April 30, 1964: UHF

In July 1962 President John F. Kennedy signed into law legislation that required all television receiving sets shipped across state lines to able to adequately receive all UHF as well as VHF frequencies. The goal of this law was to put UHF channels (channels 14 through 83) on a more equal technological footing with the VHF channels (2 through 13). Until this time, virtually all sets manufactured in or imported into the United States were equipped to receive the VHF channels only. Viewers interested in watching UHF channels were required to purchase a cumbersome UHF converter and attach it to their sets. These converters, which resembled metal bow ties and sat atop the receiver, did not allow viewers to "click in" the desired channel. The tuning dial operated fluidly, like a radio tuning knob, and viewers had to literally "tune in" the desired channel. With the commercial networks occupying the VHF channels and viewers disadvantaged in receiving the UHF frequencies, UHF channels (primarily independent commercial and educational or noncommercial stations) were in danger of extinction. The immediate goal, then, of all-channel legislation was the preservation of these channels. The longer-term goal was the encouragement of diversity (or the creation of "a multitude of tongues"), which was a guiding force behind much Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rule making at the time. Therefore, on September 12, 1962, the commission proposed that any set manufactured in or imported into the United States after April 30, 1964, be all-channel equipped. The proposal became an official FCC order on November 21, 1962. Later amendments to FCC rules and regulations specified performance standards for the UHF circuit in the new receivers relating to sound and picture quality.
     -- From "Encyclopedia of Television" (2004)

* "All-channel television broadcast reception: Peak picture sensitivity" (U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, 1985): @
* The FCC and the All-Channel Receiver Bill of 1962" (Lawrence D. Longley, Journal of Broadcasting, 1969): @
* "The Impact of UHF Promotion: The All-Channel Television Receiver Law" (Douglas W. Webbink, Law and Contemporary Problems, Duke University, 1969): @
* "UHF" (from "The Federal Communications Commission: Front Line in the Culture and Regulation Wars," Kimberly A. Zarkin and Michael J. Zarkin, 2006): @ 
* "All Channel Receiver Act of 1962" (from "The Communications Act: A Legislative History of the Major Amendments, 1934-1996"): @ 
* "The ABCs of UHF-TV" (Popular Science, August 1964): @ 
* "All-Channel TV Deadline Set at May 1" (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, November 24, 1962): @ 

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