Television Digest with Electronics Reports (Jan-Dec 1954)

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2 Most startling thing Sarnoff said was that he "guessed" the 21-in. color set at S500 is "not so far away." He added: "I might even speculate that it is conceivable that it is only a year away from the time the first 21-in. color sets reach a reasonable quantity of production. But it isn’t here today at the $500 price and isn't going to be the price of the 21-in. set which we will demonstrate. "Once you have learned to make that kind of a set for $500, you very quickly thereafter learn how to make it for $400 and $300 and so on." ^ It was a rapt group of telecasters who listened to the RCA executive who was responsible for persuading many of them to get into the now-lush telecasting field, who won the bitter fight for compatible all-electronic color, and who is manifestly very jealous of any challenge to RCA-NBC leadership in the color field. Warming up to his favorite subject, which is color, he threw away a prepared address, discoursed at length on its various aspects. Excerpts from the transcript of his remarks on color will be found on p. 12; his discussion of other electronic wonders on p. 13; his reply to a question on "editorializing" via TV-radio on p. 5; and CBS pres. Frank Stanton’ s retort to his rather bearish observations on declining radio network business on p. 6. CONTINUAL C0AXIAL7-L00K AT THE RECORD: Still another retort to NBC president Pat Weaver's remarks on "senile celluloids" — a phrase he says was coined by his Hollywood interviewer, not himself — comes from Robert H. Salk, pres, of Station Films Inc., the film-buying subsidiary of Katz Agency, major station rep firm. Mr. Salk completely disagrees that feature films on TV are on their way out (Vol. 10:34), as did MPTV's Erwin Ezzes, quoted in these columns last week (Vol. 10:35). Mr. Salk knows whereof he speaks, for not only does his parent company represent some of the country's leading TV stations but he himself has bought $1,500,000 worth of film for them in the last 13 months. He's as frankly predisposed to the spot business as Weaver is to live network programming, and he has a good argument. In extenuation of Weaver's remarks against the oldies, though, it should be noted in all fairness that he now says he was referring to them as unacceptable for network programming and to their too-frequent repetition on stations. All of which makes for good, clean competitive fun, if you can see it as such — but Salk pulls no punches in lashing out at the "continual coaxial" concept which he sees motivating Weaver. "Triaxial coaxial," he suggests might even be the words for it in light of NBC's upcoming 'Tonight' show. He even suggests, in his letter to us, that we title anything we write "From Sleepy-eyes to Red-eyes." We heartily commend your reading Mr. Salk's observations in Telecasting Notes (p. 6). 'HIGH-&-NIGHTY' STATIONS AMONG STARTERS: Three high mountain-top vhf outlets — 2 in New England and one in California — got going this week and should provide interesting clinical observations on the efficacy of such radiations. All expect to cover widespread areas, the 2 in New England getting CBS primary affiliations and the one on California's Mt. Diablo being designed to sweep over San Francisco bay area. Two other starters began testing this week, plus one in Windsor, Ont., covering Detroit area — bringing total on air to 400 in U.S. (123 of them uhf) and 14 in Canada. WMTW, Poland Spring, Me. (Ch. 8), better known as the Mt. Washington station because its transmitter and tower are atop the famed 6288-ft. New Hampshire peak where the old facilities of Yankee Network's FM are being used, began testing Aug. 31, got its "baptism of fire" in the hurricane which caused winds more than 145 mi. per hour at the transmitter. Tower withstood gale, but one end of transmitter house was blown in and flooded, yet the 3 Diesels continued operating perfectly. "All we lost was a big hunk of Plexiglas," reports gen. mgr. John H. Norton Jr. , ex-ABC v.p. The project is backed largely by ex-Gov. Horace Hildreth, of Maine, now Ambassador to Pakistan, who also owns WABI-TV & WABI, Bangor. Coverage, said Norton, is everything expected — signals cut a big swath in N.H. , Vt., Me. and well into Canada, including Montreal, 141 mi. away, where RCA measured 200 uv/m. Even FCC Comr. George Sterling, vacationing on Peak's Island, near Portland, about 65 mi. away, reported