Prewar television stations
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.
|Television frequency||Television channel
|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|
(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||London, England, United Kingdom||September 30, 1929– June 1932||Mechanical television 30 lines/25 frame/s|
|VHF Channel 5||Chicago, Illinois, USA||August 27, 1930||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,
|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 WBBM-TV)||Formerly on Channel 4, now VHF Channel 2||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||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||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), 44,12MHz (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 
- Timeline of the BBC
- History of television
- Timeline of the introduction of television in countries
- Timeline of the introduction of color television in countries
- Geographical usage of television
- Moving image formats
- Oldest radio station
- List of experimental television stations
- Narrow-bandwidth television
- Television systems before 1940
Individual television stations 
Broadcast television systems 
- How Old?
- "Call Letters Switch (page 21)". Billboard. September 5, 1964. Retrieved April 27, 2010.
- "Copy of W9XAP station license". Samuels, Rich. Retrieved April 25, 2010.
- 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.
- "Early Chicago Television-W9XAP". Hawes TV. Retrieved April 25, 2010.
- "Early television-W9XAP-WMAQ Chicago". Early Television. Retrieved April 25, 2010.
- "W9XAP first broadcast-transcript from Daily News story-August 28, 1930". Daily News. Retrieved April 25, 2010.