“I want my MTV” was the rallying cry of the video generation. It was the summer before my senior year in high school when MTV came into being. I was a rebel (punk rocker) in a preppy world and MTV held the promise of bringing our look and angst into prime-time. We watched it. A. Lot.
So much stuff we take for granted today was influenced or even created by MTV. Ironically, The first music video shown on MTV was The Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star”.
This T3 concept went through several false starts and iterations. It is actually quite difficult to simulate a Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) in photoshop. A CRT is essentially an electron emitter whose beam is being bent by magnetic fields to “scan” across a phosphorus coated screen. In early color televisions, the screen was coated with lines or dots of Red, Green and Blue fluorescing material (this is where the term RGB comes from) and when struck by the electron beam they emit light in that color. To keep the colors separate and allow for various combinations of Red, Green and Blue (from which you can make all the colors of visible light) they used three beams and a shadow mask or aperture grill to block the beam that created Red from touching the Green and Blue phosphor, and so on for the Green beam and the Blue beam. It is these masks or grills that cause the “lines” you see in CRT color television tubes.
Additionally, the picture you are seeing on a CRT is not individual pixels of color like current LED and LCD technology (which is what all current TV’s and computer screens are). Instead, they are lines or small areas comprised of a red stripe, and green stripe and a blue stripe in close proximity that to the naked eye “appear” to be various colors from black, through the visible spectrum, to white.
RGB is “additive” color. Adding red light to green light to blue light produces white. Black is no light, white is all light colors. Paint or pigments are “subtractive” colors. Each pigment filters out it’s compliment, effectively “subtracting” that color. CMY is the printing standard for subtractive colors. Cyan filters red, Magenta filters green and Yellow filters blue. By printing all the pigments together to filter out all light and you get black.
I’m still not completely happy with it. Ultimately, I want to photograph the MTV T3 on a real vintage color tube television.