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Color TV Is Not Immediate for Spokane Area Viewers

December 18, 1953

Spokane Daily Chronicle

Spokane television station operators said today that color telecasts initiated last night by both National Broadcasting Company and Columbia Broadcasting System will have no immediate effect on programs telecast from Spokane stations.

Station KHQ-TV has contracted for a network telecast of the Rose Bowl Parade New Year’s day and NBC has announced it will have a color telecast of the parade. However, the program will not be televised in color by KHQ-TV and viewers here will see the program in the usual black and white, said Richard O. Dunning, president and general manager of KHQ.

“To the best of my knowledge,” he said, “there isn’t a TV station in the country, outside of NBC and CBS experimental transmitters, equipped to receive or broadcast color television.”

Dunning said KHQ-TV ordered special technical equipment last July which, when installed, will enable the station to receive and broadcast the color programs.

“We expect to receive the equipment early in 1954, but even after that the telecasts will be received on the present TV sets in black and white,” he said.

“It probably will be anywhere from two to five years before color TV sets are turned out in sufficient quantity to be within the price range of the average individual.”

He said Al G. Sparling, KHQ chief engineer, is in New York attending a technical clinic on color television.

Dunning said he had been informed that NBC’s color telecasts will be conducted on an experimental basis for the next year with possibly two programs a week produced in color.

W. Norman Hawkins, television manager at KXLY-TV, said the station has no immediate plans for installing color television equipment.

“What few color TV sets are in production at this time cost $800 to $1000,” he said. “When the time comes that there are enough color receiving sets in operation in this area, KXLY-TV will be ready to broadcast color programs.

“That’s not likely to happen for some time.”

Early Significance Unlikely

Meanwhile, the Inland Empire Electrical League issued a statement saying the new color TV broadcasting system approved yesterday by the Federal Communications Commission is not expected to have any early significance for the Inland Empire TV audience.

Robert L. Wilkinson, managing director of the league, said a comprehensive survey made by the league showed the new color system “will in no way obsolete the black and white set.” Under the system, he said, any black and white set presently in use or purchased in the future would be capable of receiving all-color programs in black and white. Quality of black and white pictures received from a color transmission have been found to be superior to an ordinary black and white picture, he said.

“It is generally believed by industry observers that color receivers will not be widely available to consumers until 1955 or 1956 or later,” he continued. The color sets are expected to be unusually expensive and are expected to be limited to small screens, he said.

“Electrical industry people see color television as an important new feature in future years, but expect black and white TV to remain the backbone of television entertainment,” he said.

Friday, December 18, 1953

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From → KHQ, KXLY

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