Television: Chasing the Rainbow

Hailed as a prodigy, color TV is still a retarded child.

In the five years since its ballyhooed debut in 1953, only 325,000 sets have been sold, v. 10 million black-and-white sets in the comparable first five years of TV broadcasting. Color telecasting still averages only 1½ hours a day, nearly all of it done by NBC alone. And the quality leaves much to be desired, even in the hands of dedicated knob twiddlers.

In its embarrassment, the industry generally maintains an uneasy silence rather than offering excuses or explanations. But last week it was easy to draw complaints and recriminations from...

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