On the Air (1937) Hear and Now (1958) network broadcast
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3 films about Radio …On the Air 1937 , Hear and Now 1958 ,Network Broadcast
Fabulous 1930’s Jam Handy explanation of how radio works, beginning with orchestra performing in the radio studio dressed in formal attire as if the radio audience was watching. The explanation of the electronics and the accompanying illustrations appear made more to impress than explain and end up doing neither. Still it’s fun to listen to the proper, deep voiced, tuxedo dressed 1930’s announcer read psuedo-technical jargon he hardly understands, and then announce what “Romanov and the orchestra” will play next. And of course, it is a Jam Handy film, and that means Chevy, so we listen on the car radio!
When one considers that this was made in 1958, it is no wonder there was such an effort being put into pushing radio. Television exploded in the mid-fifties, and many radio stations saw it as their tombstone. This film may go a bit over the top in romanticizing radio, but it certainly does point out what many take for granted. Especially in late-fifties.
Many times, the film is very poetic in nature. You almost want to shed a tear for our friend the radio by the end.
The film is an accurate depiction of radio network interconnections, many of the same transmission techniques were used by radio networks such as NPR until 1980 when analog satellite interconnections rendered the land-line connections obsolete. Commercial networks followed with their own satellite interconnections.
It’s funny, but modern radio networks still use the same functional layout: audio switching, accurate timing for the downstream stations, and now thye nets can send text and metadata to enhance the listener’s experience.
We owe the radio pioneers depected in the file a “thank you” for developing these highly technical schemes.
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