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1978 Chronokey Chronomedia index
Numbers after entries link to the list of references.

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  Cultural highlights | Predictions made this year  
January 2  Advertising begins on South African television; the first commercial is for Big T hamburgers.  
January 6  French parliament passes a law on information technology and data protection.  
January 20  Columbia Pictures pays $9.5m for the film rights to the Broadway musical Annie—the largest amount paid to date for rights.  
January 19  Proposals for the Setting up of a British Film Authority (Cmnd 7071) from UK's Interim Action Committee on the Film Industry are published.  
February 8  US Senate procedings are broadcast on radio for the first time. > June 12
February 11  Chinese government lifts its bans on books by 70 internationally noted authors.  
March 21  Colour television transmissions introduced in Iran by National Iranian Radio and Television (NITRV).  
March  JVC signs contract for OEM supplies of VHS recorders to Thomson-Brandt in France and Nordmende in West Germany. The Quest for home video: VHS
spring  Recommended retail price in the UK of a JVC HR 3300 VHS videocassette recorder—the only JVC model available—is £710 plus VAT, making a total of £781. A three-hour tape costs £13.43 plus VAT (total: £14.77) but 30-minute, one-hour and two-hour versions are also available. JVC price list
April 3  Start of regular audio recording and broadcasting of the UK parliament.  
April 15  World's largest cinema, Radio City Music Hall, New York closes because of falling interest and lack of new films.  
April 24  Jahn Teigen sings for 'nul point'Mil etter mil sung by Jahn Teigen [left] for Norway fails to score any points in the Eurovision Song Contest (creating the catchphrase 'Norvège, nul point'). à 1981
May  Sony announces development of X-22DTC fixed-head digital audio recorder using quarter-inch tape.  
May  Japan’s four main FM networks make the  first broadcasts of digitally recorded programmes.  
June 12  Radio coverage of the US House of Representatives begins. < February 8
June  Thorn EMI Ferguson in UK adopts the VHS videocassette recording format. The Quest for home video: VHS
July 26  UK government publishes a White Paper on broadcasting, proposing an Open Broadcasting Authority to run the fourth terrestrial television channel, that the BBC should be responsible for satellite broadcasting and that pilot pay TV schemes should be authorised.  
August 14  Television rating of zero is achieved on a mainstream channel by a prime-time French programme based on an interview with an Armenian woman, reminiscing about her life to mark her fortieth birthday. On one of the other two channels, a Napoleonic costume drama took 67 per cent of the audience.  
October 24  First Czechoslovak satellite, Magion 1, is launched.  
October  Sony develops a long-play digital audio optical disc system using laser read-out of 450 rpm discs to give 150 mins playing time per side.  
October  For professional recording studios, Sony develops the PCM-3224 24-channel fixed-head digital audio recorder using one-inch tape, the DMX-800 eight-channel digital audio mixer and DRX-1000 digital reverberator.  
November 25  UK television licence fee increased from £9 to £10 for monochrome, £21 to £25 for colour.  
December 15  The Philips/MCA LaserVision video disc system is launched on the US market in three stores in Atlanta, Georgia. Magnavision players, made by Magnavox, have a retail price of $695. Discs of recent feature film sell for around $15.95, classic films and television programming for $9.95. The Quest for home video: VLP Discovision
December 19  Gorizont 1 satellite is launched by the USSR.  
December 25  Second highest rated programme on UK television is The Sound of Music (18.5m), screening of which had been threatened with blackout by BBC technicians demanding a 15 per cent pay rise. They received 12.5 per cent.
•  Television services start in Afghanistan and Lesotho. Television service start dates
•  Colour television penetration is 70 per cent in Sydney, 64 per cent in Melbourne, three years after the introduction of colour broadcasting in Australia.  
•  Columbia-Warner and EMI merge their UK film distribution activities.  
•  Australia’s Experimental Film Fund is replaced by the Creative Development Fund of the Australian Film Commission as a surge in independent documentary production begins in Australia.  
•  First Indian Panavision film is Shalimar, directed by Krishna Shah.  
•  Marlon Brando is paid $2.25m for a relatively brief appearance in Superman.  
•  Saturday Night Fever by the Bee Gees becomes the best-selling film soundtrack album to date.  
•  Radio Monte Carlo launches to a stereophonic FM service, RMC Côte d'Azur.  
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Page updated 29 June 2009
© David Fisher