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Digital Visions: A Freewheeling Look at Digital TV

High-definition television? I’ll show you high-definition television. Until recently, I thought the picture on my 1959 Philco Predicta was about as sharp an image as I’d ever seen on a cathode ray tube. Philco achieved really crisp blacks, the brilliant whites, the smoothest grays and highlights just sparkling enough to give you the idea that Spike Jones just might really be sweating in that little box. Color? Hell, who needed that? Philco put all their money into the Predicta’s Jetsonish exterior because they knew full well the public craved a set projecting the period’s moderne style more than they desired a greenish-pink image of Jack Parr’s face; those clowns at RCA and NBC were throwing good money after bad with all their ideas of “living color.” Besides, by the early ’60s you could buy a little wheel of transparent colored plastic that would give you blue skies and green grass when you taped it in front of the screen.

Who could ask for more?

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