Colortrak

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RCA Colortrak set, using the CTC101 chassis, circa 1980

Colortrak was a trademark used on several RCA color TVs throughout the 1970s to the 1990s. After RCA was acquired by General Electric in 1986, GE sold the RCA consumer electronics line to Thomson SA. RCA televisions with the Colortrak branding were mid-range models; in comparison to the low-end XL-100 chassis or high-end Dimensia or Colortrak 2000 chassis in consumer sets (the professional version of the Dimensia model, or versions with BNC inputs, the designation was "Lyceum TV" for a short period in the early to mid-1980s). RCA discontinued use of the Colortrak brand, replacing with the Entertainment Series designation by 2001. Some models like this with the design quirks mentioned below have also been marketed under the GE name as both RCA and GE's brand names are marketed by Thomson SA.

Design quirks[edit]

During the early 1980s, RCA responded to increased demand for component televisions with monitor capabilities by adding composite and S-video inputs to the Colortrak lineup. These inputs allowed owners to easily connect a stereo audio/video source, like a Video Cassette Recorder, LaserDisc player, or with use of an RCA SelectaVision CED videodisc players to the television. For example, early composite video-equipped RCA sets were to coincidentally be tuned to Non-broadcast channel 91 to display a composite video signal, if a set was equipped with more than one input, subsequent inputs are designated to channels 92 to 95, which are usually accessed from the remote control. However, when manufactures learned that accessing input mode within numeric channels pressing channel up/down was feasible, channel 9x channels were dropped from future models.

RF Input[edit]

Apparently due to a bad solder, the antenna/cable inputs of many models of RCA TV's would occasionally malfunction. The station being watched would seem to cut out and the picture went to snow. Wiggling the cable sometimes cured the problem, suggesting that it was just a bad connection. The problem was common and widespread enough that it actually led to a class-action lawsuit. This problem occurred in other models of RCA TV's, too, such as the high-end Dimensia model.

Some owners would dismiss this lawsuit, simply by using a VCR as an external TV tuner, or a cable box of some kind on the Channel 9x inputs, since a tactic like this would later be used for the 2009 analog shutdown. on older TVs.

See also[edit]