Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Hi Dave,

I have been a long time reader of your CBS Retiree site and have enjoyed
many a "war story" from your associates. Keep up the good work.

For some years I have attempted to document the CBS history of Color
Television and a number of your associates have kindly mentioned that
effort. "Ed Reitan's Color Television History" is at Ed Reitan's Color Television History.

Included is information on the CBS Color Television System and the various
CBS Color Studios over the years.

You may be interested (and have permission to publish) the attached press
release that describes that a surviving CBS-Columbia Model 12CC2 Receiver is
again operating on the standards of the CBS Color Television System. It is
thrilling to see how superbly that system (again) performs.

Also, would you help me to again contact Al Goldberg of the CBS Labs. I
have seen pictures showing him participating in your activities. As you no
longer publish email addresses, could you contact him and tell him to please
email or call me (information available by email from the Webmaster). I last talked to
him in 1982 when he provided some material to UCLA for their exhibit at the
SMPTE Conference in Los Angeles. I have some further questions that only he
can resolve.

Also, I am close to completing a piece on Frances Buss, a CBS director who
even did Pre-WWII television. She is well in North Carolina. !!! I could
turn that write-up over to you for publishing on your site.

Thanks and keep in touch,

Ed Reitan

+++++++++ Press Release ++++++++


The CBS Color Television Systems Lives Again

On Sunday June 6, 2004, a surviving CBS Columbia Model 12CC2, the first and only commercial color television receiver sold in 1951, again displayed color pictures using the CBS Color Television System. The particular CBS Columbia Model 12CC2 receiver is pictured on Ed Reitan's Color Television History web site at

A "NTSC to CBS Color System Converter", developed by Darryl Hock, was used to generate images for presentation on the original CBS Columbia receiver. Hock's converter translates NTSC color video sources to video using standards in accordance with the FCC-approved CBS Color Television System. This was the first USA-Standard Color Television System.

The CBS video was modulated to the RF of a VHF channel and then input to the Model 12CC2's tuner. The Model 12CC2 is manually switchable to receive either 525-line/60 fields per second monochrome standard, or the 405-line, 144 fields per second CBS Color standard. Hock has delivered three color converters, one each to Messrs. Folsom, McVoy, and Reitan (owners of three original surviving CBS Color Television receivers).

The June 6, 2004 date marked almost 53 years since the Model 12CC2 television receiver last received signals in accordance with the CBS Color System. It has been a long time!

The Model 12CC2 was preserved starting in 1951 by an engineer associated with the Chicago CBS network affiliate television station (which carried the few CBS commercial Colorcasts in 1951). During the late 1970's the set was discovered by Dan Gustafson of Chicago and transferred to historian Ed Reitan. Reitan restored the set in 1982 for demonstration at that year's SMPTE Conference in Los Angeles. The receiver has patiently waited and searched for a signal in accordance with the CBS Color standard since the last CBS Colorcast on October 20, 1951. "E.T. has finally phoned home"

In April 2004 two other sets (Steve McVoy's Gray Research monitor and John Folsom's CBS Labs 7-inch combination receiver) demonstrated the CBS Color System using the Hock Converter at the 2004 Early Television Conference in Columbus, Ohio. A forth-surviving original color display, a CBS Slave ("companion") set, is now also undergoing restoration.

For further information, contact Ed Reitan at

June 6, 2004