Tokyo Olympic Games TV Relay Broadcasting Project
With the decision to hold the Olympics in Tokyo, NHK formulated a policy
to work toward the implementation of full-scale TV broadcasting in May
1936. A national project that could have been called the TV Relay
Broadcasting Project for the September 1940 Tokyo Olympics was
established at the Technical Research Laboratory.
Meanwhile, Takayanagis TV had become virtually equivalent to the
present TV set; It had 441 scanning lines operating at 30 frames per
From the Laboratory to Implementation
However, these results were in laboratory only; there were still an
overwhelming number of problems to overcome in order to provide actual
TV relay broadcasting to the public. These included the improvement
of equipments performance, the manufacture of various equipment,
the construction of broadcasting stations for regular broadcasting,
and the development of TV automobiles and mobile cameras for outdoor
use. The staff was expanded in order to move TV from the laboratory
to actual implementation. Many of the engineers who participated in
the project came from radio equipment manufacturers. The budget for
two years of research reached approximately 3 million yen. The Ministry
of Telecommunications (presently Ministry of Public Management, Home
Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications) decided on the TV standard system
and prepared a relay line between Tokyo and Osaka.
Although the Olympic Games were officially cancelled in July 1938, research
on television continued, fueled by the zeal of those involved in the
Public TV Image Reception Experiments
Because of the Tokyo Olympic TV Relay Broadcasting Project, TV broadcasting
in Japan achieved a practical implementation level within a short period.
May 13, 1939 saw the first public television transmission experiment
in Japan, between the newly completed Broadcasting Hall in Uchisaiwai-cho,
Tokyo, and STRL. This was followed by another public experiment using
two image receiving sets on August 19 and 29 at the Koa Telecommunications
Exhibition held at the Mitsukoshi Department Store in Nihonbashi,
Tokyo. Later, in March 1940, a number of TV experiments were performed,
including one held during the Splendid Technology Exhibition
at the Industrial Hall in Ueno, Tokyo.
Ground Work Laid for Post-war Electronics Industry
TV experiments proceeded with improvements to existing equipment and
the fabrication of small lightweight cameras and lighting for capturing
images while on the move. A variety of programs, such as movies, entertainment
and music, were produced. The production of TV dramas also started.
The foundation for the post-war TV and electronics industries was laid
during this time.
However, during the war, many of the TV industries were switched to
munitions industries, and TV broadcasting was interrupted even in the
United States. Research on TV systems was suspended in Japan.
you see me clearly? Public TV image reception experiment (1939)
2. The first TV dramas: the 12-minute, Yuge-mae
Outside broadcasting vans called TV automobiles (from left to right,
image receiving vehicle, sound transmitting vehicle, video transmitting
vehicle, and imaging vehicle)