Telstar and Me: July 23, 1962
By Mark Wainwright
Talk Host/Voice Artist
Radio and television broadcasting were changed forever on a summer afternoon in 1962. Everybody realized it then; hardly anyone cares or remembers today
(This article was originally published in TALKERS and cross-posted to LinkedIn on July 23, 2020. A revised version also ran in TALKERS and was cross-posted to social media in July of 2021. It has been edited and amended prior to posting and publication on the 60th anniversary this week.)
SYRACUSE — Instant, worldwide audio/video communication has become a routine aspect of our lives that we now take for granted. We can hold the technology in our hands and access it anytime. Yet it wasn’t so long ago that this was the stuff of science fiction.
By the early 1960s, live worldwide radio had been around for decades. With a combination of shortwave transmission and some intricate international phone links, you could get a radio broadcast from just about anywhere to just about anyplace. There were limitations, and the audio quality wasn’t great, but it could usually be done. The bandwidth demands of “broadcast-quality” television, however, were a much higher hurdle.