The RCA brand has been around for more than a century. Founded as the Radio Corporation of America in 1919, the company became a diverse industry over time, producing everything from vinyl records to communications satellites.
Televisions remained a company stalwart until a series of buy-outs and mergers removed TVs from the company’s product library.
Despite all of these changes throughout the 20th century, the brand maintained its reputation for excellence, thus the RCA logo continues to drive sales on the newest flat panel and 4K TVs.
In this article we’ll answer the question that many people have: “Who makes RCA TVs?” so let’s discuss this below.
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Who Makes RCA TVs?
RCA brand televisions are currently manufactured by Curtis International, Ltd., a distributor with a 25-year-long reputation for excellence in product distribution.
Consumers find affordable TVs, DVD systems, stereos, telephones, and MP3 players bearing RCA, Proscan, Sylvania, Igloo and Curtis logos, in addition to being a private label resource for select retailers.
Curtis branded appliances and home electronics are designed to meet and exceed expectations of consumers via tracking industry trends and reacting to them quickly and dynamically.
A history of Curtis International Ltd.
Headquartered in Ontario, Canada, Curtis International was founded in 1990 by Aaron Herzog whose vision of entrepreneurial success included company acquisition and international distribution of electronics and smart technology.
The company’s initial IPO on November 12, 1998 boosted the company’s reach, reputation, and brand holdings.
With a foothold in the electronics, consumer goods, manufacturing, drones, and 3D printing industries, Curtis became a worldwide phenomenon known for marketing affordable products. Company revenues are estimated at $37 million annually and RCA TVs contribute substantially to the company’s profitability.
Some Major RCA Milestones
1939: New York World’s Fair opened; RCA’s all-electronic black-and-white television system was on display.
1954: RCA launched color TV technology as products began to appear on retailer shelves.
1958: RCA put its first satellite (Signal Communications by Orbiting Relay Equipment) into orbit.
1964: The Ranger 7 satellite became RCA’s second orbiting vehicle.
1968: First monochrome, high-res RCA camera images from the moon used by NASA during Apollo landing.
1971-72: First RCA Color television camera on the moon.
1972: World’s first consumer color video recording on an RCA SelectaVision VideoDisc.
1977: RCA VHS Video Cassette Recorder introduced in the U.S. market.
1981: World’s first consumer color VideoDisc debuts.
1983: RCA introduces CED VideoDisc Players, featuring automatic motorized load of VideoDisc caddies.
1985:: The RCA television division was spun off to the first in a successive line of corporate distributors.
1990s: Widescreen RCA TVs and Home Satellite TV Systems enter the market.
1993: CinemaScreen introduced. First picture tube shaped like a movie screen.
1994: RCA Digital Satellite System the first high-power small-dish satellite system on the market.
1996: RCA offers consumers the first fully integrated widescreen TV with an affordable price tag.
1998: RCA introduces HDTV programming via satellite.
1998: RCA and DIRECTV first exhibit at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
2013: The RCA Mobile TV Tablet pairs TV viewing with handheld computing and access to 130 TV stations.
2014: RCA introduces HD LED TVs and smartphones. TVs are “Roku-ready”; screen sizes range from 28- to 65-inches.
2019: RCA 100-year anniversary celebrates evolution of RCA’s history and its continued sales success within the low-end flat-panel and 4K television market.
Is RCA a good brand TV?
According to James Williams, reviewing RCA for the Tech Penny website, RCA televisions are just as reliable as other branded TVs on today’s market, even though RCA belongs to a category of TV brands that are considered “low-tier.”
RCA televisions have been tested and compared to other brands. The conclusion? They function around the same amount of time competitor smart TVs last–approximately five to eight years.
Performance relies upon consumer behavior. Chief among abuses that can shorten the life of an RCA TV are being constantly run with no cool off time.
Shut downs preserve screen and light components. Further, an RCA TV exposed to harsh conditions like excessive heat or damage can also impact a set’s longevity.
Complaints from owners are few and include screen flickering related to power supply, video screen going black, audio issues due to amplifier malfunctions and some owners have problems connecting to Wi-Fi.
That said, RCA TV cable ports are solid and the 12 month factory warranty is reliable. The brand’s most highly-rated models include the QLED Smart TV, sets in the RTRU Series and televisions in the RCA RTU series.
When did RCA stop making TVs?
According to an in-depth article published in The New York Times magazine, dramatic changes that included acquiring a massive number of diverse products plus mismanagement and numerous turnovers had weakened the brand over time.
Additionally, a series of CEOs, whose leadership was less than remarkable, impacted the RCA brand as well.
Ultimately, Thornton Bradshaw and the corporation’s board of directors decided to spin off the company’s TV broadcasting equipment manufacturing arm in 1985, in a deal that mandated the inclusion of the RCA brand name on all TVs.
Did RCA make the first TV?
Historians report that immediately following the 1939 World’s Fair, RCA management made a decision to sell television receivers to the public via retailers, but there were so few programs to watch and sets were so tiny and expensive, the market did not take off.
“RCA’s system won out when the National Television System Committee (NTSC) adopted the RCA approach” to broadcasting, but this all happened just as WWII broke out.
Because war effort took precedence over the manufacture of television sets, the U.S. government banned the sale of these products in 1941. Once the war had ended, RCA’s product development efforts were immediately reinstated, so not only did RCA make the first TV but beat the competition in terms of sales and broadcast quality.
RCA TVs future likely to be in big-box stores
Savvy shoppers who look for bargains know to start their search for myriad products at Walmart if they want quality and performance.
While RCA TVs may not have as many bells and whistles as more high-profile, contemporary brands, it has assumed a place of prominence when it comes to affordability.
This is especially true of late for consumers who prefer not to have to purchase a separate Roku product to take advantage of top streaming services.
As multiple websites showcasing the latest in electronics agree, consumers concerned about price know that they can count on a continuum of new RCA TV products arriving on shelves with prices that are truly hard to ignore—especially for those who are attracted to venerable brands like this iconic 102-year-old company.
RCA has cleverly adapted to the times for more than 100 years and there’s no reason to think it won’t continue to do so in the years ahead.