I Challenge You/ Television

estherchiltonblog   check out the (I Challenge You) prompt(for rules and how to do it)

This week’s challenge is to write a story, limerick or poem on the subject of:




for this prompt I am going to share from WIKIPEDIA under the United States part


The first regularly scheduled television service in the United States began on July 2, 1928, fifteen months before the United Kingdom. The Federal Radio Commission authorized C. F. Jenkins to broadcast from experimental station W3XK in Wheaton Maryland, a suburb of Washington, D.C. For at least the first eighteen months, 48-line silhouette images from motion picture film were broadcast, although beginning in the summer of 1929 he occasionally broadcast in halftones.[149][150]

Hugo Gernsback‘s New York City radio station began a regular, if limited, schedule of live television broadcasts on August 14, 1928, using 48-line images. Working with only one transmitter, the station alternated radio broadcasts with silent television images of the station’s call sign, faces in motion, and wind-up toys in motion.[151][152] Speaking later that month, Gernsback downplayed the broadcasts, intended for amateur experimenters. “In six months we may have television for the public, but so far we have not got it.”[153] Gernsback also published Television, the world’s first magazine about the medium.

General Electric‘s experimental station in Schenectady, New York, on the air sporadically since January 13, 1928, was able to broadcast reflected-light, 48-line images via shortwave as far as Los Angeles, and by September was making four television broadcasts weekly. It is considered to be the direct predecessor of current television station WRGB. The Queen’s Messenger, a one-act play broadcast on September 11, 1928, was the world’s first live drama on television.[154]

Radio giant RCA began daily experimental television broadcasts in New York City in March 1929 over station W2XBS, the predecessor of current television station WNBC. The 60-line transmissions consisted of pictures, signs, and views of persons and objects.[155] Experimental broadcasts continued to 1931.[156]

General Broadcasting System‘s WGBS radio and W2XCR television aired their regular broadcasting debut in New York City on April 26, 1931, with a special demonstration set up in Aeolian Hall at Fifth Avenue and Fifty-fourth Street. Thousands waited to catch a glimpse of the Broadway stars who appeared on the six-inch (15 cm) square image, in an evening event to publicize a weekday programming schedule offering films and live entertainers during the four-hour daily broadcasts. Appearing were boxer Primo Carnera, actors Gertrude Lawrence, Louis Calhern, Frances Upton and Lionel Atwill, WHN announcer Nils Granlund, the Forman Sisters, and a host of others.[157]

CBS‘s New York City station W2XAB began broadcasting their first regular seven-day-a-week television schedule on July 21, 1931, with a 60-line electromechanical system. The first broadcast included Mayor Jimmy Walker, the Boswell Sisters, Kate Smith, and George Gershwin. The service ended in February 1933.[158] Don Lee Broadcasting‘s station W6XAO in Los Angeles went on the air in December 1931. Using the UHF spectrum, it broadcast a regular schedule of filmed images every day except Sundays and holidays for several years.[159]

By 1935, low-definition electromechanical television broadcasting had ceased in the United States except for a handful of stations run by public universities that continued to 1939. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) saw television in the continual flux of development with no consistent technical standards, hence all such stations in the U.S. were granted only experimental and non-commercial licenses, hampering television’s economic development. Just as importantly, Philo Farnsworth’s August 1934 demonstration of an all-electronic system at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia pointed out the direction of television’s future.

On June 15, 1936, Don Lee Broadcasting began a one-month-long demonstration of high definition (240+ line) television in Los Angeles on W6XAO (later KTSL, now KCBS-TV) with a 300-line image from motion picture film. By October, W6XAO was making daily television broadcasts of films. By 1934 RCA increased the definition to 343 interlaced lines and the frame rate to 30 per second.[160] On July 7, 1936 RCA and its subsidiary NBC demonstrated in New York City a 343-line electronic television broadcast with live and film segments to its licensees, and made its first public demonstration to the press on November 6. Irregularly scheduled broadcasts continued through 1937 and 1938.[161] Regularly scheduled electronic broadcasts began in April 1938 in New York (to the second week of June, and resuming in August) and Los Angeles.[162][163][164][165] NBC officially began regularly scheduled television broadcasts in New York on April 30, 1939, with a broadcast of the opening of the 1939 New York World’s Fair.

In 1937 RCA raised the frame definition to 441 lines, and its executives petitioned the FCC for approval of the standard.[160] By June 1939, regularly scheduled 441-line electronic television broadcasts were available in New York City and Los Angeles, and by November on General Electric’s station in Schenectady. From May through December 1939, the New York City NBC station (W2XBS) of RCA broadcast twenty to fifty-eight hours of programming per month, Wednesday through Sunday of each week. The programming was 33% news, 29% drama, and 17% educational programming, with an estimated 2,000 receiving sets by the end of the year, and an estimated audience of five to eight thousand. A remote truck could cover outdoor events from up to 10 miles (16 km) away from the transmitter, which was located atop the Empire State Building. Coaxial cable was used to cover events at Madison Square Garden. The coverage area for reliable reception was a radius of 40 to 50 miles (80 km) from the Empire State Building, an area populated by more than 10,000,000 people (Lohr, 1940).

The FCC adopted NTSC television engineering standards on May 2, 1941, calling for 525 lines of vertical resolution, 30 frames per second with interlaced scanning, 60 fields per second, and sound carried by frequency modulation. Sets sold since 1939 that were built for slightly lower resolution could still be adjusted to receive the new standard. (Dunlap, p31). The FCC saw television ready for commercial licensing, and the first such licenses were issued to NBC- and CBS-owned stations in New York on July 1, 1941, followed by Philco‘s station WPTZ in Philadelphia.

The first official, paid advertising to appear on American commercial television occurred on the afternoon of July 1, 1941, over New York station WNBT (now WNBC) before a baseball game between the Brooklyn Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies. The announcement for Bulova watches, for which the company paid anywhere from $4.00 to $9.00 (reports vary), displayed a WNBT test pattern modified to look like a clock with the hands showing the time. The Bulova logo, with the phrase “Bulova Watch Time”, was shown in the lower right-hand quadrant of the test pattern while the second hand swept around the dial for one minute.[166][167]

After the U.S. entry into World War II, the FCC reduced the required minimum air time for commercial television stations from 15 hours per week to 4 hours. Most TV stations suspended broadcasting; of the ten original television stations only six continued through the war.[168] On the few that remained, programs included entertainment such as boxing and plays, events at Madison Square Garden, and illustrated war news as well as training for air raid wardens and first aid providers. In 1942, there were 5,000 sets in operation, but production of new TVs, radios, and other broadcasting equipment for civilian purposes was suspended from April 1942 to August 1945 (Dunlap).

By 1947, when there were 40 million radios in the U.S., there were about 44,000 television sets (with probably 30,000 in the New York area).[147] Regular network television broadcasts began on NBC on a three-station network linking New York with the Capital District and Philadelphia in 1944; on the DuMont Television Network in 1946, and on CBS and ABC in 1948.

Following the rapid rise of television after the war, the Federal Communications Commission was flooded with applications for television station licenses. With more applications than available television channels, the FCC ordered a freeze on processing station applications in 1948 that remained in effect until April 14, 1952.[168]

By 1949, the networks stretched from New York to the Mississippi River, and by 1951 to the West Coast. Commercial color television broadcasts began on CBS in 1951 with a field-sequential color system that was suspended four months later for technical and economic reasons. The television industry’s National Television System Committee (NTSC) developed a color television system based on RCA technology that was compatible with existing black and white receivers, and commercial color broadcasts reappeared in 1953.


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