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Terrific Trinitron Television – Remember Them?

terrific trinitron

Do you remember your terrific Trinitron television back in the 1970’s? They cost a lot more, but definitely worth the price!

These days, most of us enjoy our video on a 55″ LED display with HDTV, or better. But in the early days of color television, things were a lot different. As far as I recall, it was the middle of the 1960’s before color television really took hold. But even then, less than 5% of households had color sets, and most programs were still in black and white.

By the 1970’s color TV was everywhere, but the quality wasn’t always that good. Early color televisions lived on the edge of complex alignment requirements which often failed.

When I started working full time in 1972, one of my first investments was a color television. My electronics friends all told me that the Sony Trinitron sets were the best. I bought my 12″ Sony KV-1212 in 1973.

To my best recollection, my terrific Trinitron cost twice as much as the cheaper sets. My trade-off was accepting the smaller 12″ screen for improved quality. This quality was comprised of better colors, brighter pictures and fewer adjustments. You can enjoy watching my Sony television in this video demonstration.

Sony got this boost in quality by basically reinventing the picture tube.

Terrific Trinitron Television – How It Worked

Before Trinitron, picture tubes worked by activating a matrix of tiny red, green and blue dots with electrons aimed at the screen. Trinitron moved away from dots to vertical colored bars, and new mechanisms for aiming electrons. As a result of these innovations, picture tubes were simplified from 3 electron guns to only one.

You can study the detail of how Trinitron tubes worked here.

Over twenty five years, Sony sold 100 million Trinitron sets worldwide. It became the number one producer, and even won an Emmy for its innovation.

I have fond memories of my terrific Trinitron, which I eventually gave to my mom when I upgraded to a huge 15″ Trinitron. I guess younger folks have better vision.




One comment

  1. Guy Atkins says:

    Thanks for sharing your memories, John.

    My first color television experience was watching the first Super Bowl–January 15, 1967–on a neighbor’s brand new color TV. As an 11 year old kid I was mesmerized by the powerful effect of the Kansas City Chiefs’ blazing red uniforms. Never mind that the screen was a blurry, smeared mess when there was action on the field. Every time a KC player ran, a latent, delayed streak of red color following him. “How cool is that!”, I thought back then…not really caring that the picture quality was terrible. The impact of the color was all that mattered.

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