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MOSCOW, October 1 (Itar-Tass) — Television broadcasting in Russia marks an anniversary on Saturday. Exactly 80 years ago today, on October 1, 1931 in Moscow there began regular experimental television transmissions of still images.
The first such transmission took place inside the building of the Moscow radio engineering center in Nikolskaya Street.
"The images transmitted by optical-mechanical television were received in many cities, including Leningrad, Nizhny Novgorod, and even Tomsk," recalls the Russian Television and Radio Broadcasting Network, whose general directorate is now located in the same building. In those years television broadcasting began to develop almost simultaneously in many countries.
In 1938 regular transmissions of the electronic television signal began. Reliable reception of the signal transmitted from the antenna of the famous Shukhov Tower was available only within a radius of 60 kilometers. TV sets in the capital at that time numbered 30 pieces, but by 1941 their number increased to 400. Further development of network television broadcasting in the country continued after World War II.
"At that time the question of creating a single network television across the country was not raised yet, as there were no technical capabilities. At the early stages in various cities there emerged amateur studios," said the RTRBN. The first step toward creating such a network was made in 1955, when in the city of Kalinin, today’s Tver, the first relay facility went operational. It was receiving the television signal by cable from Moscow. Then, television centers began to crop up across the country, and with time they gained powerful support from the space satellite resource. As a result, by the mid-1980s the country had developed a powerful unified system of television broadcasting, with a potential audience of 240 million viewers, and the number of television sets grew to 90 million, including 18 million color ones.
Nowadays television has become the main source of information for the Russians. According to polls, a tiny two percent do not watch TV. On the Russian media market there are about 200 terrestrial television stations and 500 cable television operators.
A revolution in television broadcasting followed in the late 20th century with the advent of digital technology.
"In television, a new era began, just as it did in the 1930s of last century, when electronic television replaced the optical-mechanical one," the RTRBN said. Digital technologies can improve image quality, increase the number of available channels, as well as provide some additional features, including access to the Internet via the TV. According to the federal program for the development of broadcasting in 2009-2015 Russia is to complete the transition to digital broadcasting by 2015.