What's Ahead for the TV Industry
January 1957 Radio & Television News Article
wasn't able to verify Dr. Baker's (VP of GE) prediction in 1957 of what the state of the television industry would
be by 1960. He said 10
million sets would be sold in 1960 vs. 7.5 million in 1957. Some recent sources claim there were as many as
52 million TV sets total
by 1960, so he might have been right. Transoceanic scattering techniques were thought to be the method of choice for
television broadcasts, but we know that ultimately relay satellites would win out. It wasn't until 1962 that the
Telstar bird carried the first TV signals,
however. "Truly portable" transistorized TVs would be appearing on store shelves within the next couple
years. One in forty American worked in the electronics manufacturing and service fields at the time. I'm
guessing the ratio is a lot lower today with only a small percentage of any kind of manufacturing
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What's Ahead for the TV Industry
Dr. W. R. G. Baker takes optimistic view, expects growth, but also change.
In his report to the fall
meeting of the Institute of Radio Engineers and the Radio-Electronics-Television Manufacturers Association, Dr.
W. R. G. Baker, president of RETMA and vice-president of the General Electric Company, anticipated a bright future
for all facets of the TV industry. He accompanied his predictions with the observation that many forecasts for the
electronics industry made in recent years turned out to be not optimistic enough.
Since Dr. Baker was unable
to appear in person, his report was delivered by Arthur V. Loughren, president of IRE. Some of the highlights, statistical
and non-statistical, included the following "guesstimates":
As compared to about 7 1/2 million TV sets being
sold annually now, about 10 million a year will be the annual sale by 1960.
Closed-circuit industrial TV
will quadruple over the next four years, with sales, now at the $6 million mark, reaching $24 million by 1960.
With the rapid development of scatter transmission techniques, trans-oceanic TV broadcasts are only a matter
With many other nations throughout the world ready to begin TV broadcasting for the first time
in 1957, the sales potential for foreign markets will continue to forge upward.
Truly portable transistorized
TV sets will be on the market within two years.
Color TV will always cost more than monochrome receivers,
and there will surely be no drastic downward revision of color prices in the immediate future, although eventually
less expensive color sets are in the offing.
Looking into the immediate future, 1956 will end up as one
of the best years for TV receiver sales despite the slackening off that characterized the first 9 months.
On the u.h.f.-v.h.f. dispute, Dr. Baker advised a go-slow attitude until a thorough study has been made.
Stating that there has been no precedent in industrial history for the growth of electronics, Dr. Baker pointed
out, "Ten years ago it was an industrial infant and now it provides employment for one-and-three-quarter million
Americans, which represents one person in every 40 in our total work force. And the amazing thing is that 75 percent
of these jobs didn't exist just 10 years ago."