Huge investments as they were, 1970s TVs were subject to the same kind of bleary-eyed lusting as today's hottest gadgets. Unlike now, though, cutting-edge features weren't easily quantifiable. So what was there to drool over, if not specs? Plenty.
First, we had design. No, not an obsession with thinness and flatness, but actual, romantic, aspirational design, which at least appealed to big ideas, even if the results didn't always match the ambitions. From Sony:
Nicknamed the "CITATION" after a type of jet, it was inspired by imaging a monitor one might find in a jet cockpit. It was also the heyday of woodgrain finishes, which made the CITATION's plastic-coated case (reassuringly solid from metal underneath) a bold, powerful design.
Yes, this works on me. But I want more! What other features might I find wrapped in the sultry prose of my glossy Sears Roebuck catalog?
In addition to its unique and innovative design, this TV incorporated the Jet Sensor, whereby the user selected channels by gently pressing the control panel buttons. Incorporating newly developed NBM phosphor, which greatly increased the luminous sensitivity of cathode-ray tubes, this TV offered unparalleled picture clarity.
Yes. Awesomely named "Jet Sensor"buttons? Mysterious NBM phospor technology? Increased luminous sensitivity? Unparalelled picture, expressed in vague terms of "clarity?" I'll take this over refresh rates, response times and screen resolutions any day. [Sony, Sony]
Gizmodo '79 is a week-long celebration of gadgets and geekdom 30 years ago, as the analog age gave way to the digital, and most of our favorite toys were just being born.