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TV Broadcasting Begins

1947  Broadcast drama series "Kane no Naruoka (The Hill of the Tolling Bell)" begins.
1948 NHK's first post-war public TV experiment
1949 Broadcast of "Tonchi Kyoshitsu (Witty Classroom)" starts.
1949 Radio relay broadcast of U.S. National Swimming Championship from Los Angeles
1950 Sony test manufactures tape recorder.
1950 First post-war regular public TV broadcast experiment
1953 NHK commences TV broadcasting (February 1).
1953 Nippon TV Network Corporation (NTV) begins TV broadcasting (August 28).
1959 NHK Tokyo starts Educational TV channel (January 10).

NHK began regular TV broadcasting on February 1, 1953, followed by Nippon Television Network Corporation (NTV) on August 28 that same year. Although at the beginning there was only one dedicated TV studio for NHK use, all the broadcasting equipment, with the exception of the image orthicon, was domestically manufactured, according to the designs of the NHK Technical Research Laboratories.

1953 NHK Begins TV Broadcasting Using Its Own Technologies

TV Broadcasting Begins

In June 1948, NHK conducted Japan's first post-war public TV broadcast experiment. In February 1950, it set up an experimental TV station at the Technical Research Laboratories and, starting in November, began airing a weekly, 3-hour, experimental radio transmission.

NHK commenced regular TV broadcasting on February 1, 1953. Although at the beginning there was only one dedicated TV studio for NHK use, all the broadcasting equipment, with the exception of the image orthicon, were domestically manufactured, according to the designs of the STRL.

This was the beginning of TV broadcasting, 23 years after NHK began its first television experiments, and approximately 30 years after the start of Takayanagi's TV research.


Advent of Commercial TV Broadcasters

From the beginning of broadcasting culture in Japan, NHK and commercial broadcasters have existed side-by-side. In 1951, Matsutaro Shoriki announced the Nippon TV Network Corporation's plan to become the first commercial broadcaster. The plan included the forming of large-scale commercial broadcasting networks, and called for financial backing from the United States as well as introduction of the latest U.S. technologies and facilities. Other commercial broadcasters quickly followed, applying for their TV broadcasting station licenses. The Nippon TV Network Corporation was the first to commence regular broadcasting on August 28, 1953.


TV Unites the Nation

NHK's microwave network servicing Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka was completed in 1953. Major cities from Sapporo to Fukuoka were connected by 1956. The network was later maintained by the Nippon Denshin Denwa Corporation (later NTT). Economic development in Japan, combined with a price drop quickly made the television set one of the three most coveted household appliances along with the electric refrigerator and the electric washing machine. TV broadcasters began to create a variety of programs, from news and documentaries to educational programs and dramas. TV was enjoying a rapid rise in popularity.

In 1959, the Crown Prince of Japan decided to wed. Public interest in watching the historic event fueled a sales boom, and the number of black-and-white TV sets in the country quickly exceeded 2 million. People were beginning to recognize the value of television, leading to a period of rapid diffusion for the fledgling medium.

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