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1961 Chronokey Chronomedia index
Numbers after entries link to the list of references.


links and notes
  Cultural highlights | Predictions made this year  
January 10  BBC news studio at Alexandra Palace starts to use remotely-controlled cameras.  
January 25  Newly inaugurated President John F Kennedy holds a live press conference on television. <> 1955
January 25  Disney's feature-length animation 101 Dalmatians is released. It has cost $4m to produce and employed 300 animation staff.  
January  Australian Postmaster-General rules that all television must be made in Australia, following lobbying by the Australian Film Producers Association.  
January  Sony introduces the world's first transistorised videotape recorder, SV-201.  
January  JVC announces a two-head helical scan colour videotape recorder, model 770. Tape speed of 15 inches per second gives a recording time of 90 minutes.  
February 23  Hartford Phonevision Company is granted a licence for a pay TV experiment in the US. > 1962
March  Stanford Research Institute (SRI) at Menlo Park, California, begins research into a photographic television recording disc in conjunction with 3M. The aim is to produce an inexpensive home video system. video The quest for home video
early  BLC Films is formed in the UK by British Lion and Columbia for joint marketing of their film productions.  
April 12  The first man to travel in space is Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin.  
April 14  GagarinFirst live television pictures from Moscow—of the heroic return of pioneer cosmonaut Major Yuri Gagarin—are seen in London.  
April 29  Westward Television begins broadcasting as South-West England ITV contractor from Stockland Hill and Caradon Hill transmitters. > 1980 December 28
April  Television service starts in Uruguay. Television service start dates
May 1  Television Advertisement Duty is introduced in the UK.  
May 9  Newton Minow, newly appointed chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), makes a speech about the 'vast wasteland' of television. Coincidentally, US Vice-President says US television is 'the greatest single achievement in communication that anybody or any area of the world has ever known'.
Read Minow's speech
May 27  Further education television broadcasts introduced in UK by the BBC.  
May  Ampex demonstrates its Colortec colour recovery system for compensating timing errors in the composite colour signal.  
June  Television service starts in New Zealand.  
July 19  TWA introduces regular in-flight movies in the first-class section in New York-Los Angeles flights.  
August 22  First UK public demonstration of live colour television at Earl's Court Radio Show in London.  
September 1  Border Television begins broadcasting as ITV contractor for the English-Scottish border region from a purpose-built television centre in Carlisle.  
September  US television network NBC begins its series Saturday Night at the Movies with 31 post-1950 Fox movie titles.  
September  Kodak announces a new method for direct electron-beam recording on silver halide film. This anticipates the recording techniques used for CBS's EVR system.  
September  At the Berlin Radio Show (Funkausstellung) German consumer electronics manufacturer Loewe demonstrates its Optacord 500 videotape recorder.
The quest for home video: Loewe Optacord 500
September 30  Grampian Television begins broadcasting as ITV contractor for the north of Scotland, last of the mainland UK areas to have commercial television.  
October 1  CTV Television Network is inaugurated in Canada with eight newly licensed stations, following removal of the restrictions on commercial television and the single-station policy.  
October 26  International Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organisations agreed in Rome.  
November 8  Bing Crosby for ShellIn a half-hour session at Cine and Tele Sound Studios in Bayswater, London, Bing Crosby records the soundtrack for a one-minute television commercial for Shell ('You can be sure of Shell').  
November  Five-month strike by members of British Actors' Equity, the actors' union, begins in protest against prevailing television employment conditions.  
December 1  First UK unmanned automatic ‘satellite’ (relay) transmitter opened by ITA at Selkirk, Scotland.  
December  Television services start in Ireland and South Korea.  
  Associated Television opens a new television production facility, ATV Studio Centre, in the converted National Film Studios in Eldon Avenue, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire. As a consequence it vacates several temporary sites: Highbury Studios and the Wood Green centre and the Hackney Empire. Click on camera for more
  Television services start in Kuwait and Zambia.  
  International Radio Regulations Stockholm Agreement allocates frequencies for development of Ultra High Frequency (UHF) television broadcasting in Europe, replacing 1952 Stockholm Agreement (qv).  
  RCA introduces compact stand-alone transistorised videotape recorder TR-22.  
  Siemens and Halke of Munich develop a magnetic video disc for recording single frames.  
  First commercially made laser sold to Texas Instruments by Trion Instruments, company founded by Lloyd Cross.  
  Advertel of Canada designs world’s first electronic videotape editing machine.  
  Joint Industry Committee for Television Advertising Research (JICTAR) is set up in UK to replace the Television Audience Research Action Committee.  
  Ten commercial radio companies are registered in Northern Ireland.  
  First Indian film in Cinemascope is Pyar Ki Pyas; also made this year is the first wordless Indian film, Ingeet.  
  The 1953 CinemaScope production How to Marry a Millionaire, with an aspect ratio of 2.55:1, is shown on the NBC television network with a 4:3 aspect ratio, raising the issue of how best to show wide-screen films on television.  
  Nettlefold Studios at Walton-on-Thames near London is closed and soon demolished.  
  ABC Television opens a production studio at Broom Road, Teddington, Middlesex on the Weir House site See also 1914, 1931, 1944
  Over the next decade or so film-making begins to spread in Africa and other parts of the so-called Third World. This year:
Nigeria: a short called My Father’s Burden, directed by Segun Olusola, who later becomes a senior executive in Nigerian television;
Somalia: a short called The Love that Knows No Barrier, directed by Hosein Manrok.
 
  Daily Mirror Newspapers buys Odhams Press, including Daily Herald and The People.  
  Sunday Telegraph launched in UK to compete with The Sunday Times and The Observer in quality Sunday newspaper market.  
  UK has 555,000 homes connected to cable and master antenna television (MATV) systems.  
  In a contracting market for subscription libraries, UK retail chain W H Smith closes its lending libraries. The subscribers are acquired by Boots Booklovers' Library. > 1966
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Page updated 7 December 2008
David Fisher