22 August 1932: BBC starts early TV broadcasts

On this day in 1932, John Logie Baird, the inventor of television, began to conduct experimental broadcasts on the BBC, using his new technology.

In October 1922, the British Broadcasting Corporation was set up to provide radio broadcasts to the UK. The new technology proved so successful that by 1930 half of all households had a radio licence.

By 1932, the BBC had turned its attention to a new technology: it gave John Logie Baird, the inventor of television, studio space to conduct experimental broadcasts.

Within two years of the tests starting, extended trials of both Baird's system and one developed by EMI and Marconi were commissioned, with EMI/Marconi's ending up being chosen. From August 1936, a regular TV service ran until it was shut down on the eve of World War II (due to fears it could inadvertently help German bombers to navigate).

In 1946, the TV service resumed. Despite post-war austerity the number of viewers rocketed, with 20 million people watching the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.

However, there were fears that the BBC's monopoly on TV would stifle debate and innovation. So the Television Act of 1954 set up the Independent Television Authority to allocate regional franchises for a commercial television channel, funded by advertising.

The first of these stations began broadcasting in 1955, and by 1962 the whole of the UK was covered. Channel 4 was introduced in 1982 and Channel 5 began in 1997.

Recommended

Isas vs private pensions – which is better for retirement?
Isas

Isas vs private pensions – which is better for retirement?

Isas are becoming a popular option for retirement, but private pensions still have certain advantages.
7 Dec 2022
UK house prices see their biggest fall since 2008
House prices

UK house prices see their biggest fall since 2008

Halifax’s latest house price index shows UK house prices fell by 2.3% in November
7 Dec 2022
Key dates for 2023: here are the dates you need to know when it comes to your money in 2023
Personal finance

Key dates for 2023: here are the dates you need to know when it comes to your money in 2023

There is no shortage of important dates to be aware of next year – which are likely to affect your financial health. We run through the key dates in 2…
6 Dec 2022
What is a recession and how will it affect you?
UK Economy

What is a recession and how will it affect you?

The UK economy is heading towards a recession, according to economists. But what is a recession, and what does it mean for your money?
6 Dec 2022

Most Popular

Is it cheaper to leave the heating on low all day?
Personal finance

Is it cheaper to leave the heating on low all day?

The weather is getting colder and energy bills are rising, but is it really cheaper to leave the heating on low all day or should you only turn it on …
1 Dec 2022
Radiator vs electric heater – which is cheaper?
Personal finance

Radiator vs electric heater – which is cheaper?

We compare the costs, pros and cons of radiators and electric heaters and see which one will help keep your energy bill as low as possible.
28 Nov 2022
The pros and cons of smart meters – should you switch?
Personal finance

The pros and cons of smart meters – should you switch?

A smart meter can help you keep tabs on your energy usage, but is it better than a regular meter? We take a look at smart meters vs regular meters.
2 Dec 2022