Zenith made some very cool televisions back in the day. My Grandmother swore by them and wouldn’t buy another model. My earliest exposure to a remote control TV might have been on a Zenith. At least the first time I was yelled at for changing the channel too often was on a Zenith. One of the cool bits of now nearly forgotten technology that Zenith produced was the Zenith Space Phone.
No, it wasn’t a phone that allowed you to communicate with space, which would have amazing and very memorable, this was a speaker phone that was built into your TV set. They had this feature in select “System 3” TVs from the seventies all the way up to the nineties.
You would just plug your phone into a jack built into the TV and then use your remote to make your calls. This would mute the TV and have it act as a communication command center displaying the phone number on the screen. It was a cool idea, but never really swept the world by storm. Although, now with modern technology this centralized commnication hub idea has made a comeback.
If you have not seen a vintage Zenith commercial, you are in for a real treat. Below is a commercial for the Zenith System 3. It has that magical TRON vibe that I just love in eighties commercials.
Watch this commercial for the Zenith System 3
and here is a video of the Zenith Space Phone being dialed…