03 December 2008

First Television Broadcast: Felix The Cat, 1928

First Television Transmission: Felix The Cat, 1928

“During the early days of television development it was necessary to monitor and adjust the quality of the transmitted picture in order to get the best definition. To do this, engineers required an 'actor' to constantly be under the burning studio lights as they tweaked and sharpened the image, and Felix fit the bill perfectly. He was the right colour (black and white), impervious to the heat from the lights and worked cheaply (in fact a one-off payment was all that was required). RCA's first experimental television transmissions began in 1928 by station W2XBS (New York-Channel #1) in Van Cortlandt Park and then moved to the New Amsterdam Theater Building, transmitting 60 line pictures. The 13" Felix the Cat figure made of paper mache was placed on a record player turntable and was broadcast using a mechanical scanning disk to an electronic kinescope receiver.”

The rest of the story, here

A television broadcast timeline featuring Felix in 1928, 1936 and 1937. From a 1944 Life magazine article.

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