Several weeks ago, I was at a thrift shop and came across a 13" Sony Trinitron KV-1379R from the mid '80s for twenty-five bucks. I was instantly fond of the "cute" styling of the ancient television. Upon closer inspection, someone had broken off the set's rabbit ears and the top's plastic wood grain finish looked hit with an electric sander. So that was no deal and the last time I saw the poor thing it was relocated in a corner with a bad crack across its curved screen.
How much? A measly three dollars. It was just up to me whether I wanted to carry it back. Needless to say there I am, pushing through gawking crowds cradling a television most would throw in a dumpster. For the price, I figured that's where I could chuck it if the thing ended up being a paperweight. It's amazing how much awkward attention arises when showing interest in dead technology. It was like I was carrying a wounded child or something by the looks.
Getting home, I took the time to look over and clean the set. Turned out to be in surprisingly great condition for supposedly pulling kitchen duty for years. Hardly any marks on the plastic wood grain shell and zero scratches on its screen. Just the usual hardened finger sludge on the buttons and a broken plastic latch on the front picture control door. After some wiping and some scrambling for an open outlet, the big test arrived. Hitting the power button, I was greeted with a satisfying "click", some crackling, and after a few seconds the screen glowed a bright white with the word "VIDEO" in the upper right hand corner.
Like many vintage NES consoles, the set still works and it's awesome. Perfect for its new purpose of emitting horror and exploitation images of all sorts. There's knob controls for Hue, Color, Brightness, Picture (old term for Contrast), Cable On/Off, and buttons for adding and erasing channels. An illustrious mono speaker is at the top of the cabinet and actually doesn't sound bad despite its weird placement. On the back; a cable jack, composite video jack, and a single audio jack. A headphone jack is located on the front panel along with power, volume, channel, and TV/Cable buttons.
I wanted to hook it up the my RCA VDT-600 VCR (see my video here), but that deck is substantially larger and heavier than this TV. I'd have to have a dining room size table to sit them both together. So my DVD/VCR combo is playing the part. I might eventually haul out my CED and back-up LaserDisc players to let them join in on the fun. What's old is new again indeed. Gaze upon the retro radiation!