Channel Master

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Channel Master
Industry electronics
Fate sold to Avnet Corporation (1967), reformed (2012-present)
Founded 1949
Founder Joseph Y. Resnick
Headquarters Gilbert, Arizona, United States
Products television aerials, rotors, amplifiers

Channel Master is a manufacturer of prefabricated aluminum television aerials.


The original company, now defunct, was founded in Ellenville, New York in 1949[1] by 23-year-old former Merchant Marine radio operator and DuMont TV antenna installer Joe Resnick[2] with the backing of his brothers Harry and Louis Resnick. Its principal innovation was a prefabricated antenna which arrived with elements folded, not disassembled, so that the antenna may be quickly unfolded during installation with the elements automatically locking into place. This saved time and effort for rooftop antenna installers, who were often working at awkward heights and in unfavorable weather.

Established with $7000 in capital from cabbage farmer Louis Resnick, who sold his Ellenville farm, the company was manufacturing $12 million of antennas annually by 1954 and had expanded its product line in the 1960s to include transistorised signal boosters[3][4] along with antenna rotors.[5]

Joseph Y. Resnick was also a member of the US Congress.[6][7] The Joseph Y. Resnick Airport in Ellenville is named in his honor.[8]

Avnet Corporation purchased Channel Master in 1967, moving its manufacturing facilities to Smithfield, North Carolina. Avnet sold the company in 1998 at a $33 million profit.[9]

Channel Master filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on October 2, 2003[10] after losing its largest client, EchoStar.[11] Its Smithfield, NC satellite dish factory, which formerly employed 1600 people,[12] was turned over to Andrew Corporation[13] as part of an $18 million purchase of Channel Master's equipment, inventory and intellectual property.[14]


Channel Master's original product was a prefabricated television aerial with hinged elements which would unfold and snap into place; this patented design greatly reduced installation time as existing antenna designs at the time had to be bolted together from multiple pieces by rooftop installers.[15] Later products included antenna rotors, amplified antennas and pocket transistor radios.[16]

After the sale to Avnet, the Channel Master name was used to import and distribute various electronic products, including home and car stereo equipment, turntables, cassette decks, 8-track players, quadraphonic audio, television receivers and scanner radios. In the 1980s, Channel Master was the only second source for General Instrument's Videocipher II module, a building block for satellite television receivers, under a licensing agreement for which Avnet paid GI a million dollars. The Channel Master 4251, a high-performance parabolic UHF television antenna, stood about seven feet in diameter.[17] Channel Master also built distribution amplifiers for cable television, satellite dishes and satellite antenna accessories.

Modern brand[edit]

The Channel Master brand and trademarks are currently owned by a Delaware corporation which markets terrestrial television antennas and digital video recorders in Gilbert, Arizona.

While the market for antennas has been diminished by widespread subscription television deployment in the post-network era, the Channel Master name remains in active use as a terrestrial television antenna brand, marketing IPTV and digital video recorder equipment to cord cutters seeking lower-cost HDTV.[18]


See also[edit]