TOP PAGE > P14 NHK General TV:All Broadcasts in Color- Realizing the Dream of Color Broadcasting

NHK General TV:
All Broadcasts in Color
- Realizing the Dream of
Color Broadcasting

1969 Development of first handheld camera
1970 World Expo held in Japan (broadcast of opening ceremony)
1971 All NHK General TV broadcasts go color(October)
1972 Extensive live coverage of the Asama mountain villa incident
1972 Broadcast of the 11th Winter Olympic Games from Sapporo
1972 Okinawa returned to Japan (May)
1973 NHK Hall opens
1973 Transfer to new Broadcasting Center completed
1979 First live broadcast from the Antarctic

In 1970, the World Expo was held in Asia for the first time, in Osaka, Japan. 1970 was also the start of the color television era. In October 1971, NHK General TV started broadcasting all programs in color, pushing the number of color TV receiving contracts to over 10 million. Color TV replaced black-and-white as the dominant means of TV reception in 1972. TV had become an indispensable medium for individuals and society.

1971 TV Takes on a Starring Role in the Living Room

World Expo '70 in Osaka Increases Color TV's Momentum

In March 1966, six years after the start of color TV broadcasting service, a nationwide microwave network for color TV broadcasting was completed. Color TV was now available to 93% of the country. In April 1970, NTV started broadcasting their evening primetime programming in color. NHK General began broadcasting all programs in color in October 1971. Color TV became the dominant means of TV reception in 1972 with 11.79 million reception contracts.
By this time, equipment performance had greatly improved, and prices had come down as well. Starting in April 1970, and running for the six-month duration of the event, live on-site broadcasts from the Expo sparked a nationwide color TV boom.

Also notable in 1970 was the arrival of a device that could translate the signals of one TV system into those of another. This converter made it possible to broadcast live to a global audience from international events such as the World Expo and the Sapporo Winter Olympic Games.

1975, the 50th Anniversary of Broadcasting in Japan

March 22, 1975, marked the 50th anniversary of broadcasting in Japan. On that day, the number of TV receiving contracts stood at 25.75 million. NHK estimated that as of November 1975, the number of TV sets in Japanese households was approximately 46 million, with 32 million of those being color sets.

According to NHK's "National Time Use Survey," viewers aged 10 years old or older spent 3 hours 19 minutes per day watching television Monday - Saturday, and 4 hours 11 minutes on Sunday, compared with the 35 minutes per day on weekdays and 31 minutes on Sundays spent listening to the radio. 95% of those surveyed responded that they interacted with the TV on a daily basis. TV had become deeply rooted in people's daily lives.

TV Culture and Trends Created by TV

Televisions could be found in almost every home in the 1970s, and their influence on people's lives was growing. It became a means of controlling the informational environment. Television stations started broadcasting a variety of diverse programs such as the "Morning Wide Show" and long-running serialized morning dramas, those were tailored to the rhythms of daily life. This resulted in the creation of new forms of programming and expression especially suited for TV. Popular dramas, music, and television personalities became the inspiration for and source of new trends and fads. TV as mass culture became the norm in daily life.

TV created a new way to enjoy sporting events, providing a "home box seat". TV offered a relaxed viewing atmosphere, professional commentary, and extra video features like instant replay, that were unavailable at traditional sporting venues such as the National Sumo Center [Kokugikan]. People began to feel that watching a sporting event from this "home box seat" might be more enjoyable than experiencing it live.