Prewar television stations

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This is a list of pre-World War 2 television stations of the 1920s and 1930s that were among the first in the world. Most of these experimental stations were located in Europe (notably in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, The Netherlands, and Russia), Canada and the United States. Some present-day broadcasters trace their origins to these early stations.

All television licenses in the United States were officially "experimental" before July 1941, as the NTSC television standard had yet to be developed, and some American television broadcasters continued operating under experimental licenses as late as 1947, although by then they were using the same technical standards as their commercial brethren.

List[edit]

Television stations
Television
Call sign
(Original)
Television
Call sign
(Current)
Television frequency Television channel
(Current)
City/location On air Owner (Original) Original broadcast system Current broadcast system
W2XB (also branded as WGY-TV from its sister radio station) WRGB 2150 kHz 6 Schenectady, New York/Albany, New York, USA May 10, 1928 General Electric Co. Mechanical television 24 (later 48) lines/21 frame/s NTSC-M from 1942–2009; now ATSC digital.
W1XAY (also branded as WLEX from its sister radio station) 3500 kHz Lexington, Massachusetts, USA June 14, 1928– March 1930 The Boston Post Mechanical television 48 lines/18 frame/s
W3XK 1605 kHz & 6420 kHz,
later 2.00–2.10 MHz
Wheaton, Maryland/Washington, D.C., USA July 2, 1928– 1932 Charles Jenkins Laboratories Mechanical television 48 lines
W2XAL (also branded as WRNY from its sister radio station) New York City, USA August 13, 1928– 1929 Mechanical television 48 lines
W1WX
(later became W1XAV)
2120 kHz Boston, Massachusetts, USA Spring 1929– 1931 Mechanical television 48 & 60 lines/15 frame/s
W2XBS WNBC 2.75–2.85 MHz Formerly Channel 1, now VHF Channel 4 New York City, USA 1929–1932, 1936–present National Broadcasting Company Mechanical television 60 lines/20 frame/s 1941–2009, NTSC-M; now ATSC digital
Baird Television Ltd. via BBC transmitter 2LO 831 kHz[1] London, England, United Kingdom September 30, 1929– June 1932 Mechanical television 30 lines/25 frame/s
W9XAP WNBQ-TV (1948–1964)[2]

now WMAQ-TV

VHF Channel 5 Chicago, Illinois, USA August 27, 1930[3][4][5][6][7] National Broadcasting Company Mechanical television 1948–2009 NTSC-M; now ATSC digital
VE9EC 41 MHz Montreal, Quebec, Canada 1931–1935 La Presse and CKAC radio Mechanical television 60–150 lines
W6XAO KCBS-TV Formerly on Channel 1, now VHF Channel 2 Los Angeles, USA June 1931 – 1933, 1937–1948 as experimental Don Lee station; May 6, 1948–present Don Lee Mechanical television, film only, 80 lines/20 frame/s 1948–2009, NTSC-M; now ATSC digital
W6XYZ KTLA-TV Formerly on Channel 4, now VHF Channel 5 Los Angeles, USA June 1942 – 1946 experimental, Jan. 22, 1947–present Paramount 1947–2009, NTSC-M, now ATSC digital
W2XAB WCBS-TV 2.1–2.2 MHz Now VHF Channel 2 New York City, USA July 31, 1931 – February 1933,
1940–present
Columbia Broadcasting System Mechanical television 60 lines/20 frame/s 1941–2009, NTSC-M, now ATSC digital
W2XWV WNYW Channel 4 (1938–1944), Channel 5 (1944 – present) New York City, USA 1938–present Allen B. DuMont Unknown 1944–2009 NTSC-M, now ATSC digital
W3XE WPTZ (now KYW-TV) VHF Channel 3 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA 1932–present Philco Corporation Mechanical television 1941–2009, NTSC-M, now ATSC digital
W9XBK WBKB (now WLS-TV) Formerly on Channel 4, then on VHF Channel 7, Now on UHF Channel 44 Chicago, Illinois, USA 1940–present Balaban & Katz 1944–2009, NTSC-M, now ATSC digital
W9XZV Later KS2XBS (Phonevision experimental on Channel 2) VHF Channel 1 Chicago, Illinois, USA 1939–1941
2LO (BBC Television Service) BBC One 831 kHz[1] UHF (Channels 21–68, throughout UK) London, United Kingdom August 22, 1932 – September 11, 1935 Mechanical television 30 lines/12.5 frame/s Now DVB
BBC Television Service (Alexandra Palace) BBC One 45 MHz[1] UHF (Channels 21–68, throughout UK and on Astra 2D satellite) London, United Kingdom November 1936 – September 3, 1939 Mechanical television 240 lines (Baird system) and electronic television 405 line (Marconi-EMI system)/25 frame/s Now DVB
EIAR – Stazione sperimentale radiovisione di Monte Mario RAI – Radiotelevisione Italiana 40,54 MHz (audio), 44,12 MHz (video) VHF (channel 9) and UHF (channels 25, 26, 30 and 40) Rome, Italy July 22, 1939 – May 10, 1940 Electronic television 441 lines / 21 to 42 frame/s. Now DVB
EIAR – Stazione sperimentale radiovisione Torre Littoria (now Torre Branca) 40.50 MHz (audio), 44.00 MHz (video) Milan, Italy April 12 – 28, 1940 Electronic television 441 lines / 21 to 42 frame/s.
Radiovision PTT (1935) later Paris Television (1943) then RTF (1946) (Eiffel Tower) TF1 37 MHz (180 & 455 l.) later 42–46 MHz (441 lines) UHF Channels 21–69 (System L + DVB throughout France and FTA on AB3 satellite) Paris, France November 1935 – 1937 (60 then 180 l.) later 1938–1939 (455 l.) then 1943–1956 (441 lines) Mechanical television 60 then 180 line later electronic television 455 then 441 line/25 frame/s Now DVB
Fernsehsender Paul Nipkow Berlin/Potsdam, Germany 1935–1944 (tests started in 1929) Electronic television 180 lines/25 frame/s/50 fields/sec (started broadcasting in 441 lines in mid-1937)
Doświadczalna Stacja Telewizyjna Telewizja Polska TVP channels: TVP1, TVP2, etc. Warszawa, Poland 1935–1939 (test broadcasting starts between 1937–38) Mechanical television Now PAL and DVB

See also[edit]

Individual television stations[edit]

Broadcast television systems[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c How Old?
  2. ^ "Call Letters Switch (page 21)". Billboard. September 5, 1964. Retrieved April 27, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Copy of W9XAP station license". Samuels, Rich. Retrieved April 25, 2010. 
  4. ^ Parker, Bill (October 28, 1984). "transcript of Bill Parker letter, who was assigned the construction of the television studio at the Daily News building in 1929". Television Experimenters. Retrieved May 11, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Early Chicago Television-W9XAP". Hawes TV. Retrieved April 25, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Early television-W9XAP-WMAQ Chicago". Early Television. Retrieved April 25, 2010. 
  7. ^ "W9XAP first broadcast-transcript from Daily News story-August 28, 1930". Daily News. Retrieved April 25, 2010. 

External links[edit]