HC Deb 01 February 1938 vol 331 cc31-2
73. Captain A. Evans

asked the Postmaster-General what reasons he can assign for the public response to television not being up to the standard expected?

The Postmaster - General (Major Try on)

It has always been realised that the development of a television service would not be an easy matter. Television programmes pre costly to produce; the normal effective range of a television station is not much more than 30 miles; and television receiving sets are necessarily more expensive than sound receiving sets. In spite of these difficulties considerable progress has been made during the first year of the television service; and a high degree of efficiency has now been reached both technically and on the programme side. Meantime the prices of receiving sets have been reduced and many types of sets are now on sale which are thoroughly reliable and extremely simple to manipulate. A Sunday television service is about to be introduced; the weekday hours are to be extended; and every effort is being made to provide programmes of an interesting and attractive type. In addition, I have decided, on the recommendation of the Television Advisory Committee, that the present technical standards of transmission from the Alexandra Palace station shall remain substantially unaltered for at least three years from January, 1938, and the public may therefore purchase television sets without any fear that they will become obsolete or require substantial alteration for a very considerable time to come. Great Britain was the first country to establish a public television service and it is still the only country in which television can be received in the home. I am confident that rapid progress will be made with the development of the service and that it will eventually become a normal adjunct of the sound broadcasting service.

Mr. R. C. Morrison

Is it proposed to take any steps to relieve the present cramped conditions in Alexandra Palace, which make it very difficult to give a satisfactory television service?

Major Tryon

The whole service is being improved, as I think the hon. Member will see when he reads my answer.

Mr. Thorne

Could the right hon. and gallant Gentleman make arrangements for Members of this House to go to Broadcasting House to see television in progress?

Major Tryon

I shall be very happy to convey that suggestion to the British Broadcasting Corporation.

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