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1986 Chronokey Chronomedia index
Numbers after entries link to the list of references.


links and notes
  Cultural highlights | Predictions made this year  
January 9  Kodak instant cameraEastman Kodak announces that it is to abandon instant photography after losing a 10-year patent court battle with Polaroid. Owners of 16m Kodak instant cameras [right] are offered free film stock or replacement cameras.  
January 14  Rambo: First Blood, Part II sets a new record for first-day US video sales, selling 435,000 copies, overtaking Ghostbusters.  
January  Laser Disc Corporation of America is formed by Pioneer to distribute video software in the disc format.  
January  La Cinq, French ‘cultural’ television channel is launched.  
February 22  First Swedish satellite, Viking, is launched.  
February  Preliminary specifications for CD-i digital optical disc interactive format are announced by Philips and Sony.  
March  TV6 pop music-oriented television channel is launched in France. > 1987
March  First Microsoft International Conference on CD-ROM is held, paving the way for specifications later in the year.  
March  US cable channel Cable Video Jukebox offers interactive television service to Miami subscribers using a video disc jukebox system.  
March  The Oscar for Best Cinematography is won by a British cinematographer (this time Freddie Francis) for the seventh year in the past decade.  
April 1  UK cable channels Premiere and Mirrorvision merge.  
April  Philips proposes preliminary specifications for the CD-Video format, recording analogue video on compact discs.  
April  Philips and Polygram establish Philips Interactive Media of America (PIMA) to co-ordinate CD-i software development.  
May  Cannon Organisation acquires Thorn-EMI Elstree Studios (formerly BIP/ABPC).  
May  Dual-standard Minitel M1 terminal is introduced in France for the telecom data service.  
May 31 June 29  Games of the FIFA World Cup football tournament finals, held in Mexico, are televised in 166 counties and attract a cumulative total of 13,506.70m viewers. Total transmission time is 9,926 hours. [0065] > 1990
June  Provisional CD-i functional specifications are issued by Philips and Sony. The first Philips professional CD-i players are expected to be available September/October 1987 for $1,500.  
June  RCA presses its last CED video disc.  
July 3  Peacock Committee on the future of BBC financing rejects the idea of using advertising to supplement the licence fee—to the horror of the Thatcher government.  
August  Pioneer begins mass production of CD players and CDs.  
August  JVC demonstrates 3D imaging on its VHD video disc system.  
September 9  JVC launches the GR-C9 video camera cassette recorder, weighing only 750g.  
September 30  France's broadcasting regulatory body, Haute Authorité de l'Audiovisuel,  is replaced by the Commission Nationale de la Communication et des Libertés. > 1989 January 17
October 9  Icelandic television service Stöð 2 (Channel 2) begins transmissions. [0066]  
October 27  BBC launches daytime television. Included in the programming is the Australian soap Neighbours.  
October  M-Net is launched in South Africa—the first pay TV service in the southern hemisphere.  
October  European Interactive Media is formed by Philips and Polygram to co-ordinate European CD-i software development.  
October  Philips and the largest US printing firm R R Donnelly & Sons form OptImage Interactive Services Company (OIS) to provide production service for CD-i developers.  
November  BBC DomesdayBBC launches its landmark interactive video Domesday Project using Philips’ LaserVision-Read Only Memory (LV-ROM) format. The two discs provide a detailed survey of the UK to celebrate the 900th anniversary of the original Domesday Book, mixing movies, stills, maps, charts and data tables in an extensively interactive package.  
December 1  In the US the Disney Channel now transmits for 24 hours a day. > 19 March 2008
December 11  British Satellite Broadcasting (BSB) is awarded the franchise to operate three channels of direct broadcasting by satellite (DBS) by the Independent Broadcasting Authority. Four services are proposed: an entertainment channel called Galaxy, Zig Zag for children, topical programmes on Now and a movie channel called Screen.  
December  UK's second multiplex cinema, an eight-screen at Salford Quays, Manchester, is opened by Cannon.  
December  UK Department of Trade & Industry starts the schools interactive video initiative.  
•  The first (and so far only) Gibraltar-made feature film is Marine Issue (also released as Instant Justice), directed by Denis Amar.  
•  BBC Charter is renewed for a further 10 years. BBC CharterThe current BBC Charter
•  Atari 520STAtari 520ST personal computer is launched. It plugs into the aerial socket of the television receiver. It costs £399 in the UK; the rival Commodore Amiga costs £1,475.  
•  Steve Jobs, recently separated from Apple Computer, acquires The Graphics Group, onew third of the computer graphics division of Lucasfilm for $10m, of which $5m is for recapitalisation. The business is re-named Pixar.  
•  MCA/Universal pioneers the addition of an audio commentary to a film on a video disc, using a spare audio channel. The first project, overseen by Michael Fitzgerald (1949-2002) is Winchester '73, about which its star James Stewart reminisces.  
•  RGA/Oxberry Compuquad Special Effects Step Optical Printer wins a special Academy Award for technology. It uses four projectors, controlled by five computers, to combine film images to create complex visual effects. However, the use of digital technology is developing rapidly.  
•  Mauritius Film Development Corporation is established as a statutory body to promote film-making in the country, which has a tax-free regime for productions.  
•  Japan’s BS-2b broadcasting satellite is launched.  
•  Nationwide teletext service is now available in Japan.  
•  NBC pushes advertising rates during The Cosby Show to record levels of $350,000-$400,000 for 30 seconds. For the first time the network leads in the prime-time ratings. However, all three networks have trouble selling commercial time during sports broadcasts.  
•  Capital Cities Communications acquires the American Broadcasting Companies (ABC), which becomes Capital Cities/ABC. > 1996
•  A C Nielsen introduces the People Meter for measuring television audiences.  
•  Sony standardises the name of its pocket-sized audio cassette player worldwide as the Walkman, which effectively becomes a generic name for this kind of product. < 1980
•  UK electronics trading company Amstrad takes over Sinclair Research.  
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Page updated 9 September 2010
© David Fisher