Channel 9 MCOT HD (Thai: ช่อง 9 เอ็มคอตเอชดี) is the first terrestrial television channel in Thailand and is owned by MCOT Public Company Limited. Its inaugural broadcast, in black and white, was on June 24, 1955 on Channel 4 VHF. The channel has broadcast in colour on Channel 9 VHF since 1970, and has not broadcast in black and white since 1974. MCOT PCL and the TV station are regulated by the Minister of the Office of the Thai Prime Minister (OPM) and the Permanent Secretary for the OPM. The company’s president is Dhewindra Wongwanich.
Thai Television Channel 4 was the first TV station in Thailand. Incorporated on November 10, 1952, it operated under the management of Thai Television Company Limited. Plans for the future Channel 4 were made in early 1952 by Sapphasiri Wiriyasari, an official in the public-relations department of the Prime Minister’s Office. He wrote an article about the new technology (“Visual Radio”), which was distributed to a group of government officials in the public-relations department. Wiriyasari was assigned by the department to the United Kingdom to study the medium of television. After returning to Thailand around 1949, he proposed the government establishment of television broadcasting in another article, “Time Thailand Should Have Television”. At a 1950 cabinet meeting, prime minister Chom Phon Plaek Phibunsongkhram, instructed the department to establish a television station. A budget was outlined for the following year, but opposition from a majority of MPs (from the government and opposition parties) to the project’s perceived wastefulness prevented it from proceeding.
In September and November 1952, the ministers and the public relations department (Luang Saranuprapan, ML Khap Koonchorn, Prasong Hongsanan, Phao Sriyanond, Lek Sanguanchatsornkrai, Muni Mahasanthana Wetchayanrangsit and Luen Phongsophon) supported the development of television in Thailand to provide news and information, quality programming and education. Public support resulted in the allocation of ฿20 million, and the Thai Television Company (TTVC) was founded. Chamnong Rangsikoon was its head producer, Amporn Photchanaphisoot the head director of photography, Somchai Malacharoen the chief cameraman, Thana Nakkhaphan the broadcast engineer, Kriangkrai (Sanan) Chiwapricha the transmitter chief, Thamrong Worasoot and Fu Chomchuen transmitter and antenna supervisor, Chan Tanthakosai chief director for sound, Sapphasiri Wiriyasiri the lighting chief and Raksak Watthanaphanit head of television services.
TTVC established a TTV radio station (Thai: สถานีวิทยุกระจายเสียง ท.ท.ท.) before the television station. The inaugural Thai Television Channel 4 broadcast was June 24, 1955. Using a 10-kW monaural transmitter, 525 lines per picture and 30 frames per second, the original broadcast schedule was Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from 6:30 to 11:00 pm.