Early Days of Television in Mid-Illinois
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IABC presented "The Ruggles" live from Hollywood from 1949 to 1952. It starred the movie character actor Charlie Ruggles. It was performed live for the west coast stations from KECA-TV while being kinescoped for airing the next week on the rest of the small ABC network.
Commercial-News, Danville, IL
Bloomington IL, Pantagraph
Danville, IL Commercial-News
Commercial-News, Danville, IL
This is a picture of my father installing a VHF television antenna on top of my grandparent's house in Taylorville, Illinois, around 1951. The picture shows the antenna, based on the position of the house, pointing to the southwest to receive the only TV signal available to them, that of Channel 5, KSD-TV.
Central Illinois Television pre-1953
Local Television was non-existent before July 1953, and even then, it was limited in reach. Local UHF stations in the early years didn't reach out much beyond 20-30 miles from the transmitter point. VHF stations were a different matter. When WCIA went on the air, local television became a reality. If a home TV set included a UHF tuner (at an extra cost), it would add the possibility of adding one or possibly two more stations if it was lucky.
Central Illinois Television Mania
A typical television installation during those early days costs about $200 to $400 plus antenna, tower, cable, rotor, etc., adding another $150-$200 to the investment. One thing is for sure: your life won't be your own after your purchase.
If you had a television, people would "pop in" to watch shows on many nights, especially when those "spectaculars" were shown and the popular shows of the era like "Milton Berle," "The Colgate Comedy Hour" and "The Toast of the Town, " not to mention the World Series and various boxing matches and wrestling matches.
Many bars and taverns installed television, guaranteeing that viewers would spend hours drinking before going home. People would gather at storefronts along Main Street if there were a television in the window. It's hard to imagine anything today which would get so much attention!
Television dealers sprung up overnight; some were mom-and-pop neighborhood dealers in back rooms, garages, and small storefronts. Others were already major department stores. Television manufacturers set up franchises that would lock in certain brands to select dealers who also would provide service departments to maintain those fragile early televisions.
This sci-fi series for children aired on NBC from 1950 to 1952, with episodes lasting 15 minutes for most of its run.
The Ed Wynn Show was the first Hollywood-originated variety show. It aired live and was later kinescoped for CBS stations.
The Cavalcade of Stars had several hosts from the years 1949-1952. Among the stars were Jack Carter (1949-50), Jerry Lester (1950), Jackie Gleason (1950-52), and Larry Storch (1951 and 1952 Summer Seasons). Jackie Gleason perfected the "The Honeymooners" skit during his time on the DuMont Network Variety Show.
In 1948,"The Life of Riley" aired on just a few thousand TV sets in most major markets, starring Jackie Gleason. William Bendix had a very successful film career, and despite playing the character on the radio for several years, wasn't able to fill the role of Chester Riley. Gleason filled the role, but the program was canceled after one year. Those few viewers wanted Bendix as Riley, and by January of 1953, watchers of "The Life of Riley" saw William Bendix play the bumbling husband on TV. He also continued to play him on the radio for several years simultaneously. Here is a video from the pilot episode with William Bendix from January 1953. WICS wasn't on the air yet.
The Champaign-Urbana Television Dealers Association, led by WCIA, introduced a new appliance to households in Champaign-Urbana. They hosted a weekend trade show event at the Urbana Armory, where each dealer had a booth to display their models. Brands such as Arvin, Majestic, Hoffman, DuMont, Sentinel, Columbia, Motorola, and today's well-known brands like RCA, Philco, Zenith, Sylvania, Emerson, and Admiral were showcased. It is likely that most if not all, were manufactured in the USA. WCIA also demonstrated how attendees would look on TV by setting up a camera with a closed circuit "broadcast" within the confines of the Armory. The event attracted thousands from east central Illinois and west central Indiana communities. The advent of the TV age was met with great enthusiasm and excitement in Central Illinois. (Urbana Courier)
(above): Magnavox (upper left), Philco (upper right), Motorola (lower left), and RCA (lower right), were all well-known brands of TV in 1953....all American companies, all producing sets in America for Americans!
Eisner's, a local grocery store chain, celebrated the arrival of television by holding a contest for their customers. They gave away four TV sets as prizes. The Danville, Illinois area was served by WDAN-TV, Channel 24, signed on Sunday, December 19, 1953. The Danville Commercial-News reported this information.
Assembling a combination 2 UHF directional antenna with a VHF directional antenna with my dad (left) and his brother (right)
Me, photo bombing the picture of the assembling a combination 2 UHF directional antenna with a VHF directional antenna with my dad (left) and his brother (right)
This was a different time, maybe a year later, showing the mast just to the right of my mom and me, next to our house.
Assembling a combination 2 UHF directional antenna with a VHF directional antenna with my dad (left) and his brother (right)
My dad (left) and his brother (right) installed an antenna array at my house in 1958. It included 2-UHF antennas for receiving WICS(Springfield) and WTVP(Decatur) along with a VHF to receive WCIA(Champaign). It was also installed with the ability to be rotated by twisting the antenna mast at the base to redirect it to receive the St. Louis TV stations.
Pictures on the Prairie: The 70th Anniversary of
Mid-Illinois Television By Doug Quick
Hardly any of us now remember what life was like before television. Seventy years ago, in 1953, though, the experience of not having a TV was still what most households across central Illinois faced daily. A poll taken in 1953 among TV dealers determined that only 12-thousand TV sets were sold at the retail level. Of those, only 22 hundred were equipped for all channel VHF-UHF reception. That number would change over a few short years, and it wasn't long before most households recognized local TV personalities' names, faces, and voices.
WTVP's Loren Boatman, Al Pigg, Kim Wilson, Earl Hickerson, Dale Coleman, Frank Monte, and Marty Roberts.
WICS's John Begue, Florence Pierce, Malden Jones, Frank Martin, Bernie Johnson, Julie Craig, G.B. Gordon, Pigwell Pete, Bob Warren, Wally Gair, Nick Alexander, Bernie Waterman, Wayne Cox, and Doug Kimball.
WCIA's Fred Sorenson, Wyndham J. “Mr. Roberts” Roberts, Jack Prowell, Scotty Craig, DiAnne Thomas, Sidney “Sheriff Sid” Fulkerson, Tom Schoendienst, Robert Brown, Ed Mason, Don McMullen, John Coleman, Paul Davis, and Tom Jones.
WBLN's Fred Muxfield, Esther, Warner Tideman, and Don McKellar.
WDAN-TV's Wayne Coady, Bill Houpt, Frank Williams, Max Shaffer, Ralph Webber, Honore Ronan, Jack Singleton, and John Eckert.
Many more people contributed in behind-the-scenes roles in ownership, management, sales, and engineering, making Central Illinois Television possible.
This is a much-abbreviated story of each heritage station across mid-Illinois. We begin with 1939. The public visiting the World's Fair in New York in 1939 saw television for the first time. President Franklin Roosevelt addressed those watching at the fair via television, as most of the public watched newsreel footage much later. World War II put television research on hiatus. Those working on the development of television at the end of the war tested equipment and receivers, with broadcasts occurring on an occasional basis, mostly in the larger cities of the East. New York, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. were TV broadcast centers. Still, it wasn't until the mid to late 1940s that other TV stations began to appear in other nearby Midwest cities, like Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis. Channels 2 through 13 were available to a select number of stations that were later interconnected to form networks by NBC, DuMont, and CBS.
The FCC, though, “froze” the issuance of additional broadcast construction permits by other companies and entrepreneurs who filed for TV station ownership in 1948. By then, the FCC figured out that the number of anticipated future TV stations would not fit in the constraints of only VHF channels 2 through 13. Plus, testing was already underway for the broadcast of color video, and three color broadcast methods were already being developed. Many other technical standards were needed to ensure that the broadcast industry would produce TVs for the public that would allow all stations to be received in monochrome and color. That was just the beginning, as a new frequency range called UHF broadcasting would open up. The operation of television stations on UHF was different from that of VHF. The advantage of UHF broadcasting included not being susceptible to interference from everything from ignition noise from trucks and cars, electrical RF noise from small appliances and vacuum cleaners to electrical storms. The picture was clearer, crisper, and lifelike than VHF stations. The major advantage for VHF stations was that the reception area for channels 2-13 was many times greater than that of a typical UHF station and at lower power. Thus, TV audiences were bound to be greater for VHF stations, increasing the income potential of VHF stations as advertisers were seeking larger audiences for their commercials.
For those of us in Central Illinois, we had the potential of three VHF stations and many other UHF stations. The FCC made VHF channels 2, 3, and 8 available. Channel 2 was designated for Springfield, Channel 3 for Champaign, and Channel 8 for Peoria. The UHF allocations for stations were for various channels in other cities, including some UHF allocations for cities with VHF allocations. All allocations were assigned to reduce station interference and maximize persons' ability to receive more than one station.
When the allocations were announced in 1952 as the “freeze” was lifted, Channel 2 had four, then three groups of local radio broadcasting stations in Springfield, WMAY, WTAX, and WCBS(call letters were changed later to WCVS) applying for the VHF station. Peoria had several groups vying for Channel 8 to our north, including two groups that owned separate Peoria radio stations, WMBD and WIRL, and a former Illinois Senator, although he would later bow out.
The competition between the groups for Channel 2 and 8 would ultimately delay the issuance of those permits. That delay would allow other groups in nearby St. Louis and Quad Cities markets to apply for those VHF stations and have them moved to their cities. That was supported primarily by ABC, which needed those VHF stations as affiliates to compete equally with already established VHF stations with CBS and NBC affiliations. It may sound simple, but it was far from that, and the fight was far from friendly. The competition for Channel 2 took place between stations in those cities and potential ABC affiliates, the Springfield UHF station WICS-Channel 20 Springfield, various local community and professional groups in Springfield and St. Louis, and, of course, the politicians from those areas. It was so heated that ultimately, the decision of what to do ended up at the Supreme Court, although no decision came from the High Court.
Channel 3 had a much different outcome thanks to the wisdom of the president of a newly formed company, Midwest Television. Midwest had several owners, including representatives of the local newspaper, The News-Gazette, which also owned WDWS Radio. As the President of Midwest Television, August Meyer was also an attorney on staff at the News-Gazette. Midwest Television, though, also had some competition for Channel 3 from Illinois Broadcasting Company and its owner, F.W. Schaub. Mr. Shaub also owned the Decatur Herald Newspaper, the Urbana Courier Newspaper, and WSOY-Radio in Decatur.
Since each group wanted the “golden egg,” which was a permit for Channel 3, Mr. Meyer had a brilliant idea that might push the application through for approval by the FCC. Any delay would have brought about many FCC hearings and other issues from other markets nationwide. Any delay in coming up with a solution for the ownership of Channel 3 would have ended up similar to the stories from Channel 2 and 8 in central Illinois. So, Mr. Meyer offered Mr. Schaub of Illinois Broadcasting to merge, allowing that company to own 20 percent of Midwest Television if Illinois Broadcasting would withdraw its application. On February 26, 1953, the FCC granted Central Illinois its only VHF commercial station. WCIA, Channel 3, would air on Saturday, November 14, 1953.
The other heritage stations on the UHF dial had a simpler filing experience, with only WICS seeing any competition for the construction permit for Channel 20. WCBS, Inc. would modify its TV Station application from Channel 2 to Channel 20 later. WCBS, Inc. would withdraw its application soon after, as it appeared that some kind of arrangement was made between Plains Television and WCBS, Inc. for the rental of tower space and studio space from WCVS RAdio.
Channel 20 resulted from a mass application effort of Harry and Elmer Balaban and Transcontinental Properties, a group of Chicago real estate investors. By filing several applications, they would win at least a couple, and they did with permits for Springfield and Rockford. The Balabans owned some outlying movie theaters in the Chicago area, while other Balaban brothers owned some of the most prominent theaters downtown. The other Balabans were also involved in experiential TV in Chicago along with Sam Katz, who began WBKB, Channel 2. Channel 2 was later sold to CBS, and they moved the call letters and their operation to Channel 7. Meanwhile, another Balaban brother, Barney, was the head of Paramount Pictures in Hollywood, which owned many large city movie theaters until the government broke up the company for holding an unfair monopoly on movie production and displaying.
WICS, Channel 20 in Springfield, would sign on right before the World Series of 1953, on September 30, 1953. Despite having the only TV signal in the Illinois Capitol City, a dark cloud of uncertainty was over the future of WICS. The ownership knew that and kept expenses low. The station rented a space on a local (friendly-not competitive) radio tower of WCBS, Inc. (WCVS Radio). The tower and facility limited the ability of the station to broadcast much more than 25 miles from Springfield and was hardly seen in Decatur. The studios were also rented from WCVS, located in the annex to the Leland Hotel in downtown Springfield. The station remained without many improvements until the decision to move Channel 2 to St. Louis. Channel 2, if it stayed in Springfield, would have taken the affiliation of NBC away from WICS. Up to that time, WICS was only under contract with NBC on a month-to-month basis. WICS losing NBC, even though the network compensation was extremely low due to the lack of coverage, would have been a fatal blow to the station. There was even talk that Channel 2 could have wiped out Decatur's TV station.
When Prairie Television filed the application for Channel 17 in Decatur, it was one of the last companies to file for a central Illinois TV station, but it was the first to go on the air. Prairie Television was primarily owned by William Shellabarger, who owned the Shellabarger Mills, Inc., a local grain processor. It was sold to Ralston-Purina Company, which allowed that investment to be shifted to a broadcast enterprise. One of the major stockholders, Harold Cowgill, was a Decatur native who had different careers in commerce, broadcast law, the FCC, and ultimately in broadcasting by being the station's new general manager with what would become WTVP, Channel 17. After making some changes in the initial application to increase the facility by constructing its studio center and a higher tower/antenna, the station would include the largest employee roster of any station in central Illinois. With one delay from a potential disaster due to a “cracking” of the jin pole that helped to raise the antenna to the top of the tower, the second attempt the next day was successful. WTVP would go on the air on Sunday, August 16, 1953. The station would go through several ownership changes over the years, including that of Metropolitan Broadcasting, later changed to Metromedia, and then LIN Broadcasting in the mid-60s.
Peoria would have two UHF stations, which were somewhat under that same dark cloud as WICS, with the prospect of having a major VHF CBS affiliate in their front yard. In early July of 1952, an application was filed with the FCC to allocate Channel 43. The grant was issued in August 1952 for the first Peoria station, WEEK-TV at Channel 43. It was owned by West Central Broadcasting, owned by U.S. Senator Robert Kerr of Oklahoma, who already owned a radio station there and was a Kerr McGee Oil Company principal. Other stockholders also had ties with the oil industry. WEEK, like WTVP, built its studios near one of the high points just east of the Illinois River in Tazewell County. WEEK-TV quickly became the leading station in the market with many upgrades of the transmitter that gained coverage areas with each one. Channel 43 became an NBC affiliate, with some programming being from ABC and DuMont.
The second TV station to go on the air in Peoria was Channel 19. It was initially filed by WWXL Radio with the ownership name of Hilltop Broadcasting and granted in December 1952. The call letters of WTVH were granted in February 1953 as the station announced a primary affiliation agreement with ABC. Channel 19, WTVH would go on the air Thursday, September 1, 1953, but within a year, it would take on CBS as its primary network affiliation with ABC as secondary. The battle for Channel 8 directly influenced WTVH to become a temporary CBS affiliate, as it was accepted that if Channel 8 did go on the air, it would become a full-time CBS affiliate. WTVH, like WEEK, would go through several power increases with transmitter add-ons or new transmitters. It still became evident that WTVH was the least significant station on the Peoria television scene. By April 1954, the Peoria newspapers, the Morning Star, and the Afternoon Journal purchased most of the station. The next month, the newspapers would finish the purchase of most of the minority stockholders and held over 90% ownership. The name Hilltop Broadcasting would continue until being purchased by Metropolitan Broadcasting, later changed to Metromedia, and then sold to WIRL Radio in the mid-1960s.
Just down the road from Peoria, in Bloomington, another television station was being applied for by Cecil W. Roberts of Missouri. There, he owned a group of small radio stations. He decided to make several requests for radio and television stations in the early 1950s. Locations where he would apply for television stations included St. Louis when he applied for Channel 36. He also applied for Channel 15 in Bloomington, Illinois. His applications for radio and television stations included investments well below the average amount of cash needed to achieve even a small chance of a successful operation. His application for Channel 15 in Bloomington was no exception. His construction cost was $110,000, with expected revenue for the first year set at $120,000. Despite having a lowball investment in a television station, he was granted a permit in March 1953 to construct WBLN, Channel 15.
The site for constructing the studio and tower/transmitter was along the U.S. 66 by-pass near the intersection with U.S. 150. Mr. Roberts would lease the site for his TV station. Local construction and electricians' unions challenged the construction and painting of the building's interior. That created a huge public relations problem for his station within the community. There were other delays in equipment delivery and setup, but by Thursday, November 19, 1953, WBLN would go on the air with low power and a test pattern. That would continue for some time, as “problems” with equipment delayed the official sign-on with regular programming. WBLN would eventually go on the air on Sunday, December 6, 1953, to become Central Illinois' 3rd ABC affiliate.
WBLN would face many problems from the lack of cash to support the station's losses as ad revenue was not what was expected with the new station. Mr. Roberts, who ran his stations with very little cash flow, quickly found out that it wouldn't improve over time. His ownership would end by July of 1955 as he sold the station to another person, Worth S. Rough, and his company, WBLN, Inc. The station would continue with local religious programming surrounded by a weak ABC program lineup, syndicated fare, and some locally produced studio programs, mostly for kids. By Tuesday, February 5, 1957, WBLN would go dark. It would, though, return for a short period beginning again on December 1, 1957. That return would be minus network affiliation but with more syndicated programming, local religious programming, and many local investors behind the station hoping for a return on their investment. Unfortunately, the creditors of the station lost their investment, as many creditors were making legal claims against the station. Mr. Rough even turned the station over to another inexperienced person, Amos Barton, a construction firm owner and somewhat of a religious leader. On Thursday, June 5, 1958, the station would again go off the air due to equipment failure. It would never return as Channel 15.
The final mid-Illinois TV station to go on the air was WDAN-TV, Channel 24 in Danville. Even though it was the first applicant for a UHF station in downstate Illinois, it was the last to go on the air. The application was filed in May of 1952 by Northwest Publishing, owned by Gannett Company, an owner of some newspapers, and had already filed for another station in Elmira, New York. The construction permit was granted in December of 1952, but it would be a year before the station would broadcast.
The cost of the station was set at $215,000, with expected revenue at $300,000 for the first year. The work would begin with constructing a new tower that would replace the self-supporting tower/antenna of WDAN Radio. The new $20,000 tower would be a guyed tower with insulators separating the tower's main WDAN Radio antenna section, with the tower's extended height supporting the TV antenna as the mast on top. The elevation of the TV antenna was expected to be near 400 feet. The WDAN Radio studios were expanded in 1948 when the operation moved to the transmitter location from the downtown Wolford Hotel. The studios were expanded again in 1953 to include a limited TV facility. There were many delays in the construction, probably due to the fact that dozens of stations were being built at the time, with the production of all of the electrical components for a TV station not keeping up with demand. After requesting extensions for completion to the FCC, the FCC granted one final extension that would expire on December 20, 1953. With that, WDAN-TV went on the air on December 19, 1953, with only the network feed from ABC to broadcast. The station couldn't broadcast a regular local programming schedule for several weeks as equipment delays were given as the reason.
Even while other stations were seeking new transmitters to increase power and their coverage area, the ownership/management of WDAN-TV sought a permit to decrease power a couple of years after going on the air, presumably to reduce the cost of electricity. WDAN-TV would sell the station to the owners of WICS and its low-powered sister station in Champaign, WCHU, that went on the air in 1959. It remained an ABC station for a short time before becoming a full-time translator and an NBC affiliate for WICS and WCHU with the call letters of WICD. In 1967, the two stations in Champaign and Danville would combine as WICD, Channel 15, Champaign.
In May of 1955, a national television industry report stated that 80 percent of all UHF stations were near bankruptcy. Not more than 12 or 15 UHF stations were making a true profit, and these stations were without immediate VHF competition. If Channel 2 in Springfield had gone on the air as an NBC affiliate, WICS would have quickly gone dark, if not immediately shut down. WTVP would have been at risk as well. Decatur could have ended up with no local television service, much like what happened to Bloomington.
There was even a move in 1955 to allow the FCC to drop VHF allocations across the country. That would have brought Channel 6 to Bloomington, Peoria could have gotten Channel 10 and 13, Galesburg with Channel 11, and Decatur with Channel 7. Fortunately for the stations, the proposal didn't get any traction.
This is just a summary of the early years of local TV in Central Illinois, some 70 years ago. I detailed the info above in my book “Pictures on the Prairie: The First Ten Years of Mid-Illinois Television.” Unfortunately, my book is unavailable as my publisher went out of business. I plan on re-publishing my book as an ebook that can be downloaded online. I hope to have that project completed by early next year. I have included more details of TV History on this website at Central Illinois' On-Line Broadcast Museum.
Broadcast History Links
Television Academy www.emmys.com
Archive of American Television
NBC/Universal Television History- The History of the Famous Movie Studio and the Radio/Television History of NBC
American Broadcasting Company- History This information is somewhat outdated when it comes to "current" history, but the pre-1999 history is correct.
Columbia Broadcasting System- History of the CBS Radio and Television Network
Chicago Television History is where Steve Jajkowski has put together a collection of facts and memories of each of the major heritage television stations. There are some connections to mid-Illinois television, but you must look closely to find them.
This is where the Balaban name appears for a later connection to WICS and eventually WCHU and WICD. Under "Video Veteran Spotlight," you'll get the story of Balaban and Katz, the company formed by John Balaban and Sam Katz, who ran the B and K Theaters. There were more than 100 theaters under their company's brand in Chicago.
Barney Balaban was president of Paramount Pictures, Inc. as the filmmaker who emerged from bankruptcy in 1935. Paramount owned the Balaban and Katz theater chain with more than 1,500 theaters nationally, with even more in Europe, South America, and Canada.
That monopolistic arrangement was eventually broken up under the Justice Department. Barney Balaban maintained control of the Paramount Studios, while brother John would control the movie theaters and team up with Sam Katz (from MGM).
By 1939, Paramount was encouraged to get into the television business by Leonard H. Goldenson, an up-and-coming corporate lawyer at Paramount. (Goldenson would later be the President of ABC from 1953 through 1985.)
Goldenson would acquire an experimental license to become W9XBK to broadcast on channel 2 in Chicago. The station would be changed to channel 4 when the FCC rearranged the frequency assignments. By late 1943, W9XBK would become the first commercial station in Chicago, WBKB. Later, it would change to channel 7, and by 1968 it became WLS-TV. In the early days, during the 1940s, Milton Friedland was a sales executive with WBKB. He later accepted the general manager position at WICS, Channel 20, in Springfield, Illinois.
Meanwhile, two other Balaban Brothers, Harry and Elmer, were also theater owners under the company name of H & E Corporation. Most of their holdings were suburban theaters in the Chicago market reaching down into central Illinois. They, too, were getting into television station ownership with several applications throughout the Midwest. TV stations in Rockford, Illinois(WTVO) and Springfield, Illinois(WICS) were among those. By 1958, Harry and Elmer, along with Plains TV, had a stake in the two mentioned Illinois properties, but also KGKO radio in Dallas, Texas; WIL radio in St. Louis; WRIT radio in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and possibly (although not quite clear) WMCN radio in Grand Rapids, Michigan and KFBI radio in Wichita, Kansas.
The Monitor Beacon - The Website spotlights the NBC Radio Weekend Show from 1955-1975.
Television History The First 75 Years - The website covers TV set design, development, and marketing
- This site documents the Hollywood studios, backlots, and ranch facilities utilized for television production.
Crazy About TV - allows you to search for your favorite shows! Get the stars, the episode readouts, and more. I recommend this site!
Television Obscurities - This explores TV from its beginnings to the current day
The Untouchables - A site with the history of this groundbreaking TV series from 1959. Produced by Desilu, its violence and stereotypical depiction of Italians made it one of TV's most controversial series.
NBC: Television History Special
NBC Historic Telecast from 1946.
The NBC Story.
--from TV Museum (YouTube)
Television History: The NBC Story
The NBC Story.
--from Computer History Archives Project (YouTube)
Television: How it Works
Remember seeing those Coronet Instructional Films when you were in grade school? This will be rather nostalgic, as Coronet works with WGN Television with this presentation.
"A great informational film explaining “HOW TELEVISION WORKS.” With some digital restoration edits, this easy-to-watch gives an excellent overview of the technology behind broadcast television and early CRT-based television sets. Filmed in WGN studios in Chicago. The film shows the Camera tube (Image Orthicon), CRT picture tube, TV control room, TV signal transmission, and more.
--from Computer History Archives Project (YouTube)
TV: A Forgotten History
"The invention of the television was a dynamic process representing the convergence of many technological innovations and inventors. The medium has been both affected by and affected by history. The History Guy remembers the forgotten history of the small screen."
--The History Guy: History Deserves to be Remembered (YouTube)
The Forgotten War for Color Television
"Today, we know that 29.97 fps is a hallmark of NTSC video. We may even know the mathematical reasoning behind it. But the war for color television that birthed that oddball number, a war that raged for over a decade and left an imprint on the soul of electronic moving pictures, has been largely forgotten..."
--Filmmaker IQ (YouTube)
According to the Computer History Archives Project on YouTube, there is a 1956 film called "The Story of Television" by RCA that features David Sarnoff, the head of RCA from 1919 to 1970, in a conversation with Vladimir Zworykin, a Russian-American inventor, engineer, and pioneer of television technology. Zworykin is credited with inventing a television transmitting and receiving system using cathode ray tubes. The film depicts the progression of RCA television technology leading up to the era of color television depicts the progression of RCA television technology leading up to the era of color television depicts the progression of RCA television technology leading up to the era of color television.
VHF vs. UHF TV Bands - Antenna TV Viewers Should Know the Difference
"This video talks about the difference between VHF and UHF TV signals. What is VHF? What is UHF? What channels broadcast on these bands? How do they differ? It is important to know the differences between these bands to understand how they are affected, which can improve your TV reception."
One correction: Low VHF is channels 2-6, and high VHF is 7-13.
Television Sets Throughout the Years
23-inch Zenith 1960s
Automatic Color Control from Zenith late 1960s
Admiral 20-inch monochrome TV with UHF tuner, 1953
23-inch Zenith 1960s
All ads were from various Pinterest sites.