Edwin Howard Armstrong, CIA, Am Radio discussed on Podcast Central
RC eight begins to manufacture color television sets Now, now they've set the standard. Now they're gonna make the actual products. Originally, the early sets had either 15 inch or 19 inch screens. 1955 all our CIA sets were 21 inches in screen size, and you measure that on the diagonal. Other companies would continue to manufacture the smaller screen sets. But R C A focused on 21 is the standard. Interestingly, our CEO was not the first manufacturer to offer a consumer color television set that was running on what was effectively RCs color television transmission standards. Westinghouse would introduce a color television ahead of R. C a 1954. It's silver $1295 a princely sum, particularly when you factor in inflation. If you were to do that, you would see that in today's cash That would cost you about $12,000 are CIA would follow this up in less than a month with its own first television set color television set called the C T 100. That one had a price tag of $1000 so about 10 grand in today's cash. Very expensive to watch some color TV. Now it may come as little surprise that not many people picked up a new CT 100 at that price tag RC a pursued some pretty enthusiastic marketing strategies. In other words, they held a very expensive advertising campaign trying to get interest up. But at that price, it just wasn't going to happen by August of 1954. Not even two months after its debut, our CIA would drop the price tag to $495, which was still a huge chunk of change. But that price R C A was actually losing money on every sale because the sets were so expensive to make. Even so, if the company had failed to sell it sets That would have cost our see even more money in the long run, So this was a way to get early adopters onboard and pave the way for future less expensive televisions. Color television What, really pick up steam and the consumer marketplace until the 19 sixties. That's when the quality really improved. The price dropped and there was more programming available to watch as well. Shows like Disney's Wonderful World of Color, which debuted in 1961 helped a lot Color television sales wouldn't overtake black and white TV sales until 1970 Meanwhile, our CNN CBS did battle over which company would define the future of television. At that same time, Sarnoff was waging a separate war about radio waves. His adversary was someone who used to be a close friend of his A guy named Edwin Howard Armstrong. Armstrong was an electrical engineer. He had attended Columbia University Brilliant guy, apparently one of those people who really was only interested in studying anything that directly appealed to him and had no interest whatsoever in any other subjects. Armstrong had already achieved a great deal by the late 19 twenties, but we're concerned specifically with his work and FM radio FM stands for Frequency modulation As opposed to AM radio, which stands for amplitude modulation in both cases were talking about Changing a radio wave in some way to transmit information. So it's all about varying something some aspect of the radio wave. And with a m or amplitude modulation. It's all in the name. It's all about the amplitude the strength of a radio signal by very that. Modulating the strength of the signal. You can encode audio onto a radio wave and you have a receiver. And it has a device to decode that modulation essentially to reverse this process, so that whatever information was laid on top of that radio wave, can they be played back? You can convert it into an audio signal. The electrical signal. Really, that represents an audio signal. Send that to an amplifier and then on the speakers. But I am has some drawbacks and a big one is that it is interference really can come into a transmissions quite easily. Stuff like electrical equipment can introduce interference or thunderstorms. And you get static. Another noise that gets introduced into the signal. So you don't get a clean signal. Start off, wanted to eliminate all of that static that noise. Armstrong wanted to experiment with frequency modulation, which was already a known method at that time, but had yet to produce results that were remarkably better than AM broadcasts. And as the name suggests. Instead of messing with the strength of a radio wave. You mess with its frequency, you increase or decrease its frequency to encode audio on top of that radio wave. Otherwise, it's a very similar system. You would have a receiver that would pick up the radio wave and a decoder that would take that modulation of frequency and converted back into an electrical signal that would represent audio. So Armstrong believed that the reason why FM had not really shown to be better than a M was because earlier attempts had focused on two narrow arrange for modulation. People were not Changing the frequency. Enough. Essentially, so Armstrong began to experiment with Wideband FM. He filed and received five patents for his approach. And he had an agreement with RC A That said the company was going to have the right of first refusal on any patents that Armstrong was able to secure while working an FM he demonstrated his system Tau Arcia Arcia would actually test it out fairly extensively in the mid 19 thirties. And it was pretty clear that the system was superior to a M. For the purposes of radio broadcasts. Within a given region AM signals could be picked up further away than FM. In most cases. But R. C A was so focused on developing television that relatively little attention was given to the FM developments, and ultimately, Armstrong wasn't presented with any sort of deal. Or his work A short while later, Armstrong brought his ideas to some other companies now are CIA wasn't doing anything with them, and his intent was partnering with those other companies and licensing his patents in order to start changing radio stations over from a M to F. M, which would actually require lots of work that would require Not just a a format switch, but new equipment FM.