Early Television
Early Television
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Early Television Stations

W1WX / W1XAV / W1XG - Boston

W1WX was Boston's first television (after W1XAY). It began broadcasting in April of 1929, and was owned by Shortwave and Television Laboratory, Inc. Initially it broadcast on 2120 kHz with 100 watts of power. It broadcast 48 line pictures, 15 frames per second. In September of 1930 it moved to 2.1-2.2 mHz, with 500 watts of power, and changed to 60 lines, 20 frames per second. In December of the same year it changed its call sign to W1XAV. Mechanical broadcasting continued until 1934, when the station went off the air.

Shortwave and Television Laboratory, Inc., was founded by A. M. "Vic" Morgan, Butler Perry, and Hollis Baird.

In 1930 W1XAV Boston broadcast a video portion of a CBS Radio orchestra program, The Fox Trappers,  sponsored by I. J. Fox Furriers. Included was what may have been the first television commercial. FRC (Federal Radio Commission, now the FCC) regulations prohibited commercials on television, since all stations were at that time experimental.

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In April of 1934 Shortwave and Television was bought by General Television Corp. and in August the Federal Radio Commission authorized General Television to operate an experimental visual broadcasting station W1XG. At that time, Baird, utilizing his own manufactured iconoscopes, was televising images consisting of 120 lines, expecting to move up to 180 and finally 240 lines.

In February of 1935, Baird informed the FRC, in an application for license renewal, that they were then transmitting 180 line pictures at 60 frames per second.  He further explained that plans were underway to increase this to 360 lines with interlaced scanning. He now believed that 360 lines would be adequate for satisfactory home television.

By early 1936, Baird had built an electronic sync generator and was transmitting 240 line pictures at 24 per second. Plans were afoot to go to 343 lines, interlaced, by the middle of 1936. They were applying to transmit on 44 MHz with a 4 MHz bandwidth, including the sound channel. Later that year, a report indicates that their antenna was presently 115 feet above sea level, which they wanted to increase to 250 feet.

The station operated until 1941 as an experimental station, but never received commercial status.

Early Television

November, 1938

Hollis Semple Baird – Bringing Electronic TV to Boston (courtesy of AWA Journal and Richard Brewster)
An Interview with Howard C. Lawrence, Television Engineer (courtesy of AWA Journal and Richard Brewster)