South Africa celebrates 40 years of colour, Samsung makes it brighter with SUHDTV
2016 saw the South African Communications Minister, Faith Muthambi, congratulate the South African television industry as it entered into its 40th year of broadcasting in colour. It was in January 1976 when the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) sent out its first colour show to the nation after spending several months transmitting experimental broadcasts. Times have changed since that pixelated analogue broadcast and the television has evolved into something remarkable.
For those who watched that first colour broadcast back in 1976, the quality was amazing and the experience utterly immersive. Today, few can imagine sitting clustered around such a tiny screen – a mere 11 inch, 90 degree Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) – and being captivated by tiny people in bright colour that the technology of the time could deliver. As the television’s popularity grew, so did its functionality. The last vacuum tube set was the Philco-Ford in 1973 and 1978 was the year in which the last black and white consoles were manufactured.
At that time, the screens felt perfect and the fact that the shows were in colour was a huge deal. Then, in the 1980s, things really began to take off with accessories, consoles and Video Cassette Recorders (VCRs). Yes, this was when people were inflicted by Betamax and Video Home System (VHS) and the tedious enjoyment of unravelling a cassette stuck inside the machine.
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