History of Television Around the World - Japan

About the history of television in the world and in Japan, technology of their tv, violence and sex on their programs.

Television around the World


Japan, with a daily TV audience of over 31 million, has a TV system noted basically for its technical flourishes. NHK, the public-service corporation, has developed to the point where computers do most of the work. Two IBM 360 computers handle transmission for both of NHK's TV stations and its 3 radio stations as well, cutting programs in on schedule while cutting off others. And with their "Random Resources Selector," live newscasts can be managed by computer to the extent of cutting in a camera on a particular newscaster, or even handling live satellite transmissions. The latest innovation: letting the computers memorize the station' whole film library so that any time a director wants a particular stock shot (a particular angle of a detonating A-bomb, for instance), he/she has only to press a button, rather than scan miles of videotape.

There is a slough of violence and sex on the Japanese screen, typified by samurai dramas and "hard training" programs. One quiz show, since removed from the air, penalized losing contestants by slowly snipping away their clothing with scissors. With Japan's "simultaneous" advertising (commercials that are superimposed over the program as it progresses) one doesn't have to endure the suspense of waiting through a commercial break to see the resolution of a drama.

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