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Rediffusion ( Singapore ) Limited
182 Clemenceau Avenue
SINGAPORE Tel. 362211
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Rediffusion Singapore in Clemenceau Ave. (1980)
Remembering Rediffusion Singapore
Please Note: This website has no direct connection or association with the broadcasting company using the name Rediffusion in Singapore nor any of its affiliates. The the content included is of historic value and for information only It has no commercial interest.
Rediffusion Singapore - Other Branch Activities
Rediffusion Singapore was established in the late 1940's bringing a Cable Radio Service thousands of subscribers in Singapore at a time when radio sets were very expensive and reception of such stations very poor.
The service comprised two audio channels and was based on the system of distribution which had proved successful in the UK. Subscriber take-up grew at a rapid rate with Rediffusion loudspeaker being installed in domestic and commercial premises throughout the island. The Rediffusion sevice remained primary radio service for over thirty years.
Headquarters and studios were built on Tank Road, later to become Clemenceau Avenue after road improvements. Singapore's Governor, Sir Franklin Gimson opened the station in August 1949.
Jack Snowdon became Managing Director of the company, a post he was to hold for over 30 years. The station was an immediate success with the listening public with a monthly subscription of $5. Broadcasts comprised UK produced programmes with a Chineese language channel added later. By the early 1980's, the subscriber base totalled over 100,000.
In 1980 the Singapore government backed the Speak Mandarin Campaign and Rediffusion was required to stop all dialect programmes by 1982.
With the advent of off-air Television and radio broadcasting through the 1980's, Rediffusion rapidly lost out to the competition and the cable service went into decline and by 1988 had fallen to just 63,000.
By the mid 1980's BET, Rediffusion's parent company, decided divest it's electronics interests and the Rediffusion Group was subsequently broken up and sold off.
Rediffusion Singapore remained in BET ownership until 1989 when it was finally disposed, with the broadcasting system going to a UK consortium YRN (Yorkshire Radio Network).
By early 2000 Rediffusion was a mere shadow of that of its heyday. The subscription base dropped to less than 8000 in favour of "off air" broadcasters. In 2003, Rediffusion Singapore again changed ownership and underwent a major transformation. The Rediffusion name still exists as a DAB broadcaster offering a number of subscription and 'free-to-air digital channels featuring a programming mix of News, Music, Talk and Drama.
Rediffusion Singapore - The Early Years
Rediffusion Singapore in Clemenceau Ave. (1950)
Singapore Rediffusion was centred on a large, three-storied building especially erected for its purpose and situated on the outskirts of the commercial centre. The building accommodated the offices, programme origination, central control, stores, and workshop.
Programmes were fed, by means of rented lines to amplifying stations in the heart of the shopping and housing areas as these were the most densely populated quarters of Chinatown and yielded the highest subscriber density. Subsequently development extended to the less thickly peopled but more easily accessible districts in the outskirts.
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Rediffusion Singapore - The 1970's and 1980's
Rediffusion siezed the opportunity to present additional products, systems and services available from the parent group to in order to expand it's business in the face of the decline in the wired radio activity in the 1980's.
Inevitably, the knowledge, skills and experience gained in the field of electronic technology led Rediffusion to diversify. Over the years, it steadily built up a vast network of operations covering broadcasting, communications, electronics engineering, and the high technology field of systems simulation. Rediffusion Services (S) Pte Ltd was formed in 1974 with the objective of providing a number of other services. For instance, the installation and service of Central Antenna Television (CATV) systems for a number of HDB and private flats, providing sharp intenerence free reception of television programmes. The Consumer Products Department which handled rental, hire purchase and cash sales of a variety of domestic appliances.
Rediffusion Services also provided services in the areas of radiocommunication, sound and paging, AV, and cIosed-circuit television. It provided vital information for specialist brokers of the hundreds or so commodities, updated second by second with the International Data Media Service.
The Background Music Division ensured a steady supply of mood music to suit any requirement. An experienced and highly trained crew of technicians and supervisory staff ensured that all users of Rediffusion Services products received prompt and reliable servicing at all times.
Rediffusion Services Consumer Products Department handled the rental, hire purchase and cash sale of a wide range of quality home appliances like refrigerators, washing machines and gas cookers, and of course TV receiver and VCR sets. Rediffusion Services' TV rental services started with the inception of telecasting in Singapore. The experience and expertise acquired over the years in this field made it a leading reputed TV Rental specialist.
A team of experienced TV and VCR technicians operating from a fleet of vehicles with radio-communication facilities were backed by highly-skilled technicians and engineers.
Rediffusion Services also offered Hotelevision, a specialised service which provided the novelty of in-house movies in
hotels. The equipment incorporated video cassette units and a fully automated programmed time control unit. A supply of regularly updated films completes the package.
Hotel Vision Systems
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The Rediffusion name lives on in Singapore broadcasting a range of popular programes in digital audio format. Click the above link to visit their website.