Australian commercial television was launched when Bruce Gyngell uttered those famous words “Welcome to television” on TCN 9 in Sydney on the evening of 16 September 1956 followed by HSV 7 in Melbourne on 4 November.
For the first few years, the only available method for capturing TV programs was the kinescope process, in which a fixed movie camera filmed broadcasts screened on a specially adjusted TV monitor. Similarly, the playback of pre-recorded programs to air was only possible at this stage through the telecine process, in which films or kinescoped TV recordings were played back on a movie screen which was monitored by a TV camera.
Because of these limitations, it was relatively difficult and expensive to record and distribute local programming, so the majority of locally produced content was broadcast live-to-air. Very little local programming from these first few years of Australian TV broadcasting was recorded and in the intervening years the majority of that material has since been lost or destroyed.
In September 1960, the Federation of Australian Commercial Television Stations (FACTS) was formed to represent the interests of the newly launched industry. This organisation subsequently changed its name to become Free TV Australia in 2003.