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Ken Burns: Empire of the Air: The Men Who Made Radio DVD
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Item No.: EAMR601
Single DVD

From Ken Burns, producer of THE CIVIL WAR, comes the story of radio's creation of radio and three men of genius, vision, and determination: Lee De Forest, a clergyman's flamboyant son; Edwin Howard Armstrong, a brilliant, withdrawn inventor; and David Sarnoff, a hard-driving Russian immigrant who created the world's most powerful communications company. This film evokes the lives of three men whose work profoundly transformed modern America.
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REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
PBSEmpire of the Air: The Men Who Made Radio DVD
 
4.9

(based on 7 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

Reviewed by 7 customers

Displaying reviews 1-5

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(4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Good but there's even more

By Dig Deeper

from FL

Comments about PBS Empire of the Air: The Men Who Made Radio DVD:

On March 11, 2013, the late Philo Farnsworth—a native of the eastern Idaho town of Rigby— was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame as the inventor of the first fully functional, all-electronic television system, demonstrating it to the public in 1928.

Too bad this documentary doesn't go into the drama surrounding Farnsworth's television invention and how it was pirated by David Sarnoff, the president of RCA (which would later become NBC), as dramatized in the Broadway play, The Farnsworth Invention, written by Aaron Sorkin.

An on-line follow-up from Ken Burns would go far in telling the truth.

Moreover, with little if any discussion of Tesla's significant contribution to radio (and electronics), including the invention of radio (radio-controlled boat in 1898) THREE YEARS ahead of Marconi's transmission in 1901.

(4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Empire of the Air: The Men Who Made Radi

By Eileen Gallo-Fry

from Atlanta, GA

Verified Reviewer

Comments about PBS Empire of the Air: The Men Who Made Radio DVD:

I grew up in a Broadcast Family. Radio (WINS) (WABC) and TV, (WNEW) (WABC) WRCA) WABW and print, NY Times as well as the ESJ. My family owned several stations and I was charged to learn from my elders. So General Sarnoff was one you always listend to and respected for his vision, syamina and wisdom. I also looked up to J, Elroy McCaw, His son Craig McCaw,Rick Sklar, Don Ingram, Soupy Sales and anyone who would teach me to master this trade and teach my sons and grandsons as well. One son works for Turner (CNN) his wife for HLN and my husband was a video engineer for WTTG in DC. Communications and quality broadcasting is critical for an informed America, which makes us stronger and better. I salute all of you where ever you maybe in your life's work and ambitions. It couldn't have been better for me.
Eileen Gallo Fry
retired from TV but always ready to help the next generations in whatever area of broadcast they choose.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

For Geeks and Non Geeks alike

By milo

from los altos, ca

Verified Reviewer

Comments about PBS Empire of the Air: The Men Who Made Radio DVD:

I share Victor Heard's review; he described this Burns special perfectly. I am not a techie and probably challenged more than most but found this to be both intriguing and fascinating. Its not just telling you the story but putting you into the era at the same time. Recommended this for your geek friends.

(5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

The best Ken Burns film so far

By VectorHead

from Orono, Maine

Verified Buyer

Comments about PBS Empire of the Air: The Men Who Made Radio DVD:

Only a geek like me could praise this film so highly.

Kids interested in tech (high or low) should see this film, and write a report on it. Check its facts, read other sources about radio, television, science and engineering.

But this film is a great place to start. It's got some tech in it (I'd like much more...). It's got the people. It's got the personal, and public battles.

All the inspiration, frustration, elation, and desperation, surrounding one of the most fundamental technologies human kind has ever produced.

Kudos to all those involved in the film.

And a big thanks to Jason Robards for the narration, he's perfect.

This film is epic...

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great!

By Hammershow

from Garden City, Kansas

Verified Reviewer

Comments about PBS Empire of the Air: The Men Who Made Radio DVD:

Anyone who works in broadcasting should watch this great documentary! Interesting and and at the same time very sad!

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