The Fine Art of Television Repair

– [Announcer] The era of television. – [Announcer] The greatest
advance in television. – [Richard] In the ’60s and
’70s, TV had become such an icon that, that artists couldn’t
resist just fooling with it. – It was all pretty much new, and it was really taking
sort of your standard TV sets and just making it really crazy. But the inherent vice of televisions is it is a consumer electronic. – Unlike painting and sculptures, these electronic pieces,
they could just go any time. That was always the big
threat to this in a museum. – [Jennifer] You have these
pieces that if it breaks down, what do you do? – The first person we call is CT Lui. – Lui’s always been the
first person we go to. – It’s because of my father, they’re able to be maintained,
they’re able to be shown, they’re able to be put out in the world. – [Peter] Within the conservation field, this is critically necessary. You can see just the enthusiasm
he has for this technology. (gentle music) (upbeat music) – [Jennifer] When people
started using video, it was sort of this experimental media, so
everybody was sort of wanting to know how it worked,
what you could do with it. – Any major institution
that has video art, probably my father has
touched in some way. – [Jennifer] The Whitney. – [Jennifer] The Met.


  1. It's scary how quickly CRT maintenance is becoming a lost art. Only a decade or two ago everyone was staring at tubes… now it's rare to see one.
    There are a few old-school CRT repair and restoration shops around, but it really is rapidly becoming a lost art form.

    Here is one museum trying to save the last few CRT rebuild machines + skills:

  2. You guys put so much work into these videos, interviewing people etc, but yet you cut it way short – why not make this video 15 minutes?

  3. the man says he is an electrical engineer, but I am confused, I thought the only way was throu schooling

  4. On the side…
    Or below it.

    I got to know who's countin', but it-

    Hell, or…
    Below it.

    (What what what what what what-)

    Only for the right-
    (Whatcha doin' there?)

    Cheeseburger Family
    Man, I love a simple boy.

    Arigato, family.
    I'll be good 'til the better time.

  5. That's something at the age of 20 I've been doing as well. I love repairing vintage electronics TV's, game systems, stereo's. But i fear that won't be anything more then a personal hobby and that the work isn't gonna be there in a 10-20 years.

  6. Aww, god bless his soul. He seems to be so passionate about his job. I wish I have a job where I can be happy and smiling doing what I love like how he does.

  7. Its really sd how the creator of televison was never able to profit because a rich company didnt let him manufacture them…

  8. Television is kind of dying now that computer has been dominating the market. Why get a TV when you can just do the same with PC with way more cost efficient and applications, you know?

  9. To wake up, do what rocks your world all day and then go to bed afterwards knowing you get to do it all again the next morning is a beautiful way to live.

  10. Often in progress, much of what we came from and the means of the journey is left behind. Some this is all for the better, others, for the worse. Love it or hate it, Television is sadly increasingly one of those goods left behind. Sure the modern units are nice and all, but there are some works of art and entertainment key to our journey's history, that the modern machines do a disservice to. That for these things we need to take a step back, to take many more forward. My hat is off to Mr. Chi-Tien Lui for his work in this corner of keeping the history we should never forget, a living history.

  11. In 1984 I earned my diploma in this. Not only was I taught solid state sets, we were taught tube sets. If you think you like listening to CDs you should hear the same music on vinyl or reel to reel coming through a tube amplifier. Talk about a warm rich sound. I also still have my tools.

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