzle (eight minutes). What’s more, they then prove to the audience that the circuits really work. And the Electronic Engineering Company of California, sponsor of the show, is packaging the circuits in kit form at nominal cost.

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Dawn of the Electronic Age (Jan, 1952)

Odd article written by Lee deForest the inventor of the Audion, a vacuum tube amplifier that ushered in the radio and electronics age. He discusses the origins and growth of electronics and what the future may bring, including dissing the transistor and living room walls that keep one warm by microwaves. He also has some firm opinions regarding the uses to which his invention has been put:

The microphone-amplifier-loudspeaker combination is having an enormous effect on our civilization. Not all of it is good! Consider to what heights of impudence and tyranny, and to what depths of moral depravity, has radio broadcasting and the loudspeaker attained in that recent monstrosity, Transit Radio, Inc. Almost incredible is the loathsome fact that already in 21 cities bus riders must listen to never-ending, blatant advertising and unwelcome jitterbug and bop music, “viciously repugnant to the spiritual and intellectual assumptions of American life,” as Prof. Charles Black of Columbia University wrote. This outrage is unquestionably the all-time low to which radio broadcasting can sink.

Dawn of the Electronic Age
By Lee deForest (“Father of Radio”)

WHEN VOCAL SOUND first became articulate the ancestor of man leaped suddenly from the dumb shackles of the brute. The first crude sign writing, whereby thoughts might be recorded, helped to bring scattered men and tribes into social units and establish contact with future generations through the permanency of the written word. For ages, ecclesiastics maintained a monopoly of reading and writing. Then came movable type and the printing press of Gutenberg. Reading and writing became common heritage. The postal service followed, fostering a moderate exchange of thought between people. Ancient Greeks developed a crude method of heliograph for military signaling. Then flags by day and fires by night conveyed information over wide distances. Later, the system of signaling by semaphore devised by Claude Choppe during the French Revolution blazed the path leading to the electric telegraph of Morse. Scarcely more than a century ago came the first telegraph, an instantaneous means for communicating over great land distances, followed by the submarine cable for spanning the oceans. Bell, experimenting with a new form of telegraphy, came upon the telephone, and as a result business and social life were; immeasurably increased in tempo. Late in the 19th century, wireless telegraphy entered the communications field, first as a means of spinning threads between ships and shores, and robbing the sea of its sinister silence; later as a practical means of transoceanic communication. Inspired by the classical formulas of Maxwell in England, Hertz in Germany in the 1880s discovered electromagnetic waves, proving them akin to light waves but of vastly longer wavelengths and lower frequencies.

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Perfected Television Now Ready for the Public (Nov, 1934)

Perfected Television Now Ready for the Public

Practical television is here! Philo Farnsworth’s compact electron camera transmitter and cathode ray receiver will bring movies, radio studio, and even outdoor scenes to every home with magical, photographic clearness.

by DEAN S. JENNINGS

MOVIES, plucked from the air . . . Football games, seen from a fireside chair . . .

Distant places, noted stars of the stage, industry at work, drama, thrills, all living on a screen in your radio set!

No dream this—for television is now perfected and ready for a hungry market, ready for your home! And before many months pass its wonders will be commonplace, its intricacies clear to every radio set owner.

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