List of experimental television stations

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This page is a list of the experimental television stations before 1946. After 1945 (in the United States) the television frequencies were opened up to commercialization and regular broadcasts began. Regular broadcast television start dates vary widely by country; in many regions, initial broadcast video deployment was delayed due to mobilisation for World War II.

(Note: The listing of current broadcast channels for these stations is not up-to-date as many low-VHF stations have moved to UHF frequencies as a result of digital television transition. This is less of an issue in the United Kingdom because of its all-UHF system, but most early US broadcasters were on affected channels before analogue shutdown. Very few full-service North American broadcasters remain on physical channels VHF 2-6 digitally due to impulse noise problems and strict limits on maximum transmitted power at these frequencies.)

HD Television.svg This television-related list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.


Television stations, as of 1928[edit]


Television stations, as of 1928


United States of America

Television
Call-sign
(Original)
Television
Call-sign
(Current)
City or location Owner Transmitter antenna height Television frequency Television channel (current) On air Off air Disk holes or lines Frame rate (frame/s) Original broadcast system Current broadcast system
WGY WRGB-TV Schenectady, NY General Electric 380 m 790 kHz Channel 6 (VHF) May 10, 1928 Present 48 Unknown Mechanical television ATSC
WRNY None New York City Experimenter Publishing 326 m 920 kHz None August 13, 1928 1929 48 7.5 Mechanical television None
2XAL None New York City Experimenter Publishing (with WRNY), 30.91 9700 kHz None August 13, 1928 1929 48 7.5 Mechanical television None
3XK None Washington, DC Charles Jenkins Laboratories 46.7 m 1605 kHz None July 2, 1928 1932 (1934?) 48 Unknown Mechanical television None
WOR WWOR-TV Secaucus, NJ formerly New York City Bamberger Broadcasting (from WOR-AM) 405 m 740 kHz Channel 9 (VHF) Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Mechanical television ATSC
KDKA KDKA-TV Pittsburgh, PA Westinghouse Electric Company 62.5 m 4798 kHz Channel 2 VHF Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Mechanical television ATSC
1XAY None Lexington, MA WLEX-AM 51–62 m 1900 to 4700 kHz Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Mechanical television None
4XA None Memphis, TN WSM-AM 120–125 m 2500–2100 kHz Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Mechanical television None
9XAA
(short-wave station of
WCFL, officially W9XAA)
None Chicago, IL WCFL-AM/Chicago Federation of Labor 61.25 m[1] 4800 kHz Unknown June 19, 1928[2] 1937[3] 48[1] 15[1] Mechanical television None

Television stations, as of December, 1928


United States of America

Television
Call-sign
(Original)
Television
Call-sign
(Current)
City or location Owner Transmitter antenna height (m) Television frequency Television channel (current) On air Off air Disk holes or lines frame rate (frame/s) Original broadcast system Current broadcast system
WGY WRGB-TV Schenectady, NY General Electric 380 m 379.5 MHz Channel 6 (VHF) 1928 Still On Air 24 21 Mechanical Television ATSC
2XAF (Upgrade of WGY) WRGB-TV Schenectady, NY General Electric 380 m 31.4 MHz Channel 6 (VHF) 1928 Still On Air 24 21 Mechanical Television ATSC
2XAD (upgrade of W2XAF above) WRGB-TV Schenectady, NY General Electric Channel 6 (VHF) 21.96 MHz Channel 6 (VHF) 1928 Still On Air 24 21 Mechanical Television ATSC
WRNY None New York City Experimenter Publishing 326 m 920 kHz None August 13, 1928 1929 48 7.5 Mechanical television None
2XAL None New York City Experimenter Publishing (with WRNY), 30.91 9700 kHz None August 13, 1928 1929 48 7.5 Mechanical television None
3XK None Washington, DC Charles Jenkins Laboratories Unknown 46.72 MHz None July 2, 1928 1932 (1934?) 48 15 Mechanical television None
W9XAA WCFL None Chicago, IL Chicago Federation of Labor 61.25 m[1] 61.5 MHz Unknown June 19, 1928[2] 1937[3] 45[1] 15[1] Mechanical television None
WKBI-TV None Chicago, IL Unknown  ? 215.7 MHz  ?  ?  ? 48 15 Mechanical television None
WIBO-lost
license
May 15, 1933[2]
AKA W9XAO[4]
None Chicago, IL Western Television (Sanabria)[4]  ? 305.9 MHz  ? Summer 1929[5] 1933[2] 45[5] 15[5] Mechanical television None
KGFJ None Los Angeles  ?  ? 212.6 MHz  ?  ?  ? 48 -- Mechanical television None
WLBX None Lexington, MA  ?  ? 62.5 MHz  ?  ?  ? 48 -- Mechanical television None

Television stations, from 1928 to 1939[edit]

Television stations, from 1928 to 1939


United States of America

Television
Call-sign
(Original)
Television
Call-sign
(Current)
City or location Owner Television frequency Television channel (current) On air Off air Disk holes or lines frame rate (frame/s) Original broadcast system Current broadcast system
W9XZV None Chicago, IL Zenith 2.1-2.2 MHz, later Channel 2 None 1939, with a later Zenith experimental station in 1951 1953?  ?  ? Electronic television None
W1WX (later became W1XAV) None Boston, Massachusetts SW and Television (Hollis Baird) 2120 kHz None April 1929 (became W1XAV in December 1929) 1931 48 (and later, 60 lines) 15 Mechanical Television None
W1XAV None Boston, MA SW and Television (Hollis Baird) 2.1-2.2 MHz None 1930 1931 48 15 Mechanical television None
W1XAV None Boston, MA Unknown 2.1-2.2 MHz SW and Television (Hollis Baird) 1931 1934 60 20 Mechanical television None
W1XAY None Lexington, MA Boston Post, WLEX 2.0-2.1 MHz None 1928 1930 48 18 Mechanical Television None
W2XB/WGY/W2XAF/W2XAD WRGB Schenectady, NY General Electric 2.1-2.2 MHz VHF 6 1928  ? 48 20 Mechanical television ATSC
W2XCR None New York, NY Charles Jenkins Laboratories 2.75-2.85 MHz None 1929 1931 48 15 Mechanical Television None
W2XCR None New York, NY Charles Jenkins Laboratories 2.75-2.85 MHz None 1931 1933 60 20 Mechanical Television None
W2XBS WNBC-TV New York, NY RCA 2.0-2.1 MHz Channel 4 (VHF) 1928 1929 60? 20? Mechanical television ATSC
W2XBS WNBC-TV New York, NY RCA 2.75-2.85 MHz Channel 4 (VHF) 1928 1929 60 20 Mechanical television ATSC
W2XAB WCBS-TV New York, NY CBS 2.1-2.2 MHz Channel 2 1931 1933 60 20 Mechanical television ATSC
WRNY None New York, NY Unknown 1010 kHz None 1928 1929 36  ? Mechanical Television None
WRNY None New York, NY Unknown 1010 kHz None 1928  ? 48 10 Mechanical television None
W2XR None Long Island City, NY Hogan's Radio Pictures 2.85-2.95 MHz None March 26, 1929 1934 60 20 Mechanical television None
W3XK None Wheaton, MD (Moved to Silver Spring, MD?) Charles Jenkins Laboratories 6420 kHz (6.42 MHz) None 1928 1931 48 15 Mechanical television None
W3XK None Washington, DC Charles Jenkins Laboratories 2.0-2.1 MHz None 1931 1934 60 20 Mechanical Television None
W9XX, later became W5XA None Shreveport, LA Rev. Lannie W. Stewart 1604 kHz None 1929 1934 45 15 Mechanical Television None
W5XA None Shreveport, LA Paul L. Carriger 1594 kHz (video on the 160-meter amateur band) None 1932 1934 45 15 Mechanical television None
W6XAH None Bakersfield, California Pioneer Mercantile Company 2000–2100 kHz, also simulcast on 1550 kHz in 1932 None January 6, 1932 1935 96 20 Mechanical television None
W9XR[6] None[7] Downers Grove, Illinois (Chicago)[6] Great Lakes Broadcasting/ National Broadcasting Company after 1931.[6][7][8] 2.85-2.95 mHz[6] None 1929[6] 1933[7] 24[6] 15[6] Mechanical television[6] None[6]

Television stations, from 1928 to 1939


United States of America and Canada

Television
Call-sign
(Original)
Television
Call-sign
(Current)
City or location Owner Television frequency Television channel (current) On air Off air Disk holes or lines frame rate (frame/s) Original broadcast system Current broadcast system
KGFJ None Los Angeles, CA Unknown  ?  ? 1928  ? 48  ? Mechanical television None
W3XAD None Camden, New Jersey RCA 124 MHz to 130 MHz Channel 5 July 1930 Became W3XEP 525 30 Unknown None
W6XS None Los Angeles, CA Don Lee Broadcasting 2.1-2.2 MHz  ? 1931 1935 80 20 Mechanical Television None
W6XAO KCBS-TV Los Angeles, CA Don Lee Broadcasing 44.5 MHz (44-50 MHz, Channel 1) Channel 2 December 23, 1931 1936 80 20 Mechanical Television ATSC
W7XAO None Portland, OR Wilbur Jerman 2.75-2.85 MHz  ? 1929  ? Unknown Unknown Mechanical Television None
W9XAA, WCFL None Chicago, IL Chicago Federation of Labor 2.0-2.1 MHz None June 19, 1928[2] 1937[3] 45[1] 15[1] Mechanical Television None
WIBO-lost
license
May 15, 1933[2]
AKA W9XAO[4]
None Chicago, IL Western Television (Sanabria)[4]  ?  ? Summer 1929[5] 1933[2] 45[5] 15[5] Mechanical Television None
W9XAK  ? Manhattan, KS Kansas State College 2.1-2.2 MHz  ? 1932 1939 60 20 Mechanical Television None?
W9XAL Unknown Kansas City, MO First National Television 2.1-2.2 MHz  ? 1933 1935 45 15 Mechanical Television None?
W9XAO[4] None Chicago, IL Western Television (Sanabria)[4] 2.0-2.1 MHz  ? Summer 1929[5] 1933[2] 45[5] 15[5] Mechanical Television None?
W9XAP WMAQ-TV[4] Chicago, IL Chicago Daily News/National Broadcasting Company(after 1 November 1931[9]) 2.1-2.2 MHz Channel 5 August 27, 1930[4] August 1933[4] 45 15 Mechanical Television ATSC
W9XAT Unknown Minneapolis, MN George Young, radio station WDGY 42-50 MHz, 60-86 MHz (Channel 1)  ? 1933 1938 125  ? Mechanical Television None?
W9XD WTMJ-TV Milwaukee, WI Milwaukee Journal  ?  ? 1931 (Transmitter used for Apex radio station W9XAZ in 1934) Experiments ended 1933; License deleted in 1938 45 15 Mechanical Television- Western
W9XG  ? Lafayette, IN Purdue University 2.75-2.85 MHz  ? 1931 1939 60 24 Mechanical Television  ?
W9XK/W9SUI "WSUI", W9XAZ  ? Iowa City, IA State University of Iowa 2.0-2.1 MHz  ? 1933 1939 45 15 Mechanical Television  ?
W9XUI  ? Iowa City, IA State University of Iowa 2.0-2.1 MHz,
later Channel 1,
then Channel 2
 ? 1933 1941 441 30 Mechanical Television  ?
W2XJT None Jamaica, New York Jamaica Radio Television Company Channel 3, then Channel 13 None 1940, moved to Ch. 13 in 1945 Unknown  ?  ? Mechanical Television None
VE9EC (also given as VE9AK[10]) None; TV returned in 1952 with CBFT Montreal, Quebec Peck Television Corp.
(Canadian Television Ltd.)
41 MHz None 1931 1935 60-150 Unknown Mechanical television VE9AK's calls were reassigned to CFRB-FM in 1938[11]

Television stations, from 1928 to 1939


Europe

Television
Call-sign
(Original)
Television
Call-sign
(Current)
City or location Owner Television frequency Television channel (current) On air Off air Disk holes or lines frame rate (frame/s) Original broadcast system Current broadcast system
Baird Television Ltd. via BBC transmitter 2LO Unknown London, England Baird Television Ltd. Unknown  ? September 30, 1929 June 1932 30 25 Mechanical television PAL/DVB-T?
Unknown (Possibly 2LO, as above?) BBC One London, England Baird Television Ltd.  ?  ? August 22, 1932 September 11, 1935 30 25 Mechanical television PAL
Fernsehsender Paul Nipkow Unknown Berlin, Germany Reichs-Rundfunk-Gesellschaft  ?  ? 1935 (tests started in 1929) 1944 180/441 beginning in 1937 25 Electronic television PAL?
Doświadczalna Stacja Telewizyjna TVP 1 Warsaw, Poland Polskie Radio Sp. Akc.  ? September 1937 (according to other sources regular broadcasts started in 1938) last week of August 1939 120 25 Mechanical television

Television stations, as of 1941[edit]

Television stations, as of 1941


United States of America

Television
Call-sign
(Original)
Television
Call-sign
(Current)
City or location Owner Television frequency Television channel (current) On air Off air Disk holes or lines frame rate (frame/s) Original broadcast system Current broadcast system
W1XG None Boston, Massachusetts General Television  ? Channel 1 Unknown Channel  ?  ? Unknown Mechanical television None
W2XVT (Becomes W2XWV in 1944) WNYW Passaic, New Jersey DuMont Channel 4 Channel 5 1938 Still On Air 525 30 Mechanical Television ATSC
W2XBS WNBC-TV New York, NY RCA, NBC Channel 1 Channel 4 1932 Still On Air 525 30 Mechanical Television ATSC
W2XAB WCBS-TV New York, NY CBS Channel 2 Channel 2 1931 Still On Air 525 30 Mechanical Television ATSC
W2XWV WNYW-TV New York, NY DuMont Channel 4 Channel 5 1938 Still On Air 525 30 Mechanical Television ATSC
W2XB WRGB Schenectady, NY General Electric Channel 3 Channel 6 1939 Still On Air 525 30 Mechanical Television ATSC
W3XWT WTTG Washington, DC DuMont Channel 1 Channel 5 1941 Still On Air 525 30 Mechanical Television ATSC
W3XNB WRC-TV Washington, DC NBC Channel 2 Channel 4 1939 Still On Air 525 30 Mechanical Television ATSC
W3XE KYW-TV Philadelphia, PA Philco Channel 3 Channel 3 1932 Still On Air 525 30 Mechanical Television ATSC
W3XEP None Camden, NJ RCA 42 MHZ-56 MHz and 50-86 MHz None 1931 1941? 525 30 Mechanical television None
W3XPF (Portable unit: W10XX) None? Philadelphia, PA Farnsworth Channel 3 Unknown 1937 Unknown 525 30 Mechanical Television Unknown
W3XPP Cancelled Permit, Now WCAU Philadelphia, PA NBC Channel 7 Channel 10 1939 Unknown None None Mechanical Television ATSC
W6XAO KCBS-TV Los Angeles, CA Don Lee Broadcasting Channel 1 Channel 2 1936 Still On Air 441, changed to 525 in late 1941 30 Mechanical Television ATSC
W6XYZ KTLA Los Angeles, CA Television Productions Channel 4 Channel 5 1942 Still On Air 525 30 Mechanical Television ATSC
W6XDL None San Francisco, CA Don Lee Broadcasting Channel 1 None 1941 Off-Air 525 30 Mechanical Television None
W8XCT WLWT-TV Cincinnati, OH Crosley Broadcasting Channel 1 Channel 5 1939 Still On Air 525 30 Mechanical Television ATSC
W9XV/W9XZV Became KS2XBS Chicago, IL Zenith Channel 1,
then CH 2
None 1939–1941, 1951-1953 as KS2XBS Off-Air 441, later 525 30 Electronic television None
W9XBK WBBM-TV Chicago, IL Balaban and Katz Channel 2 Channel 2 1940 Still On Air 525 30 Mechanical Television ATSC
W9XMJ Milwaukee, WI The Journal Co. Channel 3 1940 525 30
WMJT Milwaukee, WI The Journal Co. Channel 3 1941 CP returned in 1946 525 30

Television stations, from Jan. 3, 1945 to 1955[edit]

Television stations, from Jan. 3, 1945 to 1955


United States of America

Television
Call-sign
(Original)
Television
Call-sign
(Current)
City or location Owner Television frequency Television channel (current) On air Off air Disk holes or lines frame rate (frame/s) Original broadcast system Current broadcast system
W6XAO KTSL (Now KCBS-TV) Hollywood, California/Los Angeles, California Don Lee Broadcasting Channel 1 2.1 (UHF 43) 1931 Still On Air 525 30 Mechanical television Now ATSC
W6XHH None Los Angeles, CA Hughes Tool Company 2 None None None 525 30 Mechanical television None
W6XZY KTLA-TV Los Angeles, CA Television Productions, Inc. 4 5.1 (UHF 31) 1942 Still On Air 525 30 Mechanical television Now ATSC
KSEE None Los Angeles, CA Earl Anthony, Inc. 6 None Unknown off-air 525 30 Mechanical television None
W6XHT None San Francisco, CA Hughes Tool Company 2 None Unknown off-air 525 30 Mechanical television None
W3XWT WTTG Washington, DC DuMont Labs, Inc. Channel 1 5.1 (UHF 36) 1941 Still On Air 525 30 Mechanical television Now ATSC
WNBW WRC-TV Washington, DC NBC 2 4.1 (UHF 48) 1941 Still On Air 525 30 Mechanical television Now ATSC
W9ZV/W9XZV None Chicago, IL Zenith Radio Corp. Channel 1,
then Channel 2
None 1939–1941, 1951-1953 as KS2XBS Off-Air 525 30 Mechanical Television None
W9XAP WNBQ-TV
1948-1964[12]


WMAQ-TV
1964-[4]

Chicago, IL National Broadcasting Company[9] Channel 5 5.1 (UHF 29) August 27, 1930[4] On-Air 525 30 Mechanical Television Now ATSC
W9XBK Became W9XCB, then WBKB,
now WBBM-TV
Chicago, IL Balaban and Katz Corp. Channel 2 2.1 (VHF 12) 1940 Still On Air 525 30 Mechanical television Now ATSC
W9XCB WBBM-TV Chicago, IL CBS Channel 4 2.1 (VHF 12) 1940 Still On Air 525 30 Mechanical television Now ATSC
W9XG West Lafayette, IN Purdue University 3 None 1930 1946? 525 30 Mechanical television None
W9SUI Iowa City, IA University of Iowa Channel 1,
later Channel 12[13]
None 1931 1941? 525 30 Mechanical television None
W1XG Boston, MA General Television Corp. Channel 1 None 1931 1941? 525 30 Mechanical television None
W3XEP None Camden, New Jersey RCA 5, 10, 12 None July, 1931 (as portable W3XAD) 1941? 525 30 Mechanical television None
W2XVT WNYW Passaic, New Jersey DuMont Laboratories Channel 4 5.1 (UHF 44) 1938 Became W2XWV in 1944 525 30 Mechanical television Now ATSC
W2XWV WNYW Passaic, New Jersey DuMont Laboratories Channel 4 5.1 (UHF 44) 1944 Became WABD-TV in 1944 525 30 Mechanical television Now ATSC
W2XJT None Jamaica, New York Jamaica Radio & TV Corp. Channel 3, then Channel 13 None 1940, moved to Ch. 13 in 1945 1947? Unknown Unknown Mechanical television None
WNBT WNBC-TV New York City, New York NBC Channel 1 4.1 (UHF 28) 1928 (as W2XBS) Still On Air 525 30 Mechanical television Now ATSC
WCBW WCBS New York City, NY CBS Channel 2 2.1 (UHF 33) 1938 (as W2XAB) Still On Air 525 30 Mechanical television Now ATSC
WABD WNYW-TV New York City, NY DuMont Labs, Inc. Channel 4 5.1 (UHF 44) 1938 (as W2XVT, then W2XWV) Still On Air 525 30 Mechanical television Now ATSC
W2XXB New York, NY Bamberger Broadcasting Svc. 6 Experimental
W2XMT New York, NY Metropolitan Television Inc. 8 Experimental
WRGB WRGB-TV Schenectady, NY General Electric 3 6.1 (VHF 6) Still on-air 525 30 Mechanical television Now ATSC
W8XCT Cincinnati, OH Crosley Corporation 1 Experimental
W3XE (later WPTZ) KYW-TV Philadelphia, PA Philco Radio & TV 3 3.1 (UHF 26) Sept 1, 1941 On-air 525 30 Mechanical television Now ATSC, Westinghouse CBS O&O
W3XAU Philadelphia, PA WCAU Broadcasting Co. 5 Experimental WCAU now operates an ATSC commercial station
W8XGZ Charleston, WV Gus Zaharis 1 Experimental
KS2XBS
(First pay-TV service, "PhoneVision")
None Chicago, IL Zenith 2.1-2.2 MHz, later Channel 2 None 1951 1953? 525 30 Electronic television None
KC2XAK None, now part of WNBC-TV Bridgeport, Connecticut RCA/NBC UHF 24 None December 29, 1949 August 23, 1952 525 30 NTSC-M None. Parent station is now ATSC
KPTV KPTV Portland, Oregon Empire Coil Company Channel 27 12.1 (VHF 12) September 20, 1952 Still On Air 525 30 Used KC2XAK's NTSC-M UHF transmitter, otherwise not experimental. Now ATSC VHF

NOTE: KPHO-TV, channel 5 in Phoenix signed on in 1949.

See also[edit]

Individual television stations[edit]

Broadcast television systems[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "WCFL Radio Magazine-Fall, 1928-WCFL Is on the air with Television Programs". WCFL/Chicago Fededration of Labor. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Early Chicago Time-shared Stations-WIBO". Zecom. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c Godfried, Nathan, ed. (1997), WCFL, Chicago's Voice of Labor, 1926-78, University of Illinois Press, pp. 281–290, ISBN 0-252-06592-1, retrieved 2010-04-06 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Samuels. "W9XAP-WMAQ'S Experimental Television Station". Samuels. Retrieved 22 May 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i "U. A. Sanabria/transcript of letter from Bill Parker, who was assigned the construction of the television studio at the Daily News building in 1929". Television Experimenters. 28 October 1984. Retrieved 11 May 2010. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Early Mechanical Television Stations". Early Television Museum. Retrieved 23 January 2011. 
  7. ^ a b c "Early Chicago Television-Mechanical TV". Hawes TV. Retrieved 23 January 2011. 
  8. ^ "Chicago Radio History--WENR". Zecom Communications. Retrieved 13 September 2010. 
  9. ^ a b "Early WMAQ-transcript of article in September 1931 "RCA News"". Radio Corporation of America. Retrieved April 25, 2010. 
  10. ^ http://www.earlytelevision.org/peck.html
  11. ^ http://www.broadcasting-history.ca/listings_and_histories/radio/histories.php?id=419&historyID=200
  12. ^ Samuels. "Roll Opening Credits". Samuels. Retrieved 22 May 2010. 
  13. ^ "Television stations authorized by the FCC, January 1, 1941". RCA Radio Travel-Log. 1941. Retrieved August 12, 2012. 

External links[edit]

HD Television.svg This television-related list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.