Retro TV has old-school channel-changing knob


Originally published at:


a clickable knob to change channels
######a clickable knob to change channels
#####a clickable knob to change channels
####a clickable knob to change channels
###a clickable knob to change channels
##a clickable knob to change channels
a clickable knob to change channels

#a clickable knob to change channels



I love this kind of stuff.

In a similar spirit, I’ve been working on a retro-radio lately that’s driven off a Raspberry Pi. Externally, it looks like an old style radio with a tuning dial. You give it a set of folders containing MP3 files, and it treats each folder as a “radio station” and randomly assigns it a location on the radio dial. You have to tune the dial to find a folder to listen to it.

When off station (off folder), you get static, and as you get close the music fades in. Two folders close to each other will overlap music, though it’s smart enough to make it so you can always get one folder at 100%.

What I like about it is that it totally changes your interface to digital music files. No more “just play this folder” or “search my collection for…” You have to explore the radio dial to find your music, and remember where it was on the dial if you want to go back.


What does it do with the rest of the space that would have normally been used for the CRT?

Blu-Ray player?
Just empty space?

ETA: Awww, just storage space:

They could have done so many cool things with that space…


With so much room in the cabinet behind it, they could put decent speakers on the thing…


That’s where you keep your LP records!


They could have done so many cool things with that space…

Yes, but since it is storage nowyou can do so many cool things with it.


Thank goodness. I hate how on modern TVs misplacing the remote means hunting around on the back/side for the poorly labeled and placed buttons that they seem to assume no one will ever use.


I have this problem with my Blu-Ray player (I eventually found the controls on the back of the TV).
I misplaced the remote, and there was absolutely no way to control the device from the base station, beyond a “power” button and an “eject” button.

Eventually, I found the remote (sitting on the back of the couch), but for most things, a remote control shouldn’t have to be mandatory.


Back when we had those knobs for real, there were only 2 channels where we lived so it didn’t get much use.


Does it click the same way as the old ones and make your father lose his shit when you turn it too fast?

“See what’s on channel 10.”


“Slow down, for Christ’s sake! You’ll bust the thing!”


I hope it’s black & white only, with kind of a bluish tint. And it should have rounded corners and a 4:3 aspect ratio. And have trouble staying in tune.

I’ll wait for the downgrade.


Yeah people see pics of these things and think they look great but forget (or never knew) how crappy they were to live with.

Chrysler should reboot the AMC Gremlin because it looks so cool and retro. Nobody remembers how lousy they were.


I want touch controls.

(Actually, I don’t use the set I have now, so that would just take up space)


In ye olde days, you couldn’t misplace the ‘clicker’, since it was wired to the TV.


Cool! In the '60’s, we had a Zenith with a wireless clicker. It had a two buttons, and contained two light metal rods that were struck by a spring-driven striker of some sort. You pushed the button, which squeezed the spring. The spring released and causing the striker to hit the rod, which created an ultrasonic (I assume) pulse that was “heard” by the tv. On-off-volume, and channel selector. Very clever; no batteries. I think the cat didn’t like it though. :pouting_cat:

Edit: Typo


And in the 70s we had an “ultrasonic clicker” that did take a 9v battery.

And if I sat in front of the TV with the giant piggy bank of 50 cent pieces we had and shook them out onto the carpet to count them, every so often the channel would change.


How many times did I hear that from my parents? :slight_smile:


All of the times? :wink:


I have one of those.

You might be surprised how many other common household events (cups clinking, silverware on dishes) generate the same ultrasonic chime tones that change the channel. (-: