Back in 50s TV land with Predicta – a Retro Renovation re-run



Since I wrote this post so long ago – here it is again, in case you’ve never seen these! Originally published Nov. 24, 2007

Okay, I want a humongous TV just like the next person, but frankly, I think I want one of these awesome Predicta models more. These are faithful reproductions — not exact, but faithful — of the original Philco Predictas and there are 8 models — 4 tabletop, 4 on integrated bases. Telstar, the company that makes them, uses all-new parts, these are state-of-today’s art TVs.

I’m personally partial to the Holiday tabletop model, which is pictured here. The thought of lounging in bed… taking a pretend sick day when it’s all cold and snowy outside… and watching reruns of the Colbert Report (don’t you think he looks like a 50s guy, with that hair?) on my own little Predicta… ah, what bliss.  Website:


Get our retrolicious free newsletter.


Get our retrolicious free newsletter.


  1. 50sPam says

    Note, there was a big article in the Wall Street Journal yesterday about how much electricity the flat screens suck up — like 3 times that of an old-fashioned CRT (Cathode Ray Tube, I just learned that).

  2. metanoia says

    If anyone is interested, I saw 3 of the old Philco sets (2 gray and 1 red) today at:

    PJ’s Antiques at PRS Electronics

    They had that type of display screen, but sit on a “box” and it is the boxes that are gray or red.

  3. scurl says

    i had called the place that makes these a few months ago to get an exact price quote, and boy are they expensive (several grand if i remember correctly), but no one else is making decent looking televisions so what can you do? plus the lady i spoke to was VERY nice, and they’re in wisconsin, where i used to live, so we had a nice 30 min. or so long chat. i agree with monimania, when/if i win a ton of cash, i’ll pick one of these up.

  4. says

    My Dad found an old b&w TV the other day while dumpster diving and he says it gets great picture and sound… that doesn’t surprise me one bit that it still works fine. The big teevees are swank but they don’t my decor worth a durn. And $2k and up is just crazy…. I could put that money towards a 1970 Chevelle SS.

  5. astrosonical says

    I have a friend with a short attention span who had two of the smaller original Philco Predictas at two different times. I had picked the cheapest Telstar Predicta once, but now I’m afraid it’s out of my price range. I’m holding out for a Magnavox Total Automatic Color console in a Danish cabinet with sliding tambour doors on the front.

  6. Joe says

    I’ve got one of those big giant TV’s in the living room (56″ LCD) and I’m going to work it into a Cadovious wall unit when I can actually find a wall unit that doesn’t cost more than the TV did. And the Predictas can be hooked up to one of the digital conversion boxes if need be with a little creative wiring so they’ll still work after the Digital Switch takes place.

  7. Colleen says

    …I remember the TV repairman, aptly named Mr. Tooley, coming out to work on our set and replacing one of the Vacuum Tubes that had gone bad…

    My livingroom looks more craftsman than mid-mod (despite the age of the house) but I do have a suggestion for the flat screen clash no cash for a reproduction dilema. Why not hide the flat screen behind a groovy big piece of vintage or reproduction wall art? You could hinge it or put it on a rolling track. (They liked innovative hidden gagety things back then didn’t they?) When I finally have to replace my old mid 1990’s TV I was playing with the idea of painting (I’m an artist so my solutions tend to involve much work for myself…) a split piece that slides out to both sides to reveal the TV.

  8. St. Christopher says

    Heh, heh…I’ve got two predictas. I have a Princess w/orig. stand that I bought from some good folks who had originally bought it out from under me off of C-list but needed to trim there collection and I just recently got another from C-list, a Holliday w/orig. stand. Both are in working condition but since these Philco TVs weren’t the most reliable to begin with it’s patently amazing that they work at all! I saw one of the reproductions at a shop in New Orleans called Sputnik Ranch on Magazine Street. They always have it on with a DVD of some cool old Sci-Fi movie playing. I had asked about it and visited the web site, but I’m willing to wait for a Hi Def version to come on line. Otherwise I would rather spend that money restoring the two units I already have.

  9. Phillip says

    I actually emailed the company that makes the Predicta’s a while back about the prices and was informed that they no longer make them because they can’t get the tubes anymore.

  10. lampy says

    I have an original Pedestral at home and it still works as a charm!
    It is still by far more smart looking than any modern large flatscreen and also far more reliable!

  11. Dave Elias says

    I have been in contact with the company and unfortunatley they have STOPPED making these. Very upsetting as I have wanted one for over
    a year now.

  12. Natalia says

    I just got off the phone with Telstar.

    They have not discontinued the Predictas–they are currently working on a hi-def version. The lady on the phone said they didn’t have a specific timetable for when the new sets would be ready (the TV sets are apparently a side project of this company; their main line of business is machine tools or something) but to check their website periodically for updates.

  13. Asher says

    P.S. I also had an original Princess tabletop model. Problem is the chrome was going and would probably cost as much to rehab the whole set.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *