List of experimental television stations

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This page is a list of the experimental television stations before 1946. After 1941 (in the United States) the television frequencies were opened up to commercialization and regular broadcasts began. Regular broadcast television start dates vary widely by country; in many regions, initial broadcast video deployment was delayed due to mobilisation for World War II.

(Note: The listing of current broadcast channels for these stations is not up-to-date as many low-VHF stations have moved to UHF frequencies as a result of digital television transition. This is less of an issue in the United Kingdom because of its all-UHF system, but most early US broadcasters were on affected channels before analogue shutdown. Very few full-service North American broadcasters remain on physical channels VHF 2-6 digitally due to impulse noise problems and strict limits on maximum transmitted power at these frequencies.)

HD Television.svg This television-related list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.


Television stations, as of 1928[edit]


Television stations, as of 1928


United States of America

Television
Call-sign
(Original)
Television
Call-sign
(Current)
City or locationOwnerTransmitter antenna heightTelevision frequencyTelevision channel (current)On airOff airDisk holes or linesFrame rate (frame/s)Original broadcast systemCurrent broadcast system
WGYWRGB-TVSchenectady, NYGeneral Electric380 m790 kHzChannel 6 (VHF)May 10, 1928Present48UnknownMechanical televisionATSC
WRNYNoneNew York CityExperimenter Publishing326 m920 kHzNoneAugust 13, 19281929487.5Mechanical televisionNone
2XALNoneNew York CityExperimenter Publishing(with WRNY), 30.919700 kHzNoneAugust 13, 19281929487.5Mechanical televisionNone
3XKNoneWashington, DCCharles Jenkins Laboratories46.7 m1605 kHzNoneJuly 2, 19281932 (1934?)48UnknownMechanical televisionNone
WORWWOR-TVSecaucus, NJ formerly New York CityBamberger Broadcasting (from WOR-AM)405 m740 kHzChannel 9 (VHF)UnknownUnknownUnknownUnknownMechanical televisionATSC
KDKAKDKA-TVPittsburgh, PAWestinghouse Electric Company62.5 m4798 kHzChannel 2 VHFUnknownUnknownUnknownUnknownMechanical televisionATSC
1XAYNoneLexington, MAWLEX-AM51–62 m1900 to 4700 kHzUnknownUnknownUnknownUnknownUnknownMechanical televisionNone
4XANoneMemphis, TNWSM-AM120–125 m2500–2100 kHzUnknownUnknownUnknownUnknownUnknownMechanical televisionNone
9XAA
(short-wave station of
WCFL, officially W9XAA)
NoneChicago, ILWCFL-AM/Chicago Federation of Labor61.25 m[1]4800 kHzUnknownJune 19, 1928[2]1937[3]48[1]15[1]Mechanical televisionNone

Television stations, as of December, 1928


United States of America

Television
Call-sign
(Original)
Television
Call-sign
(Current)
City or locationOwnerTransmitter antenna height (m)Television frequencyTelevision channel (current)On airOff airDisk holes or linesframe rate (frame/s)Original broadcast systemCurrent broadcast system
WGYWRGB-TVSchenectady, NYGeneral Electric380 m379.5 MHzChannel 6 (VHF)1928Still On Air2421Mechanical TelevisionATSC
2XAF (Upgrade of WGY)WRGB-TVSchenectady, NYGeneral Electric380 m31.4 MHzChannel 6 (VHF)1928Still On Air2421Mechanical TelevisionATSC
2XAD (upgrade of W2XAF above)WRGB-TVSchenectady, NYGeneral ElectricChannel 6 (VHF)21.96 MHzChannel 6 (VHF)1928Still On Air2421Mechanical TelevisionATSC
WRNYNoneNew York CityExperimenter Publishing326 m920 kHzNoneAugust 13, 19281929487.5Mechanical televisionNone
2XALNoneNew York CityExperimenter Publishing(with WRNY), 30.919700 kHzNoneAugust 13, 19281929487.5Mechanical televisionNone
3XKNoneWashington, DCCharles Jenkins LaboratoriesUnknown46.72 MHzNoneJuly 2, 19281932 (1934?)4815Mechanical televisionNone
W9XAA WCFLNoneChicago, ILChicago Federation of Labor61.25 m[1]61.5 MHzUnknownJune 19, 1928[2]1937[3]45[1]15[1]Mechanical televisionNone
WKBI-TVNoneChicago, ILUnknown ?215.7 MHz ? ? ?4815Mechanical televisionNone
WIBO-lost
license
May 15, 1933[2]
AKA W9XAO[4]
NoneChicago, ILWestern Television (Sanabria)[4] ?305.9 MHz ?Summer 1929[5]1933[2]45[5]15[5]Mechanical televisionNone
KGFJNoneLos Angeles ? ?212.6 MHz ? ? ?48--Mechanical televisionNone
WLBXNoneLexington, MA ? ?62.5 MHz ? ? ?48--Mechanical televisionNone

Television stations, from 1928 to 1939[edit]

Television stations, from 1928 to 1939


United States of America

Television
Call-sign
(Original)
Television
Call-sign
(Current)
City or locationOwnerTelevision frequencyTelevision channel (current)On airOff airDisk holes or linesframe rate (frame/s)Original broadcast systemCurrent broadcast system
W9XZVNoneChicago, ILZenith2.1-2.2 MHz, later Channel 2None1939, with a later Zenith experimental station in 19511953? ? ?Electronic televisionNone
W1WX (later became W1XAV)NoneBoston, MassachusettsSW and Television (Hollis Baird)2120 kHzNoneApril 1929 (became W1XAV in December 1929)193148 (and later, 60 lines)15Mechanical TelevisionNone
W1XAVNoneBoston, MASW and Television (Hollis Baird)2.1-2.2 MHzNone193019314815Mechanical televisionNone
W1XAVNoneBoston, MAUnknown2.1-2.2 MHzSW and Television (Hollis Baird)193119346020Mechanical televisionNone
W1XAYNoneLexington, MABoston Post, WLEX2.0-2.1 MHzNone192819304818Mechanical TelevisionNone
W2XB/WGY/W2XAF/W2XADWRGBSchenectady, NYGeneral Electric2.1-2.2 MHzVHF 61928 ?4820Mechanical televisionATSC
W2XCRNoneNew York, NYCharles Jenkins Laboratories2.75-2.85 MHzNone192919314815Mechanical TelevisionNone
W2XCRNoneNew York, NYCharles Jenkins Laboratories2.75-2.85 MHzNone193119336020Mechanical TelevisionNone
W2XBSWNBC-TVNew York, NYRCA2.0-2.1 MHzChannel 4 (VHF)1928192960?20?Mechanical televisionATSC
W2XBSWNBC-TVNew York, NYRCA2.75-2.85 MHzChannel 4 (VHF)192819296020Mechanical televisionATSC
W2XABWCBS-TVNew York, NYCBS2.1-2.2 MHzChannel 2193119336020Mechanical televisionATSC
WRNYNoneNew York, NYUnknown1010 kHzNone1928192936 ?Mechanical TelevisionNone
WRNYNoneNew York, NYUnknown1010 kHzNone1928 ?4810Mechanical televisionNone
W2XRNoneLong Island City, NYHogan's Radio Pictures2.85-2.95 MHzNoneMarch 26, 192919346020Mechanical televisionNone
W3XKNoneWheaton, MD (Moved to Silver Spring, MD?)Charles Jenkins Laboratories6420 kHz (6.42 MHz)None192819314815Mechanical televisionNone
W3XKNoneWashington, DCCharles Jenkins Laboratories2.0-2.1 MHzNone193119346020Mechanical TelevisionNone
W9XX, later became W5XANoneShreveport, LARev. Lannie W. Stewart1604 kHzNone192919344515Mechanical TelevisionNone
W5XANoneShreveport, LAPaul L. Carriger1594 kHz (video on the 160-meter amateur band)None193219344515Mechanical televisionNone
W6XAHNoneBakersfield, CaliforniaPioneer Mercantile Company2000–2100 kHz, also simulcast on 1550 kHz in 1932NoneJanuary 6, 193219359620Mechanical televisionNone
W9XR[6]None[7]Downers Grove, Illinois (Chicago)[6]Great Lakes Broadcasting/ National Broadcasting Company after 1931.[6][7][8]2.85-2.95 mHz[6]None1929[6]1933[7]24[6]15[6]Mechanical television[6]None[6]

Television stations, from 1928 to 1939


United States of America and Canada

Television
Call-sign
(Original)
Television
Call-sign
(Current)
City or locationOwnerTelevision frequencyTelevision channel (current)On airOff airDisk holes or linesframe rate (frame/s)Original broadcast systemCurrent broadcast system
KGFJNoneLos Angeles, CAUnknown ? ?1928 ?48 ?Mechanical televisionNone
W3XADNoneCamden, New JerseyRCA124 MHz to 130 MHzChannel 5July 1930Became W3XEP52530UnknownNone
W6XSNoneLos Angeles, CADon Lee Broadcasting2.1-2.2 MHz ?193119358020Mechanical TelevisionNone
W6XAOKCBS-TVLos Angeles, CADon Lee Broadcasing44.5 MHz (44-50 MHz, Channel 1)Channel 2December 23, 193119368020Mechanical TelevisionATSC
W7XAONonePortland, ORWilbur Jerman2.75-2.85 MHz ?1929 ?UnknownUnknownMechanical TelevisionNone
W9XAA, WCFLNoneChicago, ILChicago Federation of Labor2.0-2.1 MHzNoneJune 19, 1928[2]1937[3]45[1]15[1]Mechanical TelevisionNone
WIBO-lost
license
May 15, 1933[2]
AKA W9XAO[4]
NoneChicago, ILWestern Television (Sanabria)[4] ? ?Summer 1929[5]1933[2]45[5]15[5]Mechanical TelevisionNone
W9XAK ?Manhattan, KSKansas State College2.1-2.2 MHz ?193219396020Mechanical TelevisionNone?
W9XALUnknownKansas City, MOFirst National Television2.1-2.2 MHz ?193319354515Mechanical TelevisionNone?
W9XAO[4]NoneChicago, ILWestern Television (Sanabria)[4]2.0-2.1 MHz ?Summer 1929[5]1933[2]45[5]15[5]Mechanical TelevisionNone?
W9XAPWMAQ-TV[4]Chicago, ILChicago Daily News/National Broadcasting Company(after 1 November 1931[9])2.1-2.2 MHzChannel 5August 27, 1930[4]August 1933[4]4515Mechanical TelevisionATSC
W9XATUnknownMinneapolis, MNGeorge Young, radio station WDGY42-50 MHz, 60-86 MHz (Channel 1) ?19331938125 ?Mechanical TelevisionNone?
W9XDWTMJ-TVMilwaukee, WIMilwaukee Journal ? ?1931 (Transmitter used for Apex radio station W9XAZ in 1934)Experiments ended 1933; License deleted in 19384515Mechanical Television- Western
W9XG ?Lafayette, INPurdue University2.75-2.85 MHz ?193119396024Mechanical Television ?
W9XK/W9SUI "WSUI", W9XAZ ?Iowa City, IAState University of Iowa2.0-2.1 MHz ?193319394515Mechanical Television ?
W9XUI ?Iowa City, IAState University of Iowa2.0-2.1 MHz,
later Channel 1,
then Channel 2
 ?1933194144130Mechanical Television ?
W2XJTNoneJamaica, New YorkJamaica Radio Television CompanyChannel 3, then Channel 13None1940, moved to Ch. 13 in 1945Unknown ? ?Mechanical TelevisionNone
VE9EC (also given as VE9AK[10])None; TV returned in 1952 with CBFTMontreal, QuebecPeck Television Corp.
(Canadian Television Ltd.)
41 MHzNone1931193560-150UnknownMechanical televisionVE9AK's calls were reassigned to CFRB-FM in 1938[11]

Television stations, from 1928 to 1939


Europe

Television
Call-sign
(Original)
Television
Call-sign
(Current)
City or locationOwnerTelevision frequencyTelevision channel (current)On airOff airDisk holes or linesframe rate (frame/s)Original broadcast systemCurrent broadcast system
Baird Television Ltd. via BBC transmitter 2LOUnknownLondon, EnglandBaird Television Ltd.Unknown ?September 30, 1929June 19323025Mechanical televisionPAL/DVB-T?
Unknown (Possibly 2LO, as above?)BBC OneLondon, EnglandBaird Television Ltd. ? ?August 22, 1932September 11, 19353025Mechanical televisionPAL
Fernsehsender Paul NipkowUnknownBerlin, GermanyReichs-Rundfunk-Gesellschaft ? ?1935 (tests started in 1929)1944180/441 beginning in 193725Electronic televisionPAL?
Doświadczalna Stacja Telewizyjna(none)Warsaw, PolandPolskie Radio Sp. Akc. ?September 1937 (according to other sources regular broadcasts started in 1938)last week of August 193912025Mechanical television

Television stations, as of 1941[edit]

Television stations, as of 1941


United States of America

Television
Call-sign
(Original)
Television
Call-sign
(Current)
City or locationOwnerTelevision frequencyTelevision channel (current)On airOff airDisk holes or linesframe rate (frame/s)Original broadcast systemCurrent broadcast system
W1XGNoneBoston, MassachusettsGeneral Television ?Channel 1Unknown Channel ? ?UnknownMechanical televisionNone
W2XVT (Becomes W2XWV in 1944)WNYWPassaic, New JerseyDuMontChannel 4Channel 51938Still On Air52530Mechanical TelevisionATSC
W2XBSWNBC-TVNew York, NYRCA, NBCChannel 1Channel 41932Still On Air52530Mechanical TelevisionATSC
W2XABWCBS-TVNew York, NYCBSChannel 2Channel 21931Still On Air52530Mechanical TelevisionATSC
W2XWVWNYW-TVNew York, NYDuMontChannel 4Channel 51938Still On Air52530Mechanical TelevisionATSC
W2XBWRGBSchenectady, NYGeneral ElectricChannel 3Channel 61939Still On Air52530Mechanical TelevisionATSC
W3XWTWTTGWashington, DCDuMontChannel 1Channel 51941Still On Air52530Mechanical TelevisionATSC
W3XNBWRC-TVWashington, DCNBCChannel 2Channel 41939Still On Air52530Mechanical TelevisionATSC
W3XEKYW-TVPhiladelphia, PAPhilcoChannel 3Channel 31932Still On Air52530Mechanical TelevisionATSC
W3XEPNoneCamden, NJRCA42 MHZ-56 MHz and 50-86 MHzNone19311941?52530Mechanical televisionNone
W3XPF (Portable unit: W10XX)None?Philadelphia, PAFarnsworthChannel 3Unknown1937Unknown52530Mechanical TelevisionUnknown
W3XPPCancelled Permit, Now WCAUPhiladelphia, PANBCChannel 7Channel 101939UnknownNoneNoneMechanical TelevisionATSC
W6XAOKCBS-TVLos Angeles, CADon Lee BroadcastingChannel 1Channel 21936Still On Air441, changed to 525 in late 194130Mechanical TelevisionATSC
W6XYZKTLALos Angeles, CATelevision ProductionsChannel 4Channel 51942Still On Air52530Mechanical TelevisionATSC
W6XDLNoneSan Francisco, CADon Lee BroadcastingChannel 1None1941Off-Air52530Mechanical TelevisionNone
W8XCTWLWT-TVCincinnati, OHCrosley BroadcastingChannel 1Channel 51939Still On Air52530Mechanical TelevisionATSC
W9XV/W9XZVBecame KS2XBSChicago, ILZenithChannel 1,
then CH 2
None1939–1941, 1951-1953 as KS2XBSOff-Air441, later 52530Electronic televisionNone
W9XBKWBBM-TVChicago, ILBalaban and KatzChannel 2Channel 21940Still On Air52530Mechanical TelevisionATSC
W9XMJMilwaukee, WIThe Journal Co.Channel 3194052530
WMJTMilwaukee, WIThe Journal Co.Channel 31941CP returned in 194652530

Television stations, from Jan. 3, 1945 to 1955[edit]

Television stations, from Jan. 3, 1945 to 1955


United States of America

Television
Call-sign
(Original)
Television
Call-sign
(Current)
City or locationOwnerTelevision frequencyTelevision channel (current)On airOff airDisk holes or linesframe rate (frame/s)Original broadcast systemCurrent broadcast system
W6XAOKTSL (Now KCBS-TV)Hollywood, California/Los Angeles, CaliforniaDon Lee BroadcastingChannel 12.1 (UHF 43)1931Still On Air52530Mechanical televisionNow ATSC
W6XHHNoneLos Angeles, CAHughes Tool Company2NoneNoneNone52530Mechanical televisionNone
W6XZYKTLA-TVLos Angeles, CATelevision Productions, Inc.45.1 (UHF 31)1942Still On Air52530Mechanical televisionNow ATSC
KSEENoneLos Angeles, CAEarl Anthony, Inc.6NoneUnknownoff-air52530Mechanical televisionNone
W6XHTNoneSan Francisco, CAHughes Tool Company2NoneUnknownoff-air52530Mechanical televisionNone
W3XWTWTTGWashington, DCDuMont Labs, Inc.Channel 15.1 (UHF 36)1941Still On Air52530Mechanical televisionNow ATSC
WNBWWRC-TVWashington, DCNBC24.1 (UHF 48)1941Still On Air52530Mechanical televisionNow ATSC
W9ZV/W9XZVNoneChicago, ILZenith Radio Corp.Channel 1,
then Channel 2
None1939–1941, 1951-1953 as KS2XBSOff-Air52530Mechanical TelevisionNone
W9XAPWNBQ-TV
1948-1964[12]


WMAQ-TV
1964-[4]

Chicago, ILNational Broadcasting Company[9]Channel 55.1 (UHF 29)August 27, 1930[4]On-Air52530Mechanical TelevisionNow ATSC
W9XBKBecame W9XCB, then WBKB,
now WBBM-TV
Chicago, ILBalaban and Katz Corp.Channel 22.1 (VHF 12)1940Still On Air52530Mechanical televisionNow ATSC
W9XCBWBBM-TVChicago, ILCBSChannel 42.1 (VHF 12)1940Still On Air52530Mechanical televisionNow ATSC
W9XGWest Lafayette, INPurdue University3None19301946?52530Mechanical televisionNone
W9SUIIowa City, IAUniversity of IowaChannel 1,
later Channel 12[13]
None19311941?52530Mechanical televisionNone
W1XGBoston, MAGeneral Television Corp.Channel 1None19311941?52530Mechanical televisionNone
W3XEPNoneCamden, New JerseyRCA5, 10, 12NoneJuly, 1931 (as portable W3XAD)1941?52530Mechanical televisionNone
W2XVTWNYWPassaic, New JerseyDuMont LaboratoriesChannel 45.1 (UHF 44)1938Became W2XWV in 194452530Mechanical televisionNow ATSC
W2XWVWNYWPassaic, New JerseyDuMont LaboratoriesChannel 45.1 (UHF 44)1944Became WABD-TV in 194452530Mechanical televisionNow ATSC
W2XJTNoneJamaica, New YorkJamaica Radio & TV Corp.Channel 3, then Channel 13None1940, moved to Ch. 13 in 19451947?UnknownUnknownMechanical televisionNone
WNBTWNBC-TVNew York City, New YorkNBCChannel 14.1 (UHF 28)1928 (as W2XBS)Still On Air52530Mechanical televisionNow ATSC
WCBWWCBSNew York City, NYCBSChannel 22.1 (UHF 33)1938 (as W2XAB)Still On Air52530Mechanical televisionNow ATSC
WABDWNYW-TVNew York City, NYDuMont Labs, Inc.Channel 45.1 (UHF 44)1938 (as W2XVT, then W2XWV)Still On Air52530Mechanical televisionNow ATSC
W2XXBNew York, NYBamberger Broadcasting Svc.6Experimental
W2XMTNew York, NYMetropolitan Television Inc.8Experimental
WRGBWRGB-TVSchenectady, NYGeneral Electric36.1 (VHF 6)Still on-air52530Mechanical televisionNow ATSC
W8XCTCincinnati, OHCrosley Corporation1Experimental
W3XE (later WPTZ)KYW-TVPhiladelphia, PAPhilco Radio & TV33.1 (UHF 26)Sept 1, 1941On-air52530Mechanical televisionNow ATSC, Westinghouse CBS O&O
W3XAUPhiladelphia, PAWCAU Broadcasting Co.5ExperimentalWCAU now operates an ATSC commercial station
W8XGZCharleston, WVGus Zaharis1Experimental
KS2XBS
(First pay-TV service, "PhoneVision")
NoneChicago, ILZenith2.1-2.2 MHz, later Channel 2None19511953?52530Electronic televisionNone
KC2XAKNone, now part of WNBC-TVBridgeport, ConnecticutRCA/NBCUHF 24NoneDecember 29, 1949August 23, 195252530NTSC-MNone. Parent station is now ATSC
KPTVKPTVPortland, OregonEmpire Coil CompanyChannel 2712.1 (VHF 12)September 20, 1952Still On Air52530Used KC2XAK's NTSC-M UHF transmitter, otherwise not experimental.Now ATSC VHF

See also[edit]

Individual television stations[edit]

Broadcast television systems[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "WCFL Radio Magazine-Fall, 1928-WCFL Is on the air with Television Programs". WCFL/Chicago Fededration of Labor. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Early Chicago Time-shared Stations-WIBO". Zecom. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c Godfried, Nathan, ed. (1997), WCFL, Chicago's Voice of Labor, 1926-78, University of Illinois Press, pp. 281–290, ISBN 0-252-06592-1, retrieved 2010-04-06 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Samuels. "W9XAP-WMAQ'S Experimental Television Station". Samuels. Retrieved 22 May 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i "U. A. Sanabria/transcript of letter from Bill Parker, who was assigned the construction of the television studio at the Daily News building in 1929". Television Experimenters. 28 October 1984. Retrieved 11 May 2010. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Early Mechanical Television Stations". Early Television Museum. Retrieved 23 January 2011. 
  7. ^ a b c "Early Chicago Television-Mechanical TV". Hawes TV. Retrieved 23 January 2011. 
  8. ^ "Chicago Radio History--WENR". Zecom Communications. Retrieved 13 September 2010. 
  9. ^ a b "Early WMAQ-transcript of article in September 1931 "RCA News"". Radio Corporation of America. Retrieved April 25, 2010. 
  10. ^ http://www.earlytelevision.org/peck.html
  11. ^ http://www.broadcasting-history.ca/listings_and_histories/radio/histories.php?id=419&historyID=200
  12. ^ Samuels. "Roll Opening Credits". Samuels. Retrieved 22 May 2010. 
  13. ^ "Television stations authorized by the FCC, January 1, 1941". RCA Radio Travel-Log. 1941. Retrieved August 12, 2012. 

External links[edit]

HD Television.svg This television-related list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.