Individual media Reference department
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1963 Chronokey Chronomedia index
Numbers after entries link to the list of references.

links and notes
  Cultural highlights | Predictions made this year  
January 12  BBC television production of The Madhouse on Castle Street includes the little-known Bob Dylan, whose Blowing in the Wind becomes a minor hit later in the year for folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary.  
January 18  Polaroid Corporation announces that the Polacolor instant colour print cameras and film will be launched later in the month in US.  
January 20  Broadcasting hours of UK’s ITV television network are extended and the first regular adult education programmes begin at 10:00-11:00 on Sunday mornings.  
March  ITV television network in UK broadcasts a 15-minute commercial for National Benzole petrol.  
March  Sony introduces the world’s first fully transistorised portable videotape recorder, PV-100, for industrial use.  
March  Television service starts in Gabon. Television service start dates
April  Precision Instrument of California introduces a portable two-head helical scan videotape recorder, model PI-3V, weighing 68 lb and using one-inch tape.  
April  Television Wales and the West (TWW) wins the first Academy Award (Oscar) for a UK television programme. > 1968 May 20
April  Television service starts in Sierra Leone. Television service start dates
April  BBC changes its colour television test transmissions to the French SECAM system but also acknowledges an interest in the PAL system developed in Germany by Telefunken. However, planning for a change to colour broadcasting must take second place to preparations for the new BBC2 channel. > July 8
May 4  The Beatles’ record From Me to You reaches number one in the UK record charts, the first of 15 weeks they will hold this position before the end of the year. > November 10
May 7  Telstar II satellite is launched.  
May  Radiodiffusion-Télévision Gabonaise (RTG) launches the first television channel in Gabon. Television service start dates
June 24  Telcan fixed-head longitudinal videotape recorder intended for home-taping of television programmes is demonstrated on BBC television news. Developed by Norman Rutherford and Michael Turner of Nottingham Electronic Valve Company (NEVC), the machine uses quarter-inch tape running at 120 ips past fixed heads, carrying two 15-minute tracks. The intended price is £61 19s (£61.90). Both Telcan and NEVC collapsed. The quest for home video: Telcan
July 1  Lord (Charles) Hill succeeds Sir Ivone Kirkpatrick as ITA chairman.  
July 8  Series of demonstrations of three colour television systems—NTSC, PAL and SECAM—are staged in London for members of the European Broadcasting Union and the Organisation Internationale de Radiodiffusion et Télévision (OIRT). The BBC predicts that it will be the first European country to start regular colour television transmissions.  
July 26  Syncom communications satellite is launched by Hughes Aircraft to become the first geosynchronous communications satellite (Maintaining a fixed position above the Earth).  
July 31  Enactment in UK of Television Act 1963 extends the life of the Independent Television Authority (ITA) for another 12 years to 1976.  
August 22  Meeting of the British Radio Equipment Manufacturers' Association is told that around 80 per cent of television sets in the London area will be unable to receive the new BBC2 service due to start in eight months' time. All receivers currently being manufactured are dual standard for both 405-line and 625-line reception.  
August  Television services start in Congo, Ivory Coast and Jamaica. Television service start dates
September 2  CBS Evening News is extended from 15 to 30 minutes.  
September 15  Independent Television Authority (ITA) invites applications by November 18 for commercial television licences that will run from 30 July 1964. Contractors' rentals are to include an additional payment related to the value of the public concession of a commercial broadcasting franchise. Instead of £5.5m raised hitherto, the new contracts are expected to yield £23m, including £15m linked to advertising revenue. Above an exempted £1.5m, the advertising levy of 25 per cent will apply to the next £6m and 45 per cent above that.  
September 16  The BBC announces that in a fortnight's time it will launch its promotional campaign to raise public awareness of the new channel, BBC2 (for which a launch date of 20 April 1964 is later set). A kangaroo is chosen as the promotional symbol.  
autumn  Clean Up TV Campaign is launched in the UK by former teacher Mrs Mary Whitehouse, who forms the National Viewers' and Listeners' Association (NVALA). Mary Whitehouse quotation
British censorship
October 1  Excise duty of £1 on the UK television licence fee is abolished and the fee itself is increased by £1 to £4. TV licence fee
> 1965
October  Television services start in Malaysia and Uganda. Television service start dates
November 10  ITV network transmission of the recording of Royal Variety Performance, held on November 4 at the London Palladium, achieves the highest ever UK television audience to date (21.1m). Compere Bruce Forsyth introduces stars including Shirley MacLaine and Max Bygraves but the real stars are The Beatles. ‘For the last number,’ says John Lennon, introducing Twist and Shout, ‘I’d like to ask your help. Would the people in the cheaper seats clap your hands? And the rest of you, if you’ll just rattle your jewellery.’ > November
November 22  Assassination of US president John F Kennedy in Dallas, Texas is recorded by an amateur cameraman, Jacob Zapruder, on 8mm colour film.  
November 24  Jack Ruby kills Lee Harvey Oswald, suspected of killing President Kennedy, in live television coverage from Dallas, Texas.  
November 26  Festival of World Television, organised by the British Film Institute, opens in London.  
November  Film soundtrack recording of South Pacific, released in 1958, becomes the first LP to sell a million copies in the UK alone.  
November  The Beatles achieve British record advance orders of 950,000 copies of I Want to Hold Your Hand. > December 14 and 21
November  Television service starts in Sudan. Television service starts
November  In a Roper poll, 36 per cent of Americans say television is the most reliable source of news, compared with 24 per cent nominating print media.  
December 7  An audio album, John Fitzgerald Kennedy—A memorial album, based on a broadcast by radio station WMCA New York on the day of the assassination, sells 4m copies in the next six days to become the fastest selling record of all time. All proceeds from the 99 cents LP go to the Joseph Kennedy Jr Foundation for Mental Retardation. Another label’s release, The Presidential Years sells a million copies in six days at the same price.  
December  Transmitter mast for KTHI-TV, Fargo, North Dakota, US opens—at the time the world’s tallest structure at 628m. < 1962
December 14 and 21  The Beatles occupy the top two positions in the UK record charts with I Want to Hold Your Hand and She Loves You, the latter having already been number one for six weeks and in the top three for 14 weeks. The Beatles simultaneously hold the top three places in the EP chart and top two places in the album chart. > 1964
December 28  Last edition of the satirical programme That Was the Week That Was on BBC Television. QuotationQuotation from BBC Director General Hugh Greene
•  BBC introduces an electronic line-store standards converter.  
•  English by Television teaching programmes introduced by BBC.  
•  Post Office Tower (later renamed Telecom Tower) opens in Cleveland Mews, London, with an array of telecom receivers and transmitters and a revolving restaurant at the top.  
•  Independent Television Authority bans advertising magazine programmes (admags).  
•  US Federal Communications Commission offers matching funding for new educational television stations.  
•  FCC requires cable operators to block relays of distant signals of programmes that duplicate those of local stations if asked to do so by the local broadcaster.  
•  FCC requires all television sets sold in the US after 1964 to be capable of receiving UHF transmissions.  
•  Among US television networks, CBS charges $50,000 a minute for prime-time advertising; ABC averages $45,000 and NBC $41,000.  
•  Publications & Entertainments Act is passed in South Africa, creating the Publications Control Board to monitor films, public entertainments and all publications except newspapers for their  standards of indecency or obscenity. Appeals against adjudications can be made to the Supreme Court, except for films, when the supreme arbiter in the Minister of the Interior. > 1974
•  Television services start in Singapore and Upper Volta (=Burkina Faso). Television service start dates
•  3M introduces new improved videotape Scotch Brand 379.  
•  US firm Machtronics introduces helical scan videotape recorder.  
•  Video artist Nam June Paik has 13-monitor installation piece with distorted broadcast images on show in German art gallery.  
•  British National Film Catalogue is founded by the British Industrial and Scientific Film Association (BISFA) to document non-fiction films.  
•  Jaques Rivette replaces Eric Rohmer as editor of French film magazine Cahiers du Cinéma. > 1998
•  First Algerian feature film released, Peuple en marche, directed by Ahmed Rachedi and René Vautier.  
•  Cinema-in-the-round shown at Piccadilly Circus, London under the name Russian Roundabout.  
•  Durwood Theatres (later renamed American Multi-Cinema, AMC), a regional operator with 13 screens and 10,000 seats, opens the first mall 'multiplex' (two screens) cinema, the Parkway Twin, at the Ward Parkway Center in Kansas City. > 1966
•  French manufacturer Angénieux introduces a 12mm-120mm (10:1) zoom lens that quickly becomes and industry standard for 16mm film production.  
•  Editec electronic video editing is introduced by Ampex. It allows frame-by-frame recording control and tape editing and makes simple animation effects possible.  
•  Direct broadcasting by satellite (DBS) first mooted at Extraordinary Administrative Radio Conference (EARC), Geneva, organised by ITU.  
•  Colour images of the inside of the living human brain are recorded at the Hôpital Foch at Suresne near Paris, using a ventriculoscope.  
•  Design consultant Colin Mason of Wolverhampton, England announces that he has developed a video record player after seven years' research supported by a Wolverhampton company. The video player is similar in size to a conventional audio disc player, plugs into a conventional television set and will cost about £35. The records will be called 'videograms'.  
•  First Japanese modular stereo hi-fi equipment manufactured by Pioneer.  
•  UK Department of Scientific and Industrial Research's Road Research Laboratory at Crowthorne, Berkshire demonstrates a system for transmitting recorded messages to special £10 receivers fitted in cars or direct to car radios. Pre-recorded messages are triggered by buried cables in the road.  
•  Microscope with a television tube pick-up is devised at Llanfrechfa Grange Hospital, Cwmbran, Wales to show chromosome count on a television screen.  
•  Richard F Rutz of IBM in New York develops an 'optical transistor' of gallium arsenide in which some of the input electrical energy is converted to light that passes through the device much faster than normal electrical current and thus obviates the need to make the transistor's base as this as possible to reduce transmission time.  
•  Frank Sinatra sells his Reprise record label to Warner Bros and becomes vice president of Warner Bros Picture Corporation.  
•  Oklahoma City Times produces a regular edition using computer typesetting—at least the teletype tape carrying journalists' copy is generated from a 1620 computer that can produce 85 column-inches a minute, 11 picas wide in 9pt type. This continuously feeds eight Linotype machines that produce the hot metal 'slugs'.  
•  Daily Mirror becomes the first UK newspaper to sell over 5m copies a day (5.018m), while second-place Daily Express reaches an all-time peak of 4.344m. The Sunday Pictorial changes its name to the Sunday Mirror.  
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Page updated 15 January 2009
© David Fisher