The AWA 17 inch portable black and white television won the 1969 Sebel Design Merit Award. Awards for the recognition of design were introduced in Australia around the late 1950s. One of the effects of this was to encourage local industry to acknowledge Australian designers.
AWA was quick to exploit the Australian television era, which commenced in 1956. AWA had already made a long and distinguished radio product line and actively sought out communications and defence contracts. AWA was only second to the CSIRO in the development of the integrated circuit in Australia and very quickly adapted this technology for use within its domestic products. The P4 was one of those products, and advertisements from the period proudly boast, 'now featuring the revolutionary new INTEGRATED CIRCUIT'.
AWA developed a reputation for engineering high quality monochrome television sets. The P4 'tribrid' circuit design refers to the combined use of valves, transistors and an integrated circuit.
The design of the television was distinguished by it very clean body styling, incorporating: a handle which retracts to be flush with the case; an audio deflector which when lifted into position triggers a micro-switch that activates the television, reveals the concealed speaker, and reflects sound towards the viewer; a large thumb wheel channel selector; and a Wedgwood blue injection moulded two piece plastic case. The case neatly integrates two inconspicuous ridges on the base of the unit that distribute the weight of the television onto any resting surface.
These design factors, combined with AWA's well-engineered monochrome technology, left the rest of the local television market for dead and contributed to the recognition of the P4 by members of the Industrial Design Council of Australia and the Sebel Design Merit Award.