After years of competition amongst various corporations, the FCC finally announced CBS' color television technology as the national standard in October 1950. In June of 1951, CBS began broadcasting color television programs on five East Coast stations. While campaigning for FCC authorization, CBS aired a series of successful test programs, but things went downhill once they actually got what they wanted. There were 10.5 million black and white sets in the United States by that time, and very few color sets, so viewership was extremely limited. Advertisers were hesitant to air commercials that hardly anyone would see, and to make things worse, manufacturers failed to produce adapters that would permit black and white sets to receive programs in color.
This feature, published just two months after the FCC's announcement (and a year before CBS' system was discontinued) presented our readers with some alternatives to replacing their old black and whites. Even then, we knew the transition was likely destined for failure.
"Despite the FCC's 'final' decision in favor of CBS color, many TV manufacturers are continuing their fight against it," we said. "They have started legal action that may delay the timetable set for color. It'll probably take a ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court to put a stop to the wrangling once and for all."
Read the full story in Here's Your Color TV