Remember this? Magnavox TouchTune

#1
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4h_-uz4V-zw[/youtube]​

This was the first TV my parent's bought when i was born. it was probably my favorite one, it used to sport a huge brick of a remote control that used a 9V battery and instead of being infrared, used 'tones' to control the TV set. the only problem was any sound that sounded like a function of the TV (such as a mouth noise imitating power) could turn it on or off. i remember having fun 'being' the remote control due to that.

This was one of the first with an OSD (On Screen Display) and clock. i remember being amazed by how the channel would show up big and huge and space out in the distance after awhile. was a technological wonder in its day
 
Last edited by a moderator:
#3
it did, if i remember it all correctly, so 1970s. my grandparents had one too, it was a tad older but sported the same features. i was born in 1979 so it was still new. lasted a good 20+ years before the remote stopped working and the phonepad on the front started acting weird (zero turned the set off, 1 turned volume up down, channels wouldn't change)

I wish i lived during the last of the '70s, it seemed to be fond of natural, woodsy surroundings what with all the wood pannelling on every thing and the folk songs.
 
Last edited:
#5
Yes, just like a garage door opener. it was before IrDA was king of wireless. that's why it took a 9V battery to power it. it was actually a sonic or ultrasonic emitter but if your hearing was worth its salt you could detect the tiny notes

Sound-emitter remotes first started in the late 1950s with the Zenith Space Command, but it didn't use batteries. it was acutuated by hitting a button and it struck a bar that sounded the note.

Some disadvantages included older refrigerators kicking in would turn the TV on. or airplanes would fly overhead and the TV turned off in the middle of the show. really bad with the radio interference. i cannot imagine what a cell phone buzzing would do. but then, hey it was the 1970s. same reason some garage doors spontaneously open at times lol
 
Last edited:

acwriter

DTVUSA Member
#6
Lol. Back in the day when we were kids, my parents were able to use the same remote for the television set as they did for the dishwasher. They even had names picked out for each remote. Depending on which kid was in the livingroom, they got to be the remote for the television and I was usually the remote manually doing the dishes. :D
 
#8
not really 'sound recognition' as in voice-activated, but it had sonic sounds emitted from the remote that could be easily mimicked if you were talented enough.

However, it was ahead of its time in that it featured a OSD and had electronic-tuning, while most TVs later on in the early 1980s still needed to be manually-tuned by those tiny wheels in the same manner as early VCRs. Even Sony didn't catch on to electronic-tuning until the mid-to-late 1980s.

I have a later model variant of this same TV, albeit it's missing the cool 'spacey' channel OSD that this one had(shows a yellow '03' when powered on for a few, then just blinks off), but it still uses a 9V battery in the remote. but instead of it being sound emitter-based, it's early IrDA remote. it's called 'TouchTune TOTAL remote control' when these TVs first came out they were tagged in advertisements as 'Cable Ready' since all you needed to do was plug in a cable and go. no fine-tuning or mechanical pre-sets like most TVs of the time.
 
#10
My grandparents had a model of TouchTune in a nice oak cabinet, but the one in the ad is the same one my parents had. it lasted a good 20+ years before (i think) lightning hit it and then the button-pad on the front refused to work correctly. 'Zero' would turn the set on/off and the volume would do 'mute' (which was odd since there was no feature labeled 'mute' anywhere on the TV) and the channel would do up/down volume. you couldn't change the channel any longer plus the remote was lost. occasionally it would work right until it 'warmed up' then everything you did seemed to turn it off or act wrong. it was a nice TV for some relic from the 1970s.

The TOTAL remote control came out on the very last TouchTunes in the early 1990s, the oak cabinet was no longer available and it was a TV useable in entertainment centers. remained a very nice 25" TV with superior stereo sound, but alas, the TOTAL Remote Control TouchTune lost the ability to change the bass/treble of the speakers. in the model shown in the ad, there was a door that opened below the 'phonepad' that had bass, treble, balance, and a mode to activate the 'computer color' (auto color eye that dimmed/brightened the screen depending on the daylight or lighting inside) or turn stereo on/off.

I'm still looking around for an original TouchTune as they're super-rare and i like that On Screen Display. once in a blue moon one will make an appearance in the local secondhand store, but the only one i tried to test in-store was kaput. sound worked but no CRT. :(
 
Last edited:
#12
I do, too. had that 'spacey' feel to it. plus it featured a clock, too. the one we used to have looked like the one in the Christmas promo at the end.

The ones in the early 1990s lost the clock but kept the giant numerals for channel, albeit was a yellow standard font that lost it's spacey 3D effect. it just said '03' and then blinked out. you could make it stay at the bottom of the screen but that just annoyed me so i turned that off.
 

Similar threads

Top