Early Television Stations
W2XWV/WABD - New York
DuMont's first New York area station was W2XVT in Passaic, New Jersey. In April 1940 a construction permit was received for W2XWV, located in Manhattan. This station later became WABD, and then WNEW. Here are program schedules and an article in QST Magazine.
Radio & Television, July 1941
By T. R. KENNEDY JR.
Good news for television fanciers was forthcoming here during the past week. The Du Mont teleview outfit in the high building at Fifty-third Street and Madison Avenue, revamped and refurbished during the past summer, is ready to go on the air regularly with three programs weekly. A new "doughnut" video antenna has been installed atop the 130-foot steel mast that sprouts upwards from the building's top. The result is that Du Mont's signals are seen and heard with "exceptional" clarity within a 50 mile radius about the transmitter.
Reports of "good" reception are being received from points as distant as Philadelphia, Camden and Merchantsville, N. J. (suburb of Camden) and Wurtsboro, N.Y. (eighty miles northwest of Manhattan). The engineers are enthusiastic; such results were hardly to be expected considering the moderate height of the aerial - 635 feet - and that the optical horizon projected from the top of it is only about thirty miles from the station.
Height Is Important
Antennas and antenna height have a lot to do with the distribution of teleview signals. A previous system employed had been unsatisfactory over parts of Brooklyn, northeastern Manhattan and northern New Jersey. The new doughnut, however, is said to indicate an even video-sound coverage outward to the fifty-mile radius, with somewhat spotty results beyond. Tests are being carried on to determine maximum distances.
Du Mont programs, beginning tonight, will be on the air regularly Sundays, Tuesdays, and Wednesday from 8:30 to 10 P.M. on channel 4. There will be test patterns to aid in tuning programs, followed by various studio variety presentations and films. Samuel H. Cuff, news commentator, will be in charge. For the time being W2XWV will get along with its present small studio, but a larger one is being planned "somewhere in Manhattan." It is to include the best in convenience, lighting, and general operational facilities.
Operating a modern television station is a big problem anytime, but a far greater one under wartime materials and manpower shortages, according to engineer W. J. Swenson. Consider that to go on the air W2XWV uses 1,028 vacuum tubes of all types, 28 of them cathode ray tubes for monitoring the video signal. They are mounted in twenty or more six foot steel cases that bristle with glowing lights, meters, and knobs. Not a single piece of the equipment - all of it was made in Allen B. Du Mont's Passaic factory - is allowed to operate at less than 100 percent efficiency lest image or sound suffer in quality, or the extent of coverage shrink. When films are used additional equipment must be turned on and brought into electrical synchronization. Although the station normally radiates only about 2,000 watts of aerial power, 50 to 60 kilowatts (50,000 to 60,000 watts) of electrical power are continuously consumed from city power mains.
Courtesy of Steve Dichter
Musical extravaganza "Boys from Boise" - 1944
Clare Luce in "Miracle at Blaise" - 1944