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The TV Dis-collection

So anyway, a while ago I posted stuff about how I like old TV sets and how I've been half-assing collecting them for years a future project.

I don't know what it is-- but I just dig the design and the oldness of old electronics and stuff. Especially TVs. My long term idea is when I'm 80 years old I'm gonna be like a crazy old koot who tinkers around with old TV's and fixes them up. Hunts down tubes or whatever. Learn the trade. And have some room in the house where they're just stacked up and all working and stuff. So I've been bringing them home now and then-- sort of like a layaway plan for my future crazy old man obsession.

Here's a quick recap of a few TVs that I have in the apartment:

This guy works! Takes a long time to warm up. It's a General Electric.

(btw that book on top is the 'The Big Book of Breasts' and that Yoda answers Yes/No questions when you squeeze his hand. Both great gifts from peeps!)

This thing weighs like 1000 lbs and sits next to my computer. It doesn't work
at all. Pretty coolio design tho.

This guy is my fave. It doesn't work but he was gonna be the first one I
fixed up...

Anyway, last week I had a bunch of people over and one dude was like, 'What's with all the old TV's?' And I told him that I've been collecting them sort of but the long term plan is to be a kooky old guy who fixes old TVs!' He was like, "Umm... Sort of sucks they'll never really work though." I was like, "They're totally gonna work! I'm gonna get the tubes! And wire thingees!" And he was like, 'No. You know they're gonna stop transmitting TV over the air sometime soon. Rabbit ear sets won't work...'

Doh! I had heard about this but somehow I had blocked it out. Or didn't relate it properly to my long term plan. Basically, if you have a TV that runs on rabbit ears-- you're out of luck next year. They're flipping the switch to OFF and that'll be that. No more airwaves! Totally ruins my plans!! I can't get motivated to fix them if they're never gonna pick up any channels!

And WTF am I gonna do with all these old TVs now!? Sure I could probably learn to hook em up to be cable ready once I get them working-- but it's not the same! Not the same old! Am I supposed to just throw them out?!? Damn you gods of television transmission! You totally derailed my collection! My future project!

I dunno. Maybe I'll turn them all into fishtanks or something. And be the crazy old guy who turns old tvs into fishtanks or something... but it just doesn't have the same ring.

ok bye!

PS. Here's smore info on the rabbit ears going bye bye thing.

PPS. Old post re: tvs is here.

PPPS. Been slacking on photos but passed by this the other day on a traffic box-- and it made me smiley. I like that its in a tv...


Anonymous weeze said...

first bitchfaces!

7/27/2008 8:22 PM  
Anonymous Adamant said...

Sucks tODD! Maybe you can still sell them on ebay to suckers who haven't heard yet?

7/27/2008 8:39 PM  
Anonymous jenny62778 said...

i like old tvs. they look cool in your apt.

7/27/2008 8:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can't do that whole converter box thing?

7/27/2008 9:18 PM  
Blogger Jeannie said...

that sticker looks like your psychic TV thingee


7/27/2008 9:49 PM  
Blogger *LiAnNe* said...

Yeah just get converter boxes for your favorites & use the rest as deco.
Get a couple $40 coupons!

7/27/2008 10:00 PM  
Blogger zedek said...

You collect telephones too, I noticed.

7/27/2008 10:20 PM  
Anonymous Amee said...

What album is that next to the old tv?

7/27/2008 11:11 PM  
Blogger Lucina said...

I like how your TV stand is a TV.

And I would totally buy a TV fish tank.

7/28/2008 12:24 AM  
Anonymous Angry Man said...

We are supposed to be losing analogue free to air here in Australia in a few years also, but I really don't see it happening, simply because of the nature of interference in digital signal. With analogue, you can have a crappy, static filled image, but the TV is still watchable. With Digital, even slight interference will make the image freeze and pixelate, and be completely unwatchable. With so many people here living in fringe reception areas, the uproar from people unable to watch TV at all (no cable in those areas either) will get the analogue system back in no time. I live about 8KM from the transmitters, with a direct line of sight, and I still have to change back to analogue to watch tv sometimes because the digital won't work.

This might not help you in New York. Even though I'm sure the buildings cause interference, they will just force everyone onto cable. Rural US might be a different kettle of cod though.

7/28/2008 2:03 AM  
Anonymous illbill said...

Does the "simon" still work?!?!?!? I loved that game!!!

7/28/2008 8:15 AM  
Anonymous MsM said...

It is even now expensive to find old tubes for those TVs, and if the picture tube is out, good luck finding one. Save your money to buy digital TVs to fit in behind the glass after you remove the guts. Or stick in a CRT monitor & hook up to a computer.Show old movies from CDs.

7/28/2008 8:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From bio on Moses Znaimer, Canadian founder of lots of tv stations around the world:
[...] At the same time, he has probably amassed the largest collection of vintage TV sets in the world. His MZTV Museum encompasses 70 years of North American visual devices, TV receivers and associated popular culture. His Exhibition "Watching TV: Historic Televisions and Memorabilia from the MZTV Museum" has been on display at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Ottawa/Hull, the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies and at the Cinémathèque québécoise in Montreal. The Museum has an ongoing exhibit in the CHUMCity Complex, Toronto.

Here's a link to the site:

7/28/2008 8:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe you can hook them up to a vcr or dvd player and still use them that way. I like this artist who uses tv as his medium:

7/28/2008 10:04 AM  
Anonymous Amy said...

That TV sticker photo did make me happy today too

7/28/2008 10:27 AM  
Blogger catsnjags said...

The government kept running public service announcements during hurricane seasons urging everybody to get battery powered TV's to stay informed. Well, we all did it. Now they won't be any good. (and you can't get a "battery powered" converter box.)

7/28/2008 10:49 AM  
Anonymous matt said...

Dude, Ant Farms and Lava Lamps. Combine them and you'll assure your place in history.

7/28/2008 11:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check out the Philco Predicta, the coolest line of TV's ever made. This company is producing new "modern" versions of the Predicta, which was originally produced in the 50's:

These things are extremely cool.

7/28/2008 2:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

maybe you could sell them overseas?

7/28/2008 3:44 PM  
Anonymous ReTodd said...

Todd -

Don't just throw them out. Those TVs have loads of toxic chemicals in them. Unfortunately, the only TV company that does recycling right is Sony. all the others tell you they'll recycle them, but then just ship them off to China and India and dump them there.

7/28/2008 5:55 PM  
Anonymous Courtney in SF said...

Totally repair them and hook them up to a DVD player or VCR! Play old timey shows on them! It would be cool to have a party and each tv would have a different classic show going on, one with I Love Lucy, one with the Twilight Zone, one with the Brady Bunch.

7/28/2008 8:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

gotta hookem up to a TiVo or VCR and play old black and white shows or something. They are totally worth fixin up.

7/28/2008 8:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


you obviously like old telephones too... by "old", i mean from the 1980's-1990's... one of the TVs has both a cordless phone/answering machine AND a regular corded phone with answering machine... do you have two phone lines or something?... anyway, you are aweseome... but who uses regular phones anyway?... doesn't everyone have a cell phone these days?

7/28/2008 8:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard on the radio that the analog signals are going to be phased out soon, however, you can still get adapters and make your tv's work fine. I'm sure if you find a competent electronics store, they'll be able to help. I think refurbishing these sets is a great idea, let us know when you've got them working!

7/28/2008 10:11 PM  
Blogger Adam said...


As a lot of other people said, you can just hook the old TVs up to a converter box, and you'll still get a signal with them. But if you don't want to hook them up to cable/sat, then I'd imagine you might not want to do that either.

BUT, there is still hope, even if you don't want to get a digital converter box! Low-power TV (LPTV) stations are not required to switch to digital! And according to Wikipedia and some Googling, you may be able to get as many as 5 of these stations in NYC, depending on where exactly you live.

I just graduated college with a degree in broadcast and may be going to work for an LPTV station in the not-too-distant future, if you're wondering how I know all this.

7/29/2008 4:21 PM  
Anonymous Terrytunes said...

I vote you get yourself a chainsaw and cut off the fronts of all the TVs and hang them on the wall as art. If you don't like how it looks, you still got to play with a chainsaw!!

7/30/2008 8:10 PM  
Anonymous UncleWill said...

Hey Todd!

Know how you feel man about the airwaves. EVERYTHING is getting switched over now -- its getting ridiculous. Did you know that now you can't use any of those ghetto brick phones anymore? They just got rid of the analog signals for cell phones back in February, so the TV is next on the list. I won't be able to use my TV Watch next year! But I do have some good news..You can still watch some stuff over the airwaves if you use a transmitter. I know it sounds a little crazy but it does work on the same old frequency if you really want to try it that way. Check um out and see what ya think. Later days!

8/03/2008 3:44 PM  
Anonymous B.J. said...


12/18/2008 4:25 PM  

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