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article number 739
article date 10-11-2018
copyright 2018 by Author else SaltOfAmerica
We Enter the Golden Age of Television, 1951, Part 1: Growing Industry and Technology
by TV Digest, (Philadelphia) writers

Where Are Our New Stations?

Some time ago television fans noted with delight that the Philadelphia area was going to be blessed with the addition of four new television channels in the UHF (ultra-high-frequency), one of them to be reserved strictly for educational purposes. Of course all this happened after much waiting, besieging and beseeching the FCC, and pointing up the TV needs of a metropolitan area like Philadelphia.

Yes, it took a long time for the FCC to agree we should have those channels.

Ordinarily, right about now we’d be planning all the wonderful things we could do with the new channels. We would be looking into all the grand possibilities opened up for new televiewing enjoyment — except for one thing. We haven’t got those channels yet.

After all these months we’re not one bit closer toward being a 7-channel city. Actually, the city-by-city allocations hearings have been postponed by the FCC several times. The latest postponement—pushing the date forward from July 9 to July 23—was just another in the long line of delaying actions which have deprived Philadelphia of the ability to even get plans rolling.

Unquestionably the FCC has been busy. Faced with the necessity of settling oceans of issues occasioned by color TV and many other important disputes, the FCC had to let all the applications for new TV stations go by the board. But nonetheless, our progress with respect to increased sources of television programming is conspicuous by its absence.

As of now, there are 107 television stations in operation in all of the U.S. At about this time a year ago, when Nashville’s WSM-TV was still in the building stage, we had 106. Obviously, with respect to growth in number of TV stations, we’ve been standing still like mad.

Another indication of our going no-place in a hurry is the fact that there are many more new-station applications (415) on hand for the FCC to wade through, than there are stations in existence.

Obviously, with all the angles which must be studied before a decision is made, the FCC can only have one speed—and that’s slow. Short of lighting a fire under the whole commission we can’t hope for much to happen—according to the latest postponement—all of this year.

Just when Philadelphia’s turn will come up next year is still unknown,—which means we have a long, long wait before we can start breaking ground for even one new TV station.

And so, if some one should happen to waltz up and ask where those new TV channels are that Philadelphia allegedly is to get, just tell them this:

“Television is going places so fast, it hasn’t even got time to stop and grow.”

Astounding as that statement may be, you’ll never make a truer one.

CARTOON: FCC Serving and Empty Plate to Philadelphia TV Viewers.

How Films are Televised

• A trip behind-scenes results in some simple explanations of a TV technique.

It all started when we got a letter from a Mr. James H. Glenn of Philadelphia. It was simple and direct. “How do television stations televise motion pictures?” he wanted to know.

A reasonable enough request. Probably a bit of information lots of TV fans would like to be clear about. We did a bit of musing about it ourselves, forming a peculiar mental picture of a movie projector throwing an image on a movie screen and the television camera focused on the screen, with the studio mikes picking up the sound. But then this didn’t seem right.

“How,” we asked ourselves, “would they get around the difficulty of semidarkness required to properly see a movie? Wouldn’t the screen ‘flicker’ create a blurry image?”

Before the whole thing got too involved, we decided we’d better call on our friend Al Mann, film director at WPTZ, and get the lowdown.

Al smiled a bit when we told him our version. “No screens are used to televise motion pictures,” he informed us indulgently. “Come and have a look at the gadget that does the trick.”

The "gadget” was comparatively small piece of equipment. We learned later that the equipment also was “standard” at WFIL-TV and WCU TV. (See Diagram.) It required a space area of about 3 by four feet. Two units do the job. One unit, the projector (A), performs three operations, as follows:

One, it adapts movie film, which runs at the rate of 24 frames (or individual pictures) per second, to the required speed for television—60 frames per second.

Two, it projects the film image into the mirror.

Three, it acts as the pickup for the sound track on the film, transmitting it to the control room.

The iconoscope (C) part of the mechanism, actually is a stripped down “scanning” mechanism of a TV camera. It picks up the image from the mirror (B), transmitting the picture to the control rooms where the telecast is completed. The mirror arrangement permits the use of another piece of equipment on the same iconoscope. At most stations, the other piece of equipment is a balopticon (D) which throws an image of stationary slides on the mirror, thence to iconoscope.

SIMPLE MECHANISM: The diagram illustrates the principle employed for the telecasting of motion pictures.

In all, the units occupy an area approximately 3 by 4 feet. The units are the Projector (A), which throws the image on the mirror (B), which in turn transfers the image to the iconoscope (C). Unit (D), the balopticon, is employed for the telecasting of slides, but uses the same iconoscope.

Knowing just a little about the intricacies of a film projector we asked how they managed to get a filmed commercial on the air, timed to break into a live show with split-second accuracy.

That’s easy,” said Al. “We get a ten-second warning signal and we have the film inserted and ready and start the film rolling on blank. That way, the film breaks in at exactly the right time.”

We had another question: “How does a filmed commercial break into a program on film, such as a feature picture?”

Again, Al supplied the answer to that one. “All feature films are previewed in the projection rooms. The movie is timed and at selected intervals the film is stopped and tabbed for insertion of the commercial.

After the film is run through it goes to the film editors, who cut and splice the commercials into the feature film. Then the reels with the commercials and movie spliced as a continuous strip are ready for the projector.”

And since we were right there, we asked about another little intricacy of film telecasting we always wondered about.
How was the announcer able to synchronize his announcing chore with the films that carried no sound? Simple again. Announcers have plenty of rehearsing to do, and they keep working with the film until it’s just right. On the actual telecast the film is run in the usual manner while the announcer keeps track of it through a monitor in the studio.

Actually, the handling of film and its translation from the film package to your television screen involves a detailed procedure which, of course, few viewers are aware of.

Each new batch of films get a processing by skilled technicians, whose job it is to see that each film is tailored to meet the program needs of each station. The fact that the processing is accomplished so smoothly and with so few hitches is a tribute to the efficiency of individual staffs.

Beginning a New TV Era

• New horizons open as commercial coast-to-coast telecasts begin.

This is The week, folks! The celebrated period when television fans on the east coast will witness for the first time live commercial television shows from the west coast (and vice versa), marking one of television’s biggest progressive strides. Hello there, west coast TV stations! We extend our warmest cross-country handshake.

Earlier this month television fans felt the impact of coast-to-coast TV when a temporary one-way circuit was put into use at the request of the State Department. In Philadelphia and points west through Omaha, all the way to the coast and all points in between, televiewers felt the tremendous impact and thrill of a new TV era as they watched sessions of the Japanese Peace Treaty Conference in San Francisco.

Big Event To Come

But that heralded the big event to come this week, when two way traffic on the TV circuits was opened. Facilities will be available to accommodate one eastbound program and one westbound at the same time, over the route shown on the map on the right.

Over the new communications skyway words and pictures will be relayed between 107 towers stretching from New York through Chicago and Omaha to San Francisco. (See Map). The completed project represents an investment of $40,000,000., and networks, sponsors and agencies are losing no time in re-aligning programs scheduled so they fit in with the expanded coverage. A string of the east coast’s top shows are expected to tee off on the opening of coast-to-coast TV (see page 3 for details) and the west coast is similarly readying their best for a history-making celebration.

A glance at the television map of the U.S. on the right is an education in itself, even though it is primarily intended to sketch the path of microwave relays and co-axial cables, which enables us to bring in programs originating 3,000 miles away with the same ease as if they were just around the corner.

Philadelphia Shortsuited

The map shows all the cities in the U.S. which have television and indicates how many channels and stations have been allotted to each city. (That should help you do a burn when you note how Philadelphia has been short- suited when it comes to station allocations. Compare with Los Angeles, Washington, Chicago, New York!)

Next, the map indicates the existing cable links and shows how the network of cities are intertwined and interconnected. Note the fact that outlying cities such as Phoenix, Arizona; Seattle, Washington, and Albuquer-. que, New Mexico are not connected, which means that these cities must depend completely upon locally originated shows, film and kinescoped shows for their programming.

There’s a brighter outlook for Miami, Florida; New Orleans, La.; Tulsa and Oklahoma City, Okla.; Ft. Worth, Dallas, San Antonio and Houston, Texas; in that micro-wave relays and cables are being constructed which will bring them regular network programming by 1952.

East Way Ahead

Another point illustrated by the map is seen at a glance. That is how far ahead in television progress the east is, as compared to the middle west and west.

But of course, the big point of the map is that linkage route between Omaha and San Francisco which nakes even more wonderful the magic of TV. Maybe soon we’ll all get bored with it, but right now the fascination of witnessing occurrences originating in locations more than 3,000 miles away is our newest thriller.

MAP: Cable and Microwave Video Links between Cities. (1951) (larger version is quite interesting - press button)
1200x850 size available. to open in new window.

Dubbing in Those Every-Day Noises


• Sound effects on TV is a fascinating phase in itself!

Want to know what kind of a noise a unicorn makes? Ask the NBC Sound Effects Department. A unicorn is mythological, you say? That doesn’t bother Sound Effects.

Once a “Lights Out” television script called for the voice of a unicorn. A sound effects man telephoned the Museum of Natural History in New York (presumably because there is no museum of supernatural history) and was advised that, if a unicorn sounded like anything, it probably sounded something like a horse.

And so, a speeded-up recording of a horse whinny played through an echo chamber produced the proper mythological effect. At least, the director was satisfied.

That’s the way things work on sound effects. It’s a little screwy—but plenty fascinating too.

Strangely, many of the sounds made by the real thing, sound distorted on TV. And, many of the sounds which can be reproduced naturally are impractical for telecasting purposes.

For instance, which is easier and less expensive if you wanted the sound of water running out of a faucet? Would you actually run the plumbing to the sink on the set, or would you employ some simple sound effect? Naturally, the latter is the simpler, and when there is no stock sound effect for this purpose, a recording of the real thing works just as well.


There are oodles of acceptable stock sound effects for the screeching of brakes or the starting of cars. But, while the sound technicians will readily accept recorded train whistles, galloping horses, automobile motors, horns, and what have you, they say that recorded rain is never just right and so they always manufacture their own.

This “rain machine” looks as if it had been invented by Rube Goldberg and who knows—maybe it was! Anyway, with it they can get rain on every frequency. They can get rain like a hurricane, rain with a driving wind, just a plain summer shower, tropical rain, rain dripping from eaves, or what have you. The technicians like the fact that the rain machine gives them endless possibilities through which they can weave in their own part in the play.

Then too, any sound effects studio that’s worth its salt owns all kinds of doors, front, screen, prison, automobile, refrigerator and stove—to mention only a few of the working species.


Any sound in which the motion of water is an important factor is taken care of by another of their inventions which they call a “splash box.” With it, they can reproduce the sound of someone swimming (quickly or furtively), water lapping at the side of a pier, a rushing torrent . . . or even water running out of a faucet, that little cinch problem mentioned earlier.

Not all sound effects, however, are produced by gadgets and push buttons. Sometimes it takes just plain perspiration or elbow grease. Among such examples was the problem of reproducing the sound of someone running up and down stairs, or the sound of pumping from an old-fashioned hand pump. In each of these cases the sound technicians just worked themselves into a lather actually running up and down stairs out of range of the camera, or pumping.


The tricks of producing most of the sounds known to man have been presenting plenty of headaches to the men who make up the sound effects department of the radio and television stations. But as each new problem arises, more and more, know-how helps to make each subsequent problem that much easier.

There’s a specially interesting machine developed in the sound shops known as the “PARRET.” The initials stand for “Public Address Reverberation Resonance Echo Tape,” and the device, a small electronic nightmare that might easily be mistaken for a lie detector, is used to simulate the echoing of a public address system heard, let us say, at a baseball stadium. It’s all done with tape recordings, played out of synchronization.

PARRET, “Public Address Reverberation Resonance Echo Tape.”

As many sound effects men say of themselves: “You don’t have to be a nut to be a sound effects man, but a little insanity does help!”

Why a TV Show Costs So Much

• Talent costs are high but if also takes a heap of equipment and personnel for every show.

Do you have some idea of what it costs to put on some of our better television shows?

Have you ever wondered what the sponsor must fork out per week for the privilege of having you enjoy yourself while you take a look at his wares?


Has it occurred to you that it takes the sales of a terrific amount of toothpaste or cigarettes or candy bars in order to realize a profitable return on the TV advertising dollar?

Unquestionably, most of the advertising pays off on TV (otherwise they’d stop using the medium) but nonetheless sponsors do take a big gamble on costs before they can find out whether their TV shows can boost sales.

Taking some of the shows at random, here’s approximately the bills which sponsors get for a single show (in most cases excluding station time costs):

Your Show of Shows $40,000.
Texaco Star Theatre $40,000.
Philco Playhouse $23,000.
Celanese Theatre $35,000.
Stop The Music $16,000.
Whiteman Revue $12,000.
Langford-Ameche Show (5 shows a week total) $40,000.
Cosmopolitan Theatre $15,000.
Cavalcade of Stars $12,500.
Ellery Queen $12,500.
Frank Sinatra Show $40,000.
Red Skelton Show $23,500.

Of course, lots of that budgeted dollar in the show costs goes for time and the salary of the talent. But, there are other, costs of various kinds that escape the television viewer because he never sees them on his screen. These costs are only reflected in the polished perfection of a smoothly run show.

It takes a tremendous number of people with many kinds of specialties to run a television show. Take a place like CBS Television in New York, with approximately 1200 technical specialists. They have more than nine acres of floor space, 67 television cameras, 15,800 electron tubes, 550,000 square feet of scenery and backdrops. There are 14 studios for live shows, all located in Manhattan. Each has the latest in audio and video equipment.

There are rehearsal halls, viewing rooms, a film and exchange department, carpentry shop, paint, electrical and equipment maintenance shops, scenery design, storage, props and other auxiliary services listed as essentials. All of these services are at the command of the sponsor’s show—at a slight charge—and it takes a heap of services and equipment before the television show goes off the air.

The mention of a little word like “network” may not mean too much to the viewer, but when you’re picking up the checks on your television show it’s a costly little item.

Take the NBC television network, for instance, with 63 stations affiliated on the one web. Of course, few shows go out to all the stations, but footing the bills for just station time on the average weekly “network” show can be quite staggering.

Costs are still soaring on TV. Budgets for programs are on the uptrend and the simpler, lower-cost shows seem to have less and less of a chance.

That’s why the age of the participating advertiser is setting in on TV. Even with lots of money to spend, the costs of TV shows are too rich for many of the sponsor’s budgets.

There’s a general trend toward sharing the costs of an extravaganza among several sponsors. That way, sponsors are still affiliated with lavish shows on a share-the-cost basis.

And so, next time you watch TV and they seem overly anxious to sell their merchandise with a too-strong or too-long commercial . . . have a heart televiewers! They’re paying for that privilege—but through the nose!

TELEVISION WONDERLAND: Artist’s diagram of NBC’s famous Studio 8-H, recently rebuilt at a cost of $1 million into the world’s most modern sight-and-sound broadcasting chamber.

A city block long and three stories high, the diagram tells its own story of the fabulous talent, personnel and equipment costs behind most TV shows.

Why Some Favorite Shows Disappear


• Simple explanations of some everyday events on television.

Old Mother Peevey
Went to her Teevee
To tune in her favorite show.
But though she channel hopped
Her show had been dropped
To her that was quite a blow!

Any resemblance between the above and the well known Nursery Rhyme is purely intentional. What happened to Old Mother Peevey probably has happened to most televiewers and many TV fans have frequently wondered why their favorite shows drop out of sight, never to return.

That has happened to a number of shows. It probably will go on happening to more shows, so let’s look into some of the reasons why some of your favorite shows disappear.

Primary reason certain shows are dropped is a most simple one. Contracts are continually expiring. Sponsors, for one of many reasons, may not care to renew.


Possibly there’s a scarcity of the product he’s selling and he isn’t looking for more business. Perhaps he feels another kind of show will do a better job with his product.

Could be, the star is asking for a considerable hike in pay and the sponsor doesn’t think he’s worth it.

Anyway, for any one of these usual reasons (and sometimes for an unusual one) the sponsor won’t decorate a contract with his John Hancock when it’s time to renew.

By far the biggest reason for a show dropping is that it has racked up a poor rating. Let’s face it! Many a rugged individualist has fastened on a certain show as his absolute favorite only to discover that he can find few other people who feel about it as ardently as he. Well, rating surveys discover that all too quickly and so does the sponsor.


Naturally, ratings bother the sponsor. He doesn’t feel too happy about paying $10,000 for a show that gets a rating of 7.1 when another sponsor’s show consistently pulls 23.9 and costs him $3,500. That means one advertiser is paying three times as much for less than one-third the audience another advertiser gets.

Then again, sometimes a sponsor will discover that even though his television show has a high rating and tremendous audience, it still isn’t pulling in sales for his product. It’s true, this happens rarely, but it happens. They lie awake nights trying to figure out WHY it happens but thus far no luck. There may be some simple solution such as one sponsor’s PRODUCT might be better than another’s but who’s to dally with such every-day thoughts?


Sometimes, thank goodness, that favorite show of yours might disappear only for a short period and then come back. Periodic but sustained charity campaigns, public service programs, special event programs, elections and similar programs of local importance often break into major network programs.


As happened recently, for instance, Daniel A. Poling, Republican candidate for Mayor, was campaigning on TV during the last half-hour of the Frank Sinatra Show. Obviously, Sinatra fans could not expect to view the whole hour of the show until after elections.

Finally, shows will disappear because there’s a certain amount of friction and feuding—just as in any other business.

Stars might quit because they’re on the ascendancy and the sponsor won’t recognize it and kick in with a raise.

Entire shows are dropped because of lack of coordination between the stars and producers and directors.

All in all, we’ve given the major reasons for a show disappearing from sight and which probably account for more than 99% of the shows lost to TV.

But don’t think because we can list all these reasons, we can tell specifically why any one show or individual has been dropped. Usually the reason is veiled in all kinds of secrecy.

If, for instance, a star quits because he doesn’t get a raise, don’t think that fact is advertised. The star keeps mum because he doesn’t want anybody to know that his boss didn’t think he rated a raise and the boss doesn’t let the story out because he doesn’t want anyone to think that he was too cheap to give him one!


Is the TV Center Moving to Hollywood?

• New York City’s assets as a TV capital are being weighed against advantages of west coast.

Since the coast to coast television linkage started operating, we’ve been witnessing a minor trek across the country on the origin of television shows.

Eddie Cantor, Ed Wynn, Danny Thomas, Jack Benny and others have made the switch to west coast origination. Others are due.

But does this mean that the television center is moving to Hollywood?

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of such a switch—whether gradual or otherwise—and see whether Hollywood really has a chance of becoming the television capital of America.

Hollywood Has Many Assets

Unquestionably Hollywood has lots to offer. If we were to search the world over, we couldn’t find better movie know-how. It has more than ample studio space to take care of much of television’s needs, a position into which it was thrown by an over-expanded movie industry.

It has excellent climate—or at least, much better year-round weather conditions than New York.

And . . . looking at the never-ending stream of talent flowing into TV . . . it’s natural resources include movie stars and popular personalities—but galore!

On the debit side, programs emanating from Hollywood would cost more since union scales for talent and technicians are considerably higher on the West coast. Also, the same stars which simply abound out in Hollywood are mostly tied down to strict contract clauses which forbid television appearances.

Another big disadvantage is the fact that nearly all of the leading television shows are handled by big advertising agencies which have been over a long period of time solidly established in New York City. The fact that these organizations might have to maintain large staffs in both the east and west, with some of its personnel constantly on the move between the east and west coasts, presents a huge obstacle.


Film Technique Improving

Those who believe Hollywood can take over television any time it wants to—and there are many who think exactly that—point to the vast progress filming is making from the standpoint of clarity techniques.

They also indicate that such shows as Amos ‘n’ Andy, the Stu Erwin Show, Racket Squad, Fireside Theater, Beulah and others, have worked out successfully both for the viewer and the sponsor. They believe filming is the ONLY sensible way of producing a TV show!

On the other hand, there is another school of thought, headed by those who believe only in the spontaneity and superior visuals of the “live" show. While the average viewer is not involved in this academically, most viewers instinctively and naturally prefer the clearer picture afforded in the “live” show.

Little Difference To Viewer

For the viewer, there will be little difference should there be a switch of television centers. Whenever a favorite show does head for west-coast origination, there would be little or no change in the quality of the show or the excellence of the reception.

Behind the scenes of the television industry, however, the possible change of TV centers is more than’ just idle speculation.

Many thousands of jobs are at stake. Millions of dollars in television program budgets and payroll could be lost if the change takes place. Established careers of the lesser lights in TV could go by the wayside if there’s an upheaval in America’s present day television capital.

It is difficult to visualize the withering away of a television empire such as has been built in New York City. So much in talent, time and in huge sums of money have been invested that one cannot see how this progress can change to retrogression.

Yet, idle time, talent and studios has begun to set in, out in Hollywood. To many of the smaller production studios out Hollywood way, the ability to hop on the TV bandwagon has come as a life-saver.

Three years ago, when a movie studio started to produce pictures expressly for TV, that studio was looked upon as either a renegade, or the company was suspected to be in financial difficulties. Today, about half the studios in Hollywood wouldn’t mind jumping into TV, if given the chance.


New York Solidly Established

We think the television center will remain in New York, right where it is presently and solidly established. True, a certain portion of television programming will move westward, but it’s going to take dynamite to blast away a major portion of New York’s television holdings.

The reason? No one likes to break up a winning combination and New York has been just that to television progress.

Further, while Hollywood has been able to demonstrate its film know-how, New York is still way out in front when it comes to putting on a TV show. Until Hollywood can wrest that superiority from its east coast rival, it’ll come off second best.

The TV Jeebies


• A glossary of humorous TV Terms from the book written by PAUL RITTS, illustrated by DICK STROME.

Tally Lights
Little red lights mounted on the cameras to show the performers which camera is on the air at any particular time. Now you know what makes their necks swivel like that!

A special television set that shows the performer what he looks like while on the air. This will explain those sly, admiring glances to the side which you have no doubt noticed.

Image Orthicon
The main tube in a television camera on which the picture is focused. They cost in the neighborhood of $1,800. If a technician drops one, he merely puts on his hat and walks quietly through the nearest exit.

A revolving gizmo on the front of the TV camera with four lenses mounted in it for close-ups, medium shots and wide ones. There is a 50 millimeter lens, sometimes called a “two inch”; a 90 millimeter, called a “four inch lens,” which it really isn’t; a 136 millimeter, often referred to as a “six incher,” though it isn’t that long; an 8 inch lens which is really 8½ inches; and sometimes a 13 inch lens that . . . Oh, well, skip it.

TV Jeebies
Occupational disease that attacks directors. May occur before—during or after a show—usually sponsored. Symptoms—empty feeling in pit of stomach, vibration of the knees and ringing in the head. The ringing is usually the sponsor calling for a meeting in which the director will be required to explain why he is living.

A SINGING BEAUTY. Edythe Adams, the attractive vocalist on Ernie in Kovacsland (WPTZ Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7 P.M.) has found time to do some night club work locally between shows.

Selected Miss U. S. Television earlier this year, the 21-year-old songstress currently is making her nitery debut at the Celebrity Room.

What Color TV May Mean to You

Q. Should I wait to buy a color set

A. Some people are waiting because of the reported price on the color sets ($399.95 to $499.95 retail for the ten inch screen models which can be magnified to 12-inch size). Still others aren’t waiting because it will be a long time before enough color programming is telecast to make it worthwhile to have a color set.


A. In order to receive CBS color programs on your present set, one or two of three new devices must, be. added:
1. An adapter to receive the color signal in black and white.
2. A converter, which must be added to the adapter if you are to receive the picture in color.
8. Or (this is the alternate to 1 and 2) a “slave unit”—a separate cabinet housing a separate picture tube, adapter unit, etc., which can be placed beside or on top of your present TV set. Total price of adapter and converter has been estimated at between $100 and $150. The “slave unit” would be much higher.


A. Yes. For the time being the sets being manufactured will probably be confined to 12-inch screens or under. But, large size color projection pictures have been demonstrated and a 17-inch direct view picture set is now under active development.


A. Channel 10, the CBS Philadelphia affiliate station, at present is telecasting about 10 hours weekly, most of which can only be seen at the station itself. By fall CBS expects to average about three hours a day of color telecasting. It is improbable, however, that color telecasting time will be in preferred hours such as 7:00 to 11:00 P.M., for a long time to come.


A. The time when there’ll be more color telecasting than black-and-white is many, many years away—if it’s coming at all.

Our personal beliefs concerning color, TV rank it with strong innovations like automatic gearshifts in cars for instance.

Some will insist on having the last word in color TV. Others won’t care and will stick to black and white. Still others, when they’re in the market for a new set, won’t bother to pay the added tariff for color, if it’s available on the new set.

Just as with automatic shifts, plenty of manufacturers won’t bother about including it—or even making it optional—with new sets. And, just like all those cars’ which are shifted by hand—there’s plenty. of mileage left in your present TV set.

Now You Can Eliminate T.V. Interference For Good. Pix-Fix, electronically perfected device to block out interference BEFORE it reaches picture tube!

Especially effective for fringe or poor-reception areas. Ready to install-in-jiffy on arrival. $2.95 plus 5¢ Post. Electronic Designs, Inc., 28 School St. (GB-4), Yonkers, N. Y. Attach $3 to this ad or sent C.O.D.

The Color TV Bubble Has Burst

A defense order has shelved color’ television, and it looks as though all those prospective buyers who have been waiting for a color television set have been waiting in vain. Just when we can start thinking about the subject of color television again is at this point unpredictable.

While the order of mobilization director Charles B. Wilson called for the stopping of all color set production and programming “in the national interest . . . and for the duration of the emergency,” there are many who doubt that the measure itself was the only thing which has delayed the production of color television.

Bluntly, this is about the best thing that could have happened to the television public. The color system which was about to be sold was still really in the laboratory stage and would have created something of a chaotic situation.

As Mort Farr, well known television dealer, stated:

“You’d need an engineer standing by to keep one of the new color sets in operation. They just aren’t ready and we would have had a most difficult situation on our hands trying to service such sets. Frankly, if a customer wanted to buy a yearly service policy on a color set from me I just wouldn’t know what to charge—unless it would be a service man’s pay for a year!”

All over the country, those who originally fought against the CBS color system are indulging in some mass “I-told-you-so’s.” Of all these, the most amusing was Dr. Allen B. DuMont’s who asserted:

“They should make CBS make those sets. They would lose their shirts, as I always said they would!"

While we shared the general feeling that color TV was not ready for commercialization, we can see nothing constructive in belaboring the point. We’re just as pleased that the television public hasn’t had a chance to get hurt and can let it go at that.

In any case, if you are among those who have been waiting for color for your new television set, there’s no point in waiting any longer. It was estimated that 50,000 color sets would have been sold to the public during 1951, but Mr. Wilson’s order changed all that.

In addition, it changes a lot more of the color television outlook.

Before the color ban is off, new color TV systems may be invented, or those in development perfected. Despite the fact that only CBS has been authorized to make color television sets, this could mean that the old color controversy could start up again and drag out for years, just as it did before the CBS color system was decided upon.

While the ban on both color TV set manufacture and color telecasting is supposed to be for the duration, Britishers summed it up pretty nicely after World War II when they said:

“The duration is a lot longer than the war.”

We think the industry needs those years to do lots more perfecting, to take color TV out of the experimental stage and into the sure-fire idea that is simple to operate, lots more foolproof, and easy to service just in case occasional servicing is needed.

We believe that the whole CBS color system did no harm—and actually did a lot of good in the intensification of color research. We believe also, that the CBS color system has as much chance as some of the others still trying to perfect new systems.

Our condolences however, to those who waited for color TV for so long. You’ve missed, lots of happy evenings and many enjoyable hours with television. Our advice now—as it always was—is to go out and buy the biggest and best TV set you can afford!

Since there’ll be an upswing in black-and-white TV set buying, now that the color bubble has burst, look for the first of a series of “TV Set Surveys,” beginning next week in TV Digest.

TV Set Survey


Philco television sets feature a “balanced beam” picture, a slogan which comes through with all of its claims. The balanced beam feature makes possible a uniform, sharp focus and intensity in every part of the screen—a great improvement over the large screen sets of yesteryear in which a picture which was fuzzy at the edges was more or less commonplace.

Another excellent feature of the new Philco is its exceptional tuner. The “heart” of any television set, it is this critical part of the circuit that amplifies and converts the signal. The tuner is of superior sensitivity, permitting a cleaner, sharper picture in local areas.

In fringe reception areas, this asset is of even greater importance. “Snow” and other such extraneous imagery is sharply reduced and conditions in localities where reception formerly was a mere blur were markedly improved with the use of a Philco.

Divides Video And Power

A successful achievement in the Philco is the duplex chassis, which divides into two sections the video unit and power unit. This feature is a safeguard for the buyer. It halves the fields of required specialties for service while introducing greater quality and dependability.

Other strong points about the Philco include its tunable antenna (for those who use an indoor antenna) and the many handsome cabinet stylings. Cabinets also have high-quality construction and are well-designed with regard to authenticity of furniture traditions.

While the actual telecasting of UHF is still in the indefinite future, Philcos offer a simple, yet most efficient provision for UHF. All sets are designed to be readily adaptable to the UHF Tuner, which is quickly and easily installed and becomes an integral part of the set itself, inside the cabinet.

(Philco Television Ad)


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You Too Can Be in TV!

There are a number of opportunities for making TV your life work. Here are just a few:

It takes much more than entertainers to put on a TV show and if you’ve wondered about TV as a career there are many more ways of making TV your life work than you think.

Even at a telecast where there’s only one person on your screen there’s quite a staff at work behind-scenes. In the control room, for instance three men at the panel controls sit in complete concentration on their monitor. Scripts written by station writers lay before them. In the center sits the TV director, flanked on either side by a technical director and a video engineer, A girl sits behind the director making copious notes in a sheaf of script.

TV CAREERS: Director and his assistant.

This staff at the controls directs the activities in the studio as well as check the quality of the picture you receive.

The control room is the nerve center of the TV studio and its personnel works as a team. The men at the controls, the video engineer and sound engineer have special education and experience. They also must have special first class Radio-Telephone-Technician licenses issued by the FCC, which qualifies them to work with the pieces of apparatus which surround them.

Qualifications of a director stress an all-round knowledge and experience with both the technical and studio phases of TV. The girl taking notes has had some stenographic and secretarial training which has been augmented by knowledge of TV practices, usually gained on the job.

Now let us take a peek into the studio itself. With one person seen on your screen, others in the studio include cameramen, mike men, dolly pushers, and stage hands.

Some cameramen are trained on the job; others are hired after they were graduated from special schools. Philadelphia is fortunate in having the state’s only TV production school (the Theatre Arts Institute) where training is given for many of the specialized TV jobs.

TV CAREERS: A cameraman rides a boom-type camera.

Usually the “dolly pusher” (he moves the platform on which the camera is placed) is an apprentice with ambitious ideas about his television future and many a TV director has come up through this route. In one Philadelphia station, seven out of their nine directors were former dolly pushers or “mike” men.

TV CAREERS: The men who move the giant camera crane.

The stagehands, along with other necessary TV employees such as scene designers, stage set makers, scene painters, carpenters and all kinds of other artisans or combinations of craftsmen, used their special trades as a bridge into TV as a career.

You can make a career in TV that way too, in any one of the abilities which television needs in order to function. It needs script writers, typists, clerical help. TV needs unskilled labor in many brackets. It also needs costumers, property men, salesmen, as well as people who are announcers, actors, or entertainers.

It isn’t being suggested that you can find a job in TV easily just because you may have some of the talents mentioned. It is indicated, however, that if getting into TV means a great deal to you, there are ways of doing it other than trying to get on an amateur show.

Many of the top executives in TV today were doing the “dog work” yesterday. Not so far off, when the freeze on new station allocations is lifted and thousands of new television stations are put into operation, the men and women doing the routine work and piling up lots of TV know-how today will be in an admirable position to step into the TV executive positions of tomorrow.

TV CAREERS: The floor manager is ready to give out with a cue.
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