Thread Number: 73677  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
GE VIR owners?
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Post# 972955   12/11/2017 at 07:10 (286 days old) by johnrk (BP TX)        

I came across a vintage ad on here for a 1977 GE television with 'VIR'. This was advertised as receiving a signal sent out from TV stations for optimizing the color picture. GE pushed it for a few years in their ads; I bought a GE TV in 1978 with 'VIR' and it had a great picture. Stolen a couple of years later in a burglary, unfortunately.

Did anyone else on here have one of those 'VIR' TV's from GE? I loved GE appliances and I'm sure I didn't even look further than them when I bought this from Foley's in downtown Houston. Did other brands of TV use that also? Is this still somehow done?

Any information will be surely appreciated-

Post# 972970 , Reply# 1   12/11/2017 at 09:45 (286 days old) by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
Yes John,

I don't know what year RCA began making sets for GE, but the VIR was like the Colortrak circuit. Does it have the blue screen?

Post# 972973 , Reply# 2   12/11/2017 at 10:02 (286 days old) by johnrk (BP TX)        

what's the blue screen? It's been 35 years ago since I owned it.

Post# 972975 , Reply# 3   12/11/2017 at 10:14 (286 days old) by johnrk (BP TX)        
This was the ad that reminded me of that fine old TV-

I added another, too, from 1977-78

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 2         View Full Size
Post# 972977 , Reply# 4   12/11/2017 at 10:24 (286 days old) by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        

the screen glass was actually a light blue color.
That 19 inch model looks like an RCA product from the same era.

Post# 972989 , Reply# 5   12/11/2017 at 11:15 (286 days old) by johnrk (BP TX)        

So you think RCA let GE introduce this technology to the market? 'Cause it says that GE is the first...

Post# 973033 , Reply# 6   12/11/2017 at 15:11 (286 days old) by neptunebob (Pittsburgh, PA)        
Don't forget...

neptunebob's profile picture
GE did buy RCA in the mid 80s which is how GE had NBC, so it would be reasonable that GE would use the VIR system if RCA had it. I would make sense that GE would then go to all RCA televisions then. But now RCA is a brand of Thompson (?) and GE doesn't want to make consumer products at all anymore.

It would certainly help to have the VIR system, I can remember seeing color TVs at Hornes' department store where Walter Cronkite was speaking in a vivid purple. I am sure seeing things like this were a turn off, besides the high price, to people spending extra on a color TV.

Post# 973038 , Reply# 7   12/11/2017 at 15:18 (286 days old) by johnrk (BP TX)        
Yeah, but

these TV's were definitely from the 70's; I bought mine in 1978.

Post# 973061 , Reply# 8   12/11/2017 at 17:04 (285 days old) by 48bencix (Sacramento CA)        
I had the GE in 1980

GE had the VIR system to adjust the Hue. NTSC would broadcast the color signal but it could drift resulting in slightly green faces. VIR broadcast an additional signal Vertical Interval Reference within the blank strip at the top (or bottom) of the picture frame. It did work. You could turn it on and off. I lived in San Francisco at the time and several of the stations broadcast the signal. I believe the VIR system was available from one other manufacturer at the time. My GE set was a 19" set with a metal stand. I bought the model without the remote! I thought I could at least get up once every 1/2 hour to change the channels. I had the set until the high voltage transformer went bad. Then I got an RCA 27" Stereo Colortrack 2000 set in 1987. That set had the square corner screen. Also was a very good set with lots of inputs.

Post# 973065 , Reply# 9   12/11/2017 at 17:20 (285 days old) by johnrk (BP TX)        

Just like our old computer screens, I think something was lost in 'roundness' of image when we went to flat screens. I know that late 70's GE had a great picture, and I don't think the flat screen in my den shows as well. Reminds me of the comparison between LP's and CD's. There's a 'dryness' to CD's, even 'AAD' ones. I notice it more with classical than with any other type of music. And in classical, those old Mercury Living Presence recordings, even on CD, sound amazing still.

Post# 973334 , Reply# 10   12/12/2017 at 22:10 (284 days old) by cornutt (Huntsville, AL USA)        

Television stations had been inserting reference signals into their transmissions, for their own test purposes, since the 1960s. Someone came up with the bright idea to use them as calibration signals inside a TV set to true-up the color reproduction, eliminating the constant adjustments of the "saturation" and "tint" controls that those of us who watched color TV in the 1960s and early '70s were used to. By about 1988, pretty much every television on the market was equipped to received the VIR/VIT signals.

Post# 973362 , Reply# 11   12/13/2017 at 01:06 (284 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

lordkenmore's profile picture

There's a 'dryness' to CD's, even 'AAD' ones. I notice it more with classical than with any other type of music. And in classical, those old Mercury Living Presence recordings, even on CD, sound amazing still.


I can't comment about CD or digital audio of today since I'm not fully up on what's current. But I will say that I really didn't like CD years back, and when I got my first good system, it was a record playing only system. Even though CD had taken over. I was fortunate in that I was perfectly happy with LPs made when they were done reasonably well. I'd have been sunk if my interests demanded current releases.


Digital has gotten better over the years, but, based on casually hearing various systems at a local audio dealer, I have to admit I still prefer analog.


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