The "Gold Rush" of television began around 1948.  In 1949, there were over a hundred stations on the air.  Also, in 1949, the audience increased astoundingly.  However, this created a few problems.  The biggest of which was that there was a greater demand for channels than could be supplied.  There was also interference between channels.  To remedy these problems, the FCC temporarily stopped processing applications for television licenses.  Then, in 1952, the FCC added 70 channels on the UHF band in addition to the 12 existing on the VHF band.  However, there is are drawbacks to UHF waves.  UHF waves are weaker and cannot cover as large of a distance as VHF can.  To try to compensate for this disadvantage, the FCC allowed UHF stations to use higher power for transmission than VHF stations.
    As color television developed, there were two main producers and two different systems.  RCA created a system that was completely electronic, while CBS created a system that was mostly mechanical.  A compromise was reached, and the standard became similar to RCA's model.  The Federal Communications Commission adopted this standard for color television in 1954.  The new standard had an advantage of CBS's because it was compatible with black and white televisions.  In other words, it could display pictures recorded in color in monochrome.  This way people who already had black and white television did not have to buy new receivers.
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Last Updated: May 19, 1999
Created by Diana Waxman , Jessica Bureau & Greg Roeberg