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Who Bought the RCA Name?

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by WA3EEC, Aug 16, 2010.

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  1. WA3EEC

    WA3EEC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've noticed several ads in Professional Magazines for RCA 2Way radios (in competition with Motorola ones). There was also an ad in today's NY Times.

    I know RCA was bought be GE which then dropped the RCA line. I also know GE sold its 2-way business.

    Does anyone know who is behind the new RCA 2-way radios?

    Lad WA3EEC
  2. WA4OTD

    WA4OTD XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    this is complicated, GE bought RCA in ~1986 and sold us to Thomson in ~1989. They kept the RCA name for white goods. RCA couple years ago sold rights for the Tv name to a CHinese company. Last year they sold the rights to Audiovox for audio and small electronics. There are others that have the right to the name for different businesses. For example there was one deal where Walmart bought disposable cameras and was able to put the RCA name on them, that did not last long.

    It it is FMS/GMRS type radios then likely Audiovox. I have several pair from maybe 10 years ago when they started into this segment. I'm interested if anyone elses knows for sure.
  3. AF6LJ

    AF6LJ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thank you for passing this bit of history along.
    I've always wondered what happened to RCA
    (The most trusted name in electronics.)
  4. AG3Y

    AG3Y Guest

    Oh, does that mean they really should be called "RCC", now? (Radio Corporation of China) ? ? ?
  5. NA5Z

    NA5Z XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Nah it's still RCA: Radio Corporation of Asia.

    BTW, what was left of all that didn't go to China is now Technicolor. RCA/GE/Thomson bought Technicolor a while back. Due to current employment reasons, I'll refrain from my usual snarky comments about them being "brand name locusts".

    About all that's left of that segment is set top boxes (satellite, cable, etc).
  6. WA3EEC

    WA3EEC Ham Member QRZ Page

    The RCA radios I am talking about are not cheapie FRS/GMRS radios

    According to the Discount 2way radio site
    there are 3 models costing from $149 to $490
    The $490 one is compared to Motorola's HT750 and HT1250.

    Both the VHF and UHF versions cover the ham bands.

    Lad WA3EEC
  7. W8JI

    W8JI Ham Member QRZ Page

    No wonder. I bought an RCA TV set a few months ago and it was junk. The sound was terrible, very low fidelity.

    I took it back and got another brand. RCA, the least trusted name in electronics.
  8. K7JEM

    K7JEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    A little research shows this company, RCA Communication Systems, offers a total of three handheld radios, hardly competition to any of the real manufacturers.

    They apparently have purchased the name, and are marketing some Chinese (or other Asian) radios. They don't look bad from the specs and pictures, but they really don't offer any of the new technology that the big companies do. Their website has a whole page dedicated to the history of RCA, but that's not them. They just use the name. In fact, on their website, I can't even find an adress or contact info.

    These seem to be aimed at the low/mid range market, like businesses, contractors, or small FD, PS, or security firms.

    Get a "name brand" radio without paying the name brand price!

  9. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I "think" that's only part of the story, as it's really more complicated than that!

    For a long time a lot of RCA consumer electronics products were produced under both the RCA and Philips brand logos, mostly in Asia. Philips, of course, is a huge multinational conglomerate with their fingers in many pies. So is Thomson, who seems to have acquired parts of what used to be RCA as well.

    The defense/aerospace operations of RCA became G.E., and then became Lockheed-Martin, which they still are (for the divisions still operating).

    The company's over 100 years takes a long time to kill a Hydra.

    As an ex-partner of mine used to say, "Sears is going out of business. Problem is, they've been in business so long, it will take them a very long time to go out of business."
  10. W0BTU

    W0BTU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Not since Thompson Consumer Electronics in France bought the name. I have yet to see anything with the RCA name on it in recent decades that wasn't cheaply made. Perhaps the French should stick to perfume and wine.

    RCA hasn't been the same since David Sarnoff died. In my opinion, buying a reputable company name and reselling products under it is downright dishonest and ought to be illegal.
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