Trivia Question 2/28/13 – Color Television

SMPTE Color BarsOn this date in history… On February 28, 1954 the first all electronic consumer color television went on sale in the United States.


How much did the first color television set cost in 1954?




NBC made the first coast-to-coast color broadcast when it telecast the Tournament of Roses Parade on January 1, 1954, with public demonstrations given across the United States on prototype color receivers by manufacturers RCA, General Electric, Philco, Raytheon, Hallicrafters, Hoffman, Pacific Mercury and others. A color model from Westinghouse (the H840CK15) became available in the New York area on February 28, 1954 and is generally agreed to be the first production receiver using NTSC color offered to the public.  It sold for $1,295, or $11,200 in today’s dollars!

Westinghouse ran a full page ad in the New York Times introducing the set, for sale at 60 stores in New York. Not one of the stores reported a single sale.  In April the price was cut to $1,110 after only 30 sets had been sold. Only 500 were built, and most were never sold, because there was very little programming in color at the time, and the set was expensive and temperamental.

Westinghouse H840CK15-hd

Consumer Reports reviewed the new Westinghouse in their April, 1954 issue. They concluded:

CU is as optimistic as the next man about the future of color television. But on the the basis of the evidence at hand, it appears that only an inveterate (and well-heeled) experimenter should let the advertisements seduce him into being “among the very first” to own a color TV set.


We had a total of 30 people check in to the Net tonight and no one had the correct answer to the Trivia Question.  BUT… since we play by Price Is Right rules, the following people are winners because they came closest to the correct answer without going over. Congratulations to:

  • W6ELL – Jim
  • AF6TT – Leon
  • AD6UP – Louie
  • WA6USL – Murray

who all said $1,000.

Thank you to everyone who supports us by checking in to the weekly Nets.

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