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The First Olympics on Television

By Denny Sanders on Feb 21, 2018 11:50:00 AM

With the Winter Olympics in full swing in PyeongChang and many of us watching a 1080p picture with beautiful surround sound (shameless plug:  courtesy of Telos Alliance’s Linear Acoustic division), we might want to spend a moment to take a look at the first Olympics ever to be televised, the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

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Topics: Television, Broadcast History

A Radio Service That Might Have Been

By Denny Sanders on Feb 7, 2018 3:27:00 PM

With the diminishment or the actual shutting down of AM radio in many parts of the world, there is one advantage of AM which should not be forgotten: The potential coverage of large areas of geography.

Some years ago, when the FCC proposed expanding the AM band to 1700 kHz, I had an idea.

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Topics: Radio History, AM Radio, Broadcast History

A National Treasure: WSM Nashville

By Denny Sanders on Jan 24, 2018 12:00:00 PM

The Friday before Christmas, I was driving from Cleveland to Troy, NY, to pick up my daughter and bring her back to Cleveland to celebrate the holiday with the rest of the family. It’s about a nine-hour drive, so I had plenty of time to listen to my music files, internet streams, Pandora, SiriusXM, or the old reliable radio.

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Topics: Radio History, Broadcast History, WSM Nashville

Magnetic Tape and the Emergence of High-Fidelity Recording

By Denny Sanders on Oct 18, 2017 12:00:00 PM

In the earliest days of sound recording (late 1880s to 1926), all recordings were made acoustically. That is to say, a recording machine with a large horn with a needle on the other end was set before an orchestra and the vibrations from the needle would “draw” a pattern on a spinning wax cylinder (or later flat disc). If a vocalist was called upon to sing, they would stand before the horn and sing right into it.

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Topics: Vintage Electronics, Vintage Audio Technology, Broadcast History

Found in the Attic: Fly with an Edo-Aire ADF Receiver

By Tom Vernon on Sep 27, 2017 11:55:00 AM

Found in the Attic columns regularly seek out forgotten or unusual types of AM receivers, be they farm radios, high-fidelity AM, unlikely frequency coverage, or novelty types. If you're totally stumped by the picture of this device, don't feel too bad. Unless you've had a pilot's license and been flying private aircraft for the past thirty years, you'd have no reason to encounter one of these receivers. This installment follows on the Sony AIR-7, and is our second aviation-related entry. The Edo-Aire R-556 E ADF (Automatic Direction Receiver) is typical of radio navigation aids that were in virtually all private aircraft before the advent of GPS receivers.

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Topics: Vintage Electronics, Vintage Technology, Broadcast History

John Vassos: Celebrating a Visionary Broadcast Industrial Designer

By Denny Sanders on Jun 14, 2017 11:30:00 AM

Of all of the legendary inidividuals associated with the broadcast and music industries in the United States, there is probably no one more responsible for the advancements in broadcast industrial design, audio and video consumer good design, and the look and feel of transmission equipment and broadcast facilities in general than John Vassos.

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Topics: Broadcast History, john vassos

Dubai DJ Gets in Over his Head for Record-Breaking Broadcast

By Dave Sarkies on May 30, 2017 9:46:56 PM

One of the great things about being a broadcaster is that you occasionally have a chance to be involved in some unique broadcasts. But while some broadcasts are memorable for the events they cover, others are so unique that the broadcasters themselves become the story.

Such was the case recently with the crew at Channel 4 FM in Dubai, when the marketing team thought it might be fun to do a live 5-10 minute broadcast segment from the Ambassador's Lagoon outside the iconic Atlantis the Palm Resort, more or less as a publicity stunt to promote the exotic location. We’re not talking poolside, mind you, but broadcasting from within the pool – an underwater broadcast from a pool that hosts a variety of sea life!

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Topics: Broadcast History, Broadcasting, Dubai

Saving Sounds from the Dumpster

By Tom Vernon on Mar 2, 2017 12:00:00 PM

As the Twentieth Century is rapidly receding in the rear-view mirror, historians, archivists and collectors furiously gather artifacts and documents before they all disappear. Forgotten by many, but not all, are the soundscapes of the past; both technological and natural in origin.

If you've worked in radio long enough, you already know something about changing soundscapes. The clattering of a teletype machine in the newsroom, the sound of records and reel tapes being cued and the once per second chunk-chunk-chunk of the Western Union master clock as it counts down the time remaining till the next hourly newscast, are all gone but not forgotten.

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Topics: Broadcast History, audio

A Visit to the Past and the Present

By John Bisset on Jul 8, 2015 2:00:00 PM

Many Television engineers got their start in radio, and still keep up with happenings in the world of Radio. The staff at WIBW, Channel 13 in Topeka, Kansas, is no exception. My associate from Linear Acoustic, Hal Buttermore, and myself, had the pleasure of speaking to the engineers of SBE Chapter 3, Topeka, Kansas, meeting at the WIBW studios in May. Chief Engineer, Cary Lahnum, led a tour of the facility which included both new and old, including one of the station’s old RCA black and white cameras, with an old remote mixer sitting on top.

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Topics: Broadcast History

Museum Tells the Tale of U.S. Broadcast History

By Tom Vernon on May 20, 2015 3:31:00 PM

American broadcasting has a rich cultural heritage. Radio's origins go back almost 100 years, while television has been with us for around 70. Most of us who work in the business, however, spend our time thinking about, working on, and inventing the technologies of the future that will keep the industry going. Fortunately, there are also people who are passionate about preserving the past, and there are places where the old memorabilia and programs can find a permanent home. In Chicago, that person is Bruce DuMont, and the place is the Museum of Broadcast Communications. DuMont is the founder and Executive Director of the Museum.

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Topics: Broadcast History


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