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 Precursors to Philco Predicta?
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 Return to top of page · Post #: 1 · Written at 2:55:31 PM on 26 August 2013.
NewVista's avatar
 Location: MilwWI, US
 Member since 10 May 2013
 Member #: 1340
 Postcount: 811

Around 1998 I was in a mall on the affluent Eastside of town, not far from the waterfront Wink, and there was a store devoted to reproduction Philco Predicta TVs! Being a Predicta collector myself, I was quite intrigued but not tempted as these were Pricey and I would rather find the real thing unloved & bargain priced.

Also these didn't look quite right Perplexed as they had a modern colour tube with squarer corners (in contrast to Philco's use of the cute rounded corner 1950's 21 & 17" format).

However they also had a moderately priced soft cover coffee table book for sale that I found compelling. It was "The Golden Age of Televisions" by Philip Collins (1997) apparently of UK origin as it had early Euro & American TVs of note. Inside I was surprised to see rare Continental precursors (~1956) to Philco's (~1959) radical modernism!

Watt Television
Wega Television
Philco Predicta Television Television


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 2 · Written at 5:19:57 PM on 26 August 2013.
MonochromeTV's avatar
 Location: Melbourne, VIC
 Member since 20 September 2011
 Member #: 1009
 Postcount: 1140

The first time I saw a Philco Predicta was either in the movie Hairspray or Grease. At the time I thought it was the most ugliest TV set ever made. That was a long time ago.
In more recent times I saw one in the flesh at a vintage HI-FI shop in Toronto. I'm not sure if the Predictas were ever marketed in Canada though. As usual, when travelling, there is only a certain amount of stuff that will fit into your backpack. The Predicta, amongst other things, had to stay behind!
I've also heard that Predictas are real sods to restore.
If I started collecting American TV's, I'd have to change my handle to Monochrome525!

Cheers.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 3 · Written at 12:36:18 AM on 27 August 2013.
NewVista's avatar
 Location: MilwWI, US
 Member since 10 May 2013
 Member #: 1340
 Postcount: 811

The Predicta being perceived in popular culture as an American original is revealed to be drawing on European precedents according to Collins' research.

Their popularity apparently peaking in the 1990s with mid-century nostalgia coupled with an economic boom. The looming 'Dot-Com' crash (2000) followed by 9/11 economic contraction, then the 'Great Recession' would reverse the supply/demand situation for these (who'd have thought!)


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 4 · Written at 4:50:35 PM on 28 August 2013.
NewVista's avatar
 Location: MilwWI, US
 Member since 10 May 2013
 Member #: 1340
 Postcount: 811

Turns out that replica company was local which explains their late-90's retail presence in monied part of town (given the then $2k to $3k set prices). Found their attractive website - predicta.com - but feared it was a 'cobweb'site by now. So sent an inquiry which was answered with a courteous "no longer available" (must still be operational for service & parts)


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 5 · Written at 1:28:59 AM on 29 August 2013.
NewVista's avatar
 Location: MilwWI, US
 Member since 10 May 2013
 Member #: 1340
 Postcount: 811

" Predictas are real sods to restore."

Was fixing one in the 1980s and put picture tube on rejuvenate to about 8vAC and blew filament (found out guns were only 2.35v - 21EAP4) . Had nearby picture tube rebuilder redo the tube with a standard 6.3v gun and it worked fine in the series-filament scheme of the transformerless chassis (which made the TVs nice and light, the lightest 21" out there!).


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 6 · Written at 10:04:37 AM on 29 August 2013.
MonochromeTV's avatar
 Location: Melbourne, VIC
 Member since 20 September 2011
 Member #: 1009
 Postcount: 1140

The Europeans, particulary the Italians and Spanish, had some pretty wild designs back in fifties. That German Wega though looks more sixties than 1956.

The Philco Predicta comes straight out of an era of post-war prosperity, cars with fins, atom bombs, sattelites, George Jetson & the red menace!

This Youtube clip describes the Predicta as being "Just like 1965 today".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PG0wpwq8FdQ.

I've never heard of a picture-tube with a 1.75 volt filament. It must of really sucked big time when you cooked it!


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 7 · Written at 4:33:57 PM on 29 August 2013.
NewVista's avatar
 Location: MilwWI, US
 Member since 10 May 2013
 Member #: 1340
 Postcount: 811

"Wega though looks more sixties"

Good point, its styling has clean 60s lines & Radiomuseum has one with turret tuner from mid-60s, so push button varactor one illustrated would be late 60s. Also Italian one has rather square-cornered CRT?


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 8 · Written at 12:40:17 PM on 30 August 2013.
NewVista's avatar
 Location: MilwWI, US
 Member since 10 May 2013
 Member #: 1340
 Postcount: 811

With his apparent chronological strikeouts on the Watt & Wega, Collins' book features a 3rd contender for the crown of original futuristic TV: The "1957" Teleavia from "Italy". On its facing page it is seen as being a cover story on July,1958 Practical Television [UK]. I just happened to have all the bound editions for '58 so looked it up this morning. They say it is French, not Italian! But the apparent original [1957] artistic breakthrough! and HD also - 819 lines.

Teleavia Television
Practical Television
Telavia Television Article


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 9 · Written at 2:53:34 PM on 1 September 2013.
NewVista's avatar
 Location: MilwWI, US
 Member since 10 May 2013
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 Postcount: 811

"http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PG0wpwq8FdQ."

and

"I've never heard of a picture-tube with a 1.75 volt filament.."

________________________________________________

Sorry, gun was actually 2.35v in these (21EAP4)(radical reduced depth CRT).

I see claim in TV Ad of "world's first separation of display module" from chassis not quite true as Teleavia did it two years earlier.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 10 · Written at 12:43:45 AM on 20 September 2013.
scorezero's Gravatar
 Location: Bentleigh East, VIC
 Member since 4 January 2012
 Member #: 1055
 Postcount: 39

Hi,

I know the Predictas well, as I paid a fortune to bring 3 of them to Australia! I have a few other things to get to first, but I had a good Raster on my debutante before I started uni. I suspect I need to rebuild a couplate in my Princess though.

The colour Predictas were made by Telstar who bought the Predicta name. As you've probably seen, they didn't last too long in business, probably because of their outrageous prices. They never looked as good with their square, long necked CRTs. I suspect the innards probably weren't up to scratch either, but probably easier to work on!

I have a rats nest or wiring (alligator clips) to test the recapped sweep board, but it sure beats going to the trouble of refitting the board only to have to desolder it all again!

There's a guy in Chicago who regularly posts on YouTube and another forum (Videokarma) named Bob Andersen (bandersentv). Very knowledgable about all manner of things and knows how to restore the cabinets as well. In fact I'm using some of his knowledge on one of my sets starting this weekend! He has a few Predicta Tandems, I'd kill for one of these in mahogany!


Cheers,

Adam


‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾
"What's that big box by the back door? You didn't buy another old TV from eBay did you?"

 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 11 · Written at 9:02:49 AM on 22 September 2013.
Maven's avatar
 Location: Canberra, ACT
 Member since 23 August 2012
 Member #: 1208
 Postcount: 584

Thanks for the pics of the Teleavia. Now we can guess where Jony Ive got his inspiration for the Apple Mac G4 all-in-one desktops, known either as "Lamp" or "Flowerpot", with the LCD display on a jointed, cantilevered neck sprouting from a hemispherical base with all the works in it. (I have collected four of them).

Those TV and computer designs are literally an example of "thinking outside the box".

Maven


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 12 · Written at 9:19:38 PM on 22 September 2013.
Chris Ronayne's avatar
 Location: Wauchope, NSW
 Member since 1 January 2013
 Member #: 1269
 Postcount: 576

Looking at that '58 Teleavia TV, I think I now know where Apple got the inspiration for their iMac G3s!

Chris


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 13 · Written at 1:38:31 PM on 23 September 2013.
NewVista's avatar
 Location: MilwWI, US
 Member since 10 May 2013
 Member #: 1340
 Postcount: 811

The Practical Television article doesn't read well because it's a word-for-word translation of an article in a French magazine.

A scan of eBay reveals that one of these, from a private UK collection, recently changed hands for ~$5k putting them at top valuation range of any post-war TVs.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 14 · Written at 7:08:41 PM on 1 October 2013.
NewVista's avatar
 Location: MilwWI, US
 Member since 10 May 2013
 Member #: 1340
 Postcount: 811

"I know the Predictas well, as I paid a fortune to bring 3 of them to Australia"

-----------------------------------------------------------

The 21" should be easy to import as one could take advantage of the current weak prices.

They are very light and screen separates for packing.

I weighed one the other day - only 25kg - imagine a 1950's 21" TV could be that light -- thanks to "high tech" Tenite Butyrate screen "plastic" enclosure (actually derived from organic wood cellulose products), no power transformer or choke and printed circuits.

Due to the "organic" nature of screen materials, do not store in a hot, humid environment or you may notice a strange white "mould?" coating develops which I experienced.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 15 · Written at 1:11:23 AM on 15 March 2014.
scorezero's Gravatar
 Location: Bentleigh East, VIC
 Member since 4 January 2012
 Member #: 1055
 Postcount: 39

That Tenite plastic really does stink. The 21 inch TV that I imported is the common Holiday model, although mine has the roll away stand. Freight alone was $700.00. For now it's in the front lounge, and I smell the plastic every time I walk past. A bit of Novus 2 should help!

I'm almost up and running with the two 17 inch models I have (Debutante and Princess). Luckily I didn't need to rebuild any couplates and the CRT are ok.

Not sure about the Holiday CRT though, as I haven't spent any time on it yet, but it will be my next project and I will most likely have all the metal pieces electroplated to restore the gold finish.


‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾
"What's that big box by the back door? You didn't buy another old TV from eBay did you?"

 
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