Hays County Public Records

[mage lang=”en|de|es|en” source=”flickr”]Hays County public records[/mage]

The History of Television – England 1924

As an Englishman with an interest in English History I thought it would be of interest to tell the History of Television and it’s invention by John Logie Baird at Ally Pally in London. The British Broadcasting Company started daily transmissions on November 14th 1922, by which time more than one million ten-shilling (50p) licences had been issued. In 1927 the company was restructured as a public corporation -the BBC that we know today- by its founding father, John (later Lord) Reith, but by this time an even newer technology was being developed -television.


In truth, the Corporation was very interested in the Television invented by John Logie Baird’s experiments and wanted them to continue under their sponsorship, and not under that of any other company. Accordingly, Baird’s company was offered the use of facilities on London’s South Bank. By 1932 the BBC were sufficiently happy to allow regular experimental broadcasting. They now offered Baird a studio in their newly acquired premises in Portland Place, W1. Studio BB, Britain’s first dedicated television studio, was housed in the basement of Broadcasting House, and it was from here that Baird continued to experiment and refine the new medium. Competition came from the Electronic and Music Industries (EMI), based in Hayes, Middlesex, where they had been working with the Marconi Company on developing a high definition system.


In May of 1934 the British government appointed a committee, under the guidance of Lord Selsdon, to begin enquiries into the viability of setting up a public television service, with recommendations as to the conditions under which such a service could be offered. The results of the Selsdon Report were issued as a single Government White Paper in January of the following year. The BBC was to be entrusted with the development of television, which had to transmit a definition of not less than 240 lines with a minimum of 25 pictures per second. With the publication of this report the era of the low definition picture came to an end with ballerina Lydia Sokolova being the last artiste in Britain to appear via the old 30-line system.

The committee proposed that the two new high definition systems (Baird’s 240 line and Marconi-EMI’s 405 line) would be chosen to alternate transmissions by the BBC over a set period, until it was decided which was the better. Looking for a suitable site for the new service, the BBC chose Alexandra Palace in Haringey, Greater London. Its position, high on a hill, made it the ideal place to place a transmitter that would cover all of London and many of its surrounding counties.

“Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. It is with great pleasure that I introduce you to the magic of television…”

With those words Leslie Mitchell introduced Britain’s first high-definition public television programme from Radiolympia. The date was 26th August 1936. This was the World’s first Television broadcast. At the start of the war in 1939 over 80,000 viewers had been watching television 7 days a week.

During September 1st 1939 while Mickey Mouse was being shown on Television, All television’s became blank and went off air. This programme returned in 1946 and BBC Television and radio has gone from strength to strength.

Time Line of British Television

1924 Feb

John Logie Baird sends rudimentary pictures over short distance

1925 May

Baird gives first public demonstration of television

1926 Jan 27

Baird demonstrates tv by wireless transmission to the Royal Institution, London

1927 Jan 1

The BBC becomes a public corporation


1932 Aug 22

BBC starts 30-line tests using Baird’s system (until Sep 1935)

1936 Nov 2

Start of 405-line high definition service (for a few months alongside Baird’s 240-line system)

1937 May 12

First outside broadcast: King George VI’s Coronation procession

1939 Sep 1

Suspension of TV service because of WW2


1946 Jun 1

TV licence fee introduced

1946 Jun 7

Resumption of TV service after the war

1949 Dec

BBC Television service begins to spread outside of London.


1950 Aug 27

First cross-Channel broadcast (from France to England)

1953 Jun 2

Televising of Coronation, seen by c. 27m viewers, is watershed broadcast. Used 21 cameras

1954 Jun 6

Britain linked to Eurovision system.

1954 Jul 5

Daily news bulletin starts


First on-screen weather presenter – George Cowling

1954 Aug 4

Establishment of Independent Television Authority, a public corporation

1955 Sep 22

Start of Independent (ie commercial) Television in London area by Associated-Rediffusion and Associated Television, together with the non-profit-making Independent Television News


Independent Television service begins to spread outside of SE. Regional>>


TV households exceed radio-only households

1958 Apr

First videotape broadcast, by BBC (VERA system)

1958 Jun 26

Associated-Rediffusion shows first programme from Ampex VTR, which becomes the established format




1962 Apr

First video tape slow-motion replay

1962 Jul 1

Pilkington Report published, recommending 2nd BBC programme, separate BBC service for Wales, change of line standard from 405 to 625 lines, colour on 625-line UHF, and the restructuring of ITV

1962 Jul 11

First transatlantic satellite broadcast. More>>

1964 Apr 20

Start of BBC2 on 625 line uhf. More>>

1964 Apr 26

BBC2 starts news review programme for deaf viewers

1967 Jul 1

Start of colour transmissions on BBC2. More >>

1967 Aug

BBC begins using fully electronic, colour, frame-rate standards conversion

1968 Jul 30

ITV franchise changes. LWT replaces ATV London; Yorkshire TV forms new region from part of old Granada area,  Harlech replaces TWW; Thames formed by ABC and Rediffusion. ATV takes on all-week Midland franchise. Granada takes on all-week NW franchise.

1969 Jul 21

BBC and ITV night-time audiences watch man’s first steps on the moon. More>>

1969 Nov 15

Colour service inaugurated on ITV and  BBC1. More >>




1972 early

Removal of restrictions on broadcasting hours

1973 Feb 2

Teletext system demonstrated by BBC. IBA also developing a teletext system


Video cassette recorders go on sale


Colour sets outnumber b/w sets


Opening of BBC’s combined film and video tape archive, and end of junking policy




1982 Jan 1

ITV franchise changes: ATV, Southern and Westward give way to Central, TVS and TSW

1982 Nov 1

Start of S4C (Sianel Pedwar Cymru/Channel 4 Wales), with all Welsh language programmes, both BBC and Independent, moving to this new channel

1982 Nov 2

Start of Channel 4 in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland

1983 Jan 17

Start of breakfast television by BBC, followed by (1 Feb) TVAM on the ITV network

1985 Jan

Closure of last 405-line transmitter

1989 Feb

Start of domestic satellite services by Sky Television

1989 Sep

First official NICAM digital stereo sound transmissions, by ITV

1989 Nov 21

Televising of House of Commons begins





Opening of British Satellite Broadcasting (BSB)


Sky and BSB merge to form BSkyB

1993 Jan 1

ITV franchise changes: Thames, TSW, TVS, TVAM give way to Carlton, Westcountry, Meridian, GMTV

1996 Mar 15

BSkyB’s first pay-per-view event: boxing match from Las Vegas

1997 Mar 30

Start of Channel 5. Needed retuning of millions of VTRs in order to prevent interference

1998 Oct 1

Digital satellite service starts.

1998 Nov 15

Digital terrestrial service starts, including widescreen broadcasts


2001 Jun

BBC’s first digital interactive programme.

2002 May

Closure of ITV Digital (formerly ONdigital)

2002 Oct 30

Opening of Freeview digital terrestrial service to replace ITV Digital multiplexes

2003 Dec 29

Regulation of commercial tv passes to Ofcom following merger of ITC with other regulatory bodies

2004 Jan 28-29

BBC Chairman of Governors and Director General both resign in wake of Hutton Report

2004 Feb 2

Merger of Granada and Carlton is complete. Merged company is called ITV plc

2006 May

Start of high definition service.

2007 Oct 17

First analogue switch-off: BBC2 signal at Whitehaven, Cumbria

Please visit my Funny Animal Art Prints Collection @ http://www.fabprints.com/SPORTS.html

My other website is called Directory of British Icons: http://fabprints.webs.com

To visit the list and links to my other Blogg articles: http://bloggs.resourcez.com


The Chinese call England “The Island of Hero’s” which I think sums up what we English are all about.


Copyright © 2010 Paul Hussey. All Rights Reserved


About the Author

My family tree has been traced back to the early Kings of England from the 7th Century AD. I am also a direct descendent of Sir Christopher Wren which has given me an interest in English History which is great fun to research. My articles are all about my interests in English History that the world will be amazed at. For example: The first manned flight was in England in 1849 and the first passenger vehicle was invented in England in 1801.

Please visit my Funny Animal Art Prints Collection @ http://www.fabprints.com

The Chinese call England “The Island of Hero’s” which I think sums up what we English are all about.


Copyright © 2010 Paul Hussey. All Rights Reserved.

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