The original Channel Master Company, now defunct, was founded in Ellenville, New York in 1949 by 23-year-old Joe Resnick. Resnick innovated a prefabricated antenna which arrived with elements folded, not disassembled, so that the antenna may be quickly unfolded during installation with the elements automatically locking into place. This saved time and effort for rooftop antenna installers, who were often working at awkward heights and in unfavorable weather.
The company was established with 7,000 USD in capital received from cabbage farmer Louis Resnick, who sold his Ellenville farm. The company was manufacturing 12 million USD of antennas annually by 1954 and had expanded its product line in the 60’s to include transistorized signal boosters. along with antenna rotors.
In 1967 Avnet Corporation acquired Channel Master, moving its manufacturing facilities to Smithfield, North Carolina USA. Avnet sold the company in 1998 at a 33 million USD profit.
After the acquisition Avnet used the Channel Master name to import and distribute various electronic products, including home and car stereo equipment, turntables, cassette decks, 8-track players, quadraphonic audio, TV receivers and scanner radios. In the 80’s, Channel Master was the only second source for General Instrument's Videocipher II module, a building block for satellite television receivers, under a licensing agreement for which Avnet paid GI a million dollars. The Channel Master 4251, a high-performance parabolic UHF television antenna, stood about seven feet in diameter. Channel Master also built distribution amplifiers for cable television, satellite dishes and satellite antenna accessories.
On October 2003 Channel Master filed for chapter 11-bankruptcy protection after losing its largest client, EchoStar. Channel Master agreed to sell its assets (the Smithfield, NC satellite dish factory, which formerly employed 1,600 people, inventory and intellectual property) to Andrew Corporation as part of an 18 million USD purchase.
After various acquisitions the former Channel Master antennas were branded under the Andrew name, Raven Skyware, Skyware Global and currently Global Skyware as part of the UK-based Global Invacom group. Global Skyware has supplied both former Channel Master VSAT antennas and other DTH products to many customers throughout the world.
The Channel Master brand and trademarks are currently owned by a Delaware corporation, which markets terrestrial television antennas and digital video recorders in Gilbert, Arizona. While the market for antennas has been diminished by widespread subscription television deployment in the post-network era, the Channel Master name remains in active use as a terrestrial television antenna brand, marketing IPTV and digital video recorder equipment to cord cutters seeking lower-cost HDTV.
www.tvtechnology.com edition 9 Oct 2003