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Postwar Broadcasting

Kinescope Recording

In September 1947, Eastman Kodak introduced the Eastman Television Recording Camera, in cooperation with DuMont and NBC, for recording images from a television screen under the trademark "Kinephoto". Prior to the introduction of videotape in 1956, kinescopes were the only way to record television broadcasts, or to distribute network television programs that were broadcast live from New York or other originating cities, to stations not connected to the network, or to stations that wished to show a program at a different time than the network broadcast. Although the quality was less than desirable, television programs of all types from prestigious dramas to regular news shows were handled in this manner.

NBC, CBS, and DuMont set up their main kinescope recording facilities in New York City, while ABC chose Chicago. By 1951, NBC and CBS were each shipping out some 1,000 16mm kinescope prints each week to their affiliates across the United States, and by 1955 that number had increased to 2,500 per week for CBS. By 1954 the television industry’s film consumption surpassed that of all of the Hollywood studios combined.

In 1953, General Precision Laboratories introduced its kinescope system.