On analog televisions, channel 1 never had anything but white noise. Why is that?

Very random question I know. But I'm curious because I remember as a kid channel 1 never had anything on it and the TV guide channel would skip over it. Anyone know why?


There once was a Channel 1, but it was abandoned in the late 1940s. This channel had reception problems for a number of reasons that only a physicist would understand. Also, there were problems with maintaining a permanent frequency assignment for this channel.


In the US, channel 1 went away in 1948. Land Mobile Radio and television broadcasters had been sharing the same frequencies before that. This shared allocation was eventually found to be problematic, so the FCC reallocated the Channel 1 frequencies for public safety and land mobile use, leaving only channels 2 through 13 for TV broadcast.

DR + Mrs Bears face

Hi That was the old 405 line system which was switched off so all you see is thermal noise.



Chris Williams

Thank you guys. Now I know.