As I was watching the BBC on Saturday evening, I mused on the public perception of Television in 1949 and thought that certainly, some 70 years later, it had reneged on the promise we see in the photograph above!
Television at that time was feted in a burst of post war optimism, in the UK, we had the arrival of the Sutton Coldfield mast meaning for the first time, that TV broadcasts were made outside of the London area. The BBC started broadcasting Come Dancing (which continued for 48 year run before being replaced by the follow up show Strictly Come Dancing).
Moving further afield, RCA introduced colour television in the United States and in Australia, their Labour government introduced a British styled non-commercial system giving permits to transmit to interested parties. The network grew steadily and by 1956, on the first day of transmission by the Melbourne station HSV-7 came the first appearance in the form of an interview with Edna Everage.
However, the Australian public at large were worried, not only did they have television to worry about but the promise of FM radio too and the big worry was that FM would usurp AM meaning the purchase of a new and commensurately expensive radio set and that more effort would be put into filming episodes of Skippy the Bush Kangaroo and Neighbours and that what little radio was left would suffer. And much was done in the popular press to attempt to allay fears:-
As it happened, although trial FM broadcasts occurred in 1949, a regular FM radio service was delayed until 1952 and then comprised of classical music and Parliament, as a programme source meaning that the medium found favour with hi-fi enthusiasts only. The FM transmitters (operated by the Post Master General's Department) were shut down in 1961 as much of the standard FM band (98–108 MHz) was reserved for TV channel 5 (102.250 MHz video carrier). It had been envisaged that FM broadcasting would take place on UHF but this idea foundered as it was both impractical and uneconomic remaining so until 1975 when Australia's FM band was opened and aligned with most of the rest of the world.
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