Channel Master is a manufacturer of prefabricated aluminum television aerials.
|Fate||Sold to Avnet Corporation (1967), reformed (2012-present)|
|Founder||Joseph Y. Resnick|
|Products||Television aerials, rotors, amplifiers|
The original company, now defunct, was founded in Ellenville, New York, in 1949 by 23 year-old former Merchant Marine radio operator and DuMont TV antenna installer Joe Resnick with the backing of his brothers Harry and Louis Resnick. Its principal innovation was a prefabricated antenna which arrived with elements folded, not disassembled, so that the antenna may be quickly unfolded during installation with the elements automatically locking into place. This saved time and effort for rooftop antenna installers, who were often working at awkward heights and in difficult weather.
Established with $7000 in capital from cabbage farmer Louis Resnick, who sold his Ellenville farm, the company was manufacturing $12 million of antennas annually by 1954 and had expanded its product line in the 1960s to include transistorized signal boosters along with antenna rotors.
Channel Master filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on 2 October 2003 after losing its largest client, EchoStar. Its Smithfield satellite dish factory, which formerly employed 1600 people, was turned over to Andrew Corporation as part of an $18 million purchase of Channel Master's equipment, inventory, and intellectual property.
Channel Master's original product was a prefabricated television aerial with hinged elements which would unfold and snap into place; this patented design greatly reduced installation time as existing antenna designs at the time had to be bolted together from multiple pieces by rooftop installers. Later products included antenna rotors, amplified antennas and pocket transistor radios.
After the sale to Avnet, the Channel Master name was used to import and distribute various electronic products, including home and car stereo equipment, turntables, cassette decks, 8-track players, quadraphonic audio, television receivers and scanner radios. In the 1980s, Channel Master was the only second source for General Instrument's Videocipher II module, a building block for satellite television receivers, under a licensing agreement for which Avnet paid GI a million dollars. The Channel Master 4251, a high-performance parabolic UHF television antenna, stood about seven feet in diameter. Channel Master also built distribution amplifiers for cable television, satellite dishes and satellite antenna accessories.
While the market for antennas has been diminished by widespread subscription television deployment in the post-network era, the Channel Master name remains in active use as a terrestrial television antenna brand, marketing IPTV and digital video recorder equipment to cord cutters seeking lower-cost HDTV.
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- "Channel Master 4251 Tribute Page".
- Official site