The beginnings of television | Return
The other day I was shooting the TV channels and I came across a promo that looked good. Gee, I’m going to have to watch this, I thought. “I wonder what station it will be on?” “
In the end, it will be on Apple Prime and I will be out of luck. I don’t have a Smart TV and I don’t like to watch shows on my computer. I have noticed more and more that there are many interesting programs available on streaming services like Hulu and Netflix. Why can’t they be on the History Channel… or A&E… or NBC… or Discovery?
It makes a dinosaur like me dream back in the days when all the shows were on my cable channels or – going even further back – when the TV started and we had antennas on the roof and a handful of channels. We didn’t know anything different back then and, blown away by the new technology, we were happy with everything that was playing.
Let’s take a little trip back in time.
The first mention of television that I could find in our newspapers was in July 1949, when the Hoad-Powers Music Co., 113 N. Seventh St., invited the public to watch a WOW-TV program in Omaha. . “The bad weather in Omaha made much of the show look like a snowstorm,” said the News-Press reported.
But television didn’t really take off here until September 27, 1953, when KFEQ-TV and KCMO-TV in Kansas City aired. To honor the occasion, the News-Press posted a special 18 page section full of interesting announcements and stories.
Some of the headlines: “The room doesn’t have to be dark to watch TV,” “Your TV may need adjusting,” “The TV label,” “The appearance of the TV cabinet is important ”and“ Some tuning rules ”.
Civility and good manners were the order of the day. “TV Etiquette” asked the question: “Do you have to introduce strangers on a TV show?” The answer: “No, the presentations must wait until the end of the show so as not to disturb the other guests. “
A glance through the ads showed TVs priced from $ 199 to $ 450. Alberts promoted the Admiral and Motorola brands, and Philco and RCA Victor were sold at Eshelman. Even Herman’s Drug Store on Seventh and Edmond Streets mingled with the act, offering a range of General Electric sets.
A year later, our television news lists the daily programs of KFEQ, channel 2; WDAF, channel 4; KCMO, channel 5; and KMBC, channel 9. Programming started at 5:00 pm and ended at 11:30 pm (Remember the night test models?) The shows included “Dragnet”, “Death Valley Days”, “Life of Riley ”and“ The Lone Ranger. “
This remained the basic channel lineup until December 1965, when a 500 foot CATV tower was erected on Pickett Road, signaling the start of St. Joseph Cablevision.
Donald R. Eggebrecht, director of the local company, explained that the TV signals are received by the tower and distributed throughout the city by coaxial cable. “The cable is attached to existing telephone poles and from there to houses,” he added.
“It’s a way to bring perfect TV reception and extra channels to subscribers.”
Over time, more and more channels have joined the lineup. At the turn of the century, we reported: “St. Joseph Cablevision now offers 45 basic channels, a family package of 12 channels, nine premium channels and three pay-per-view networks.
Meanwhile, satellite TV has arrived, providing an alternative. Which system is the best? This question, asked 20 years ago, is still debated today.
Anyway, we are far from the first days. Look at all the choices we have. If you don’t like a system, you can always change it.
Maybe those rooftop antennas weren’t that great after all.