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[CED Magazine]





    Ike Blonder had built quite an impressive resume before he founded Blonder Tongue Laboratories Inc., one of the cable industry's most influential hardware manufacturers, with Ben Tongue in 1950.

    With bachelor's and master's degrees in physics, Blonder - long one of the cable industry's more valuable and articulate figures - served in the U.S. Signal Corps during World War II; had been a staff engineer at Panoramic Corp.; taught at the City College of New York; and manufactured some of the first TV sets while at TeleKing Corp.

    "I had inventions that nobody wanted," Blonder, 82, says about the genesis of his company. "So I started in the basement of a building in New York City that had been a bookmaker's joint before I moved in. Police raided us our first day there."

    Blonder developed a broadband booster that let well-heeled customers use their expensive antenna systems to tune in all the distant TV signals at once.

    From there, Blonder Tongue branched out into master antenna system design and other efforts that eventually earned Blonder some 39 patents, by his count, in the 1960s. He even found the time to run a small cable system in Sonoma County, Calif. from his New Jersey headquarters.

    Blonder sold his Blonder Tongue stake in 1989. Now, he's working on pay TV technologies, as well as lobbying the FCC to make some sense out of the high-definition/digital TV mess.

    "I'm trying to reform the entire TV industry," Blonder says with just a hint of exaggeration. "I'm trying to do my best for my country."







     CED Magazine, 600 S. Cherry St., #400, Denver, CO 80222
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    Copyright 1998. All rights reserved.

  Copyright  Isaac Blonder
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