Satellite TV: Birth of an Industry (Parts 1 & 2)

1980 | 00:56:00 | United States | English | Color | Stereo | 4:3 | Video

Collection: Single Titles

Tags: Media Analysis, Television, Video History

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Part of a cable TV series called Communications Update that aired on public access in New York City from 1979 through 1992, these tapes provide an early example of television made by artists. The series centered on the democraticization of the media. Birth Of An Industry covers a Miami satellite TV convention attended by thousands of backyard satellite TV enthusiaists, inventors, and entrepreneurs. Many of the attendees joined forces to track the orbital arc of foreign satellite signals, in particular the Russian "bird." Footage of this activity is intercut with interviews of some of the industry's pioneers, including inventors Bob Coleman, Taylor Howard, and Bob Cooper, one of the industry's chief promoters. The availability of this technology opened tremendous possibilities to rural America and to countries seeking to diversify and expand the programming available to them.