March 25, 2005


According to Jewish World Review's This Day in History, today marks the anniversery in 1954 that the first commercially available color TV set was produced. It was made by RCA, had a 12 inch screen and cost 1000 dollars.

I just check and for $999.94 you get a 27" HDTV flat panel LCD TV.

I don't even think they sell CRT TV's anymore.

Posted by Bryan Francoeur at March 25, 2005 8:20 AM

According to my deflator calculator, $1000 in 1954 is worth about $5809 in 2004. Even *more* impressive!

Posted by: Bruce Cleaver at March 25, 2005 8:57 AM

You can still get a CRT color set -- convex front image on the tube and all -- but they're usually hidden in the corners of the big box stores, and cost so little the staff doesn't even waste their time schmoozing with you if you're wandering through that section.

Posted by: John at March 25, 2005 10:58 AM

These are old figures so it's probably even LESS today. But way back in the mid 90's, containerization and intermodal shipping technology dropped the average cost to ship a 27" TV from Japan to any major West Coast US port from over $30 dollars 20-year prior to less than $7. I would guess that same $7 bucks will get it all the way to the shelf today.

Posted by: John Resnick at March 25, 2005 11:39 AM

Curiously enough, I just bought a 27 inch Toshiba CRT for 196 dollars yesterday. (Plus lots of Washington state sales tax.) I am embarrassed to own a TV, so I tend to spend very little on them when I do have to buy one.

And then the UW team lost in one of those painful games that left you thinking they could have won.

Posted by: Jim Miller at March 25, 2005 11:47 AM

$1000 in 1954= ~$7000 in 2005. For $7000 You can buy this:

Sony 50 Plasma WEGA Flat Panel Television KE-50XS910
-- a 50-inch, plasma television, larger than the average TV on the market today. Note that this product has a wide-screen (16:9) format. In general, a liquid plasma display can recreate more realistic black-levels than an LCD display can.

In addition, this TV supports multi-channel preview (PIP), though it requires a VCR to provide a second tuner. This set can display images that are sharper and more realistic than analog television when hooked up to a high definition signal. The 3:2 pulldown feature of this unit reduces artifacts that can occur when motion pictures are transferred to a digital format such as DVD.

Of course you could by a comparable RCA:

RCA 13R400TD - TV/DVD combo - CRT - 13" for $195.

If you dont want the VCR/DVD built in you would have to step up to a

RCA 20F410T - TV - CRT - 20" for $211.

in $1954 that would be about $30, which was not chump change, but it was by no means a fortune.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at March 25, 2005 2:00 PM