My first computer was a Radio Shack TRS-80 Color Computer which my dad bought for Christmas in 1981. With a built-in RF modulator, it plugged into an antenna switch box mounted on the family color TV. That old Magnavox TV is long gone, but I still have that Color Computer.
A “holy grail” that I seek for my collection is one of the Radio Shack color televisions which were featured in advertisements for the Color Computer. There are two that I’m looking for.
The first is the TRS-80 Color Video Receiver, which was offered as an optional accessory for the Color Computer at or near the Color Computer’s introduction. The 1981 TRS-80 Catalog RSC-4 lists it for $399.00 with catalog number 26-3010. I have been told that it’s a rebadged RCA CTC-107 television.
Then around 1982-1983, a new television set began showing up in Color Computer advertisements. A full-page advertisement in the January, 1983 edition of Rainbow Magazine shows the Color Computer with the new Radio Shack TC-130 color television.
This television also began appearing alongside the Color Computer in TRS-80 Catalogs, though unlike the TRS-80 Color Video Receiver, it wasn’t specifically listed as an accessory in those catalogs. It was just used in ad copy, generally surrounded by smiling children using the Color Computer as their smiling parents watched. The television itself appears in the 1983 general Radio Shack catalog, for $399.95 with catalog number 16-230. I assume that it is also a rebadged television from a major manufacturer, but I don’t know which manufacturer or model.
I would be surprised if many of those TRS-80 Color Video Receivers were ever sold, since the Color Computer was designed to plug into the family color television. Still, I’m hopeful that I will someday find one or both of the Radio Shack branded televisions described here, in good cosmetic condition.