Thursday, March 26, 2009

Zenith's Space Phone:


Growing up, Dad bought the fam a Zenith console TV with a "Space Phone" feature. It was basically a hands-free speakerphone built into the television set. It used the TV speaker and remote control to make and receive calls. Making calls were performed by pressing a button on the remote to activate the Space Phone (which would mute the TV). The phone number was dialed using the remote, which then displayed the digits being dialed on-screen. The caller could then talk with another caller hands-free, much like a regular speakerphone. A group of friends watching TV could torture a telemarketer to the extent of crying/hanging up on us. Making crank calls was a favorite pastime of mine and I owe it all to the Space Phone.

(My Dad also bought an engraver, hence the address and last name).

3 comments:

Andy Collins said...

damn, that's still a great idea. i wish i had space phone on my TV.

Cynthia said...

My mother bought a zenith with the space phone in the mid 80s. We had it for a good 15 years, in that entire time, I can remember the space phone being used once. Great TV though.

daelitesmom said...

My parents owned and operated a TV & electronics store and they would always bring home various TV including the Space Phone. I was very young and I loved it especially when my older brother would get oh one calls and I'd listen in on the conversations. As I recall they reason the tvs died quickly was actually due to privacy problems...LOL..I didn't find it a problem but I guess others did. My parents also brought home the coolest microwave that was programmable and had pre-programmed and programmable cards...in fact...when my Mom passed in 2008 she left that micro to me...