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entertainment electronics – History

A Pioneer in Glass Components

With its special glass SCHOTT has played a major role in the technological development of television sets.

It all began in the 1930s

The success story of SCHOTT glass components for televisions began in 1936. Then headquartered in Jena, Germany, the company supplied mouth-blown TV tube bulbs for cathode ray tubes used for live transmission of the Olympic games in Berlin. Only some 150,000 people could enjoy the spectacular pictures, however, as the reports were exclusively transmitted to special television-viewing rooms in the German capital.

Promising new beginnings

After World War II, production of black-and-white tube bulbs by hand restarted in the Bavarian towns of Mitterteich and Landshut in 1951. Two years later the production of glass for TV screens and funnels began at a new SCHOTT plant in Mainz. Manufacture was initially by hand, but full automation was introduced in 1955. By the mid-1960s ten million tube bulbs had been produced.

The advent of color

Color television was introduced to Germany in 1967 at the 25th International Radio and Television Exhibition in Berlin. Color pictures were already available in the United States, Japan and Canada. SCHOTT was prepared to meet the new challenge, and the first glass components suitable for color television sets were manufactured that same year.
Paving the way to the future

Production of TV components was speeded up considerably at the beginning of the 1970s through the introduction of robots at SCHOTT, a step that made the company internationally competitive.

Big and wide are beautiful

Another technical challenge was the development of the 16:9 format and the introduction of the so-called Very Large Size models in 1988.
Records for SCHOTT

In 1991 the company produced its 100 millionth glass color TV component. The production lines at the Mainz plant, equipped with the most up-to-date technology, were producing up to 40,000 units daily.

Recognition from customers

The quality of glass components from SCHOTT has long been acknowledged by customers. In 1995 SCHOTT received the SONY Quality Award and, one year later, the SONY Environmental Award. The Thomson Multi Media Supplier Award followed in 2000, and the company was given the Supplier of the Year Award by Matsushita Display Devices, Germany in 2002.

New formats and designs enter the market

A new era in SCHOTT TV glass manufacture dawned in 1998 with the trend towards increasingly flat screens. Mainz started to produce the so-called True Flat screens, which set the standard for large-diagonal screens. Also in 1998 SCHOTT started cooperating with ACBC, China’s biggest manufacturer of glass for TV sets.

Market leader in product range

Another milestone in TV glass production at SCHOTT was the creation in 1995 of a joint venture with STV Glass in the Czech Republic, with a full takeover in 1999. The new plant opened up fresh opportunities: STV Glass produced funnels for small- and medium-sized tubes, while Mainz concentrated on the larger sizes. SCHOTT was therefore able to offer customers the widest range of products and consolidate the company’s market leadership in Europe.

RT still has a promising future

The cathode ray tube (CRT) principle is far from dead in the new millennium. The claims “unbeatable in quality and unsurpassed in cost-efficiency” still apply. With designs for flat screens, smaller sets and lower energy consumption, SCHOTT has ensured that it will remain at the forefront of the development of glass components for TV sets.

[More about TV glass components from SCHOTT] | [Your contact Timm Pollak]

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