When did Color TV come out? We’ve got the answer for you!

Currently, color TV is no longer a strange device. But when did color TV come out? What is the history of this television technology development?

If you are curious about the above questions, this post is all the information you need. I briefly recount how this intelligent device came about and the important inventions. Let’s check it out now!

When Did Color TV Come Out?

When did Color TV come out?
When were the color TVs released?

Color TVs were first widely available in 1954. However, before becoming the ubiquitous device they are today, color TVs underwent a long improvement.

Early television

The idea of ​​​​manufacturing devices for transmitting images was in the late 19th century. 

Yet, in the 20th century, advances in electronics and light detectors made it possible for professionals to create TVs with image transmission. In 1935, the first black-and-white television programs appeared and quickly became popular.

By 1941, the US programs were unified, and all met a single standard. These timelines have fueled the growth of the TV manufacturing industry. 

By 1950, according to some statistics, there were 6 million homes in the United States owning a television.


All-mechanical color

The idea to use three primary colors to display images was the same time the first black-and-white TV was born. Yet, in the 50s of the last century, color TV models were not so popular.

Some problems affecting the color screen TVs at that time could be equipment without spectral analysis facilities, bulky accessories, or low light technology.

In June 1929, mechanically scanned color television was first demonstrated. The lab had to use mirrors, photocells, amplifiers, and color filters to transmit images in color. This performance marks a new step in color TV research.

Hybrid systems

Experts continue to come up with many solutions to overcome difficulties in the color TV manufacturing process. 

The most prominent solutions may be the Iconoscope glasses for RGB signal generation and multi-panel displays.

In short, hybrid is the most effective workaround that combines conventional monochrome displays with color discs and mirrors.

Fully electronic

1954 Color Television

Beginning in 1940, experts focused on producing color TVs with two electron guns to improve the quality of the two sides of the phosphor. 

In the 1950s, not much changed in technology. The most significant difference probably lies in how the researchers combined the colors.


The Color TV War

If you’re interested in the history of the TV industry, you’ve undoubtedly heard of CBS and RCA.

In the 1950s, both companies competed to be the first to launch a color TV.

The FCC did not approve the CBS system during pre-production testing due to low picture quality. Meanwhile, CBS’s system is satisfactory.

However, color TV manufacturers do not like the CBS system. The reason is the high cost, poor compatibility, and sometimes flickering images.

Meanwhile, although not approved, RCA has received attention due to its compatibility with black and white screens. 

To compete with CBS, the RCA condemned the TV dealers’ use of CBS’s degraded TV models. RCA and CBS also had legal disputes, which prevented CBS from selling its color TV products favorably.

CBS has done quite a few campaigns related to TV production. Yet, in this dispute, RCA was the winner in the end. 

In December 1953, the RCA’s system was approved by the FCC. And the first color TV model was born, attracting explosive media interest at the time.

The First Color TV Shows

Color TV shows

The first color TV show was “Premiere.” The variety show, aired from 4:35 to 5:34 p.m., featured celebrities such as Sam Levenson, Robert Alda, and Ed Sullivan.

This first TV show’s colors are not so realistic. But for the time being, it’s still a pretty successful show.

Following the color TV show’s success, the first color TV series, “The world is yours,” was broadcast. 

This series is mainly about the work of a naturalist and his journey around the world and collecting animals.


You probably also have a few questions about this reasonably popular device. Below are answers to the frequently asked questions you may be interested in.

What was the first colored TV show?

The first color TV show to air was “Premiere.”

In addition to this program, the first web series was in 1954. The series was called The Marriage, which received a lot of love at that time.

When did black and white TV end?

Black and white TV

His last black-and-white television programs were between 1966-67. ABC was the network to promote the previous black-and-white programming in late 1967.

However, with the public radio network, it was not until 1968 that black-and-white programming gave way to other color entertainment programs.

How much did a color TV cost in 1975?

In the 1975s, color TVs were quite a luxury item. Although it appeared from 1954 until 1975, not many families owned color TVs. And the price is one of the main reasons why color TVs are not so popular these days.

In 1975, an average 24-inch color TV model would cost about $500. At current exchange rates, this TV model will cost around $3,300.

How much did the first color TV cost in 1955?

The first color TV model produced in 1955 came from Raytheon. And the manufacturer offers a suggested price of this 21-inch TV model for $975.

CBS has a program to support exchanging black and white TVs for color TVs at a more accessible price. 

Participating in this program allows you to own a 21-inch color TV for only $895.

What year did most families have TVs?

Before 1947, not many American households owned a television. 

Even as color TVs appear to offer a whole new entertainment experience, their hefty price tag prevents many mainstream families from owning one.

It wasn’t until the 1990s that most American homes owned at least one TV. In the 1990s, the percentage of households in the United States that owned a television was as high as 98%.


After reviewing the information in the article, you must have found a convincing answer to “when did color TV come out?” and related questions.

Color TVs appeared hundreds of years ago and evolved continuously for later high-end versions such as LCD, OLED, and FHD.

If you found this article helpful enough, don’t forget to share this article with your friends. Thank you for reading!

Enable registration in settings - general
Compare items
  • Cameras (0)
  • Phones (0)