On September 29th, 1963 Tele Aruba N.V. proudly began to operate as the first Aruban National TelevisionCompany. Because the Dutch Antilles Government at that time did not plan to open a television station, it took great effort and sacrifice to build Tele Aruba N.V. and its concept. The Dutch Antilles Government planned to open a relay-transmitter through Tele-Curacao, the television station in Curacao, so the community of Aruba can also watch Tele-Curacao. Tele-Curacao began its operation during the month of July in 1960 through the central government of the Dutch Antilles. During this time, the BARTELL GROUP, managed by Gerald Barter decided together with the government of the Dutch Antilles that “pay television” was not possible in Curacao, hence they received permission to work with commercials to raise funds. The Dutch Antilles Government and Bartell group founded NATEC, which is the acronym for Netherlands Antilles Television & Electronic Company.
Aruba kept firm on its decision and decided that Aruba should not have a relay station, but its own small television station. Aruba’s wish was granted and Tele Aruba began its operation with a minimum of 12 employees. The first building from which Tele Aruba started operating from was smaller than a Radio Station on the island called Radio Victoria.
As Tele Aruba was preparing for its grand opening, the workers experienced a time of great anxiety and pressure. For example Philips Company performed a light testing with TL lights, however the type of camera available at that time plumbicon was not sensitive enough to project the right lighting for the screen. As a result, Tele Aruba was forced to supply studios with spotlights. In addition, two days before the official opening, the studio floor had to be completely reconstructed to assure a smooth pavement for the cameras to role on it efficiently.
Tele Aruba’s staff included both employees from Tele Curacao and native employees. Tele Aruba finally had its grand opening on September 29th 1963. The night was a success, where local artist performed and all the people involved with Tele Aruba gave proud speeches. Nevertheless, that night Tele Aruba faced some serious problems. Tele Aruba at that time channel 12, received some conflicts from the relay transmitter from Venezuela. Tele Aruba did not have sufficient equipment to operate properly, to be exact, 3456 units. This compared to the strong-relay transmitter from Venezuela. Tele Aruba had to come up with a solution. Consequently Tele Aruba decided not to increase its power of the relay transmitter and asked for permission to transmit programs on a different channel, channel 13. Today it is still the official channel of Tele Aruba.
Tele Aruba used film projector type 16 mm, slides, flip cards, studio camera, announcer booth, many “Live” commercials in order not to bore the viewer. The announcer changed clothes for every live commercial. He/she needed to memorize all their lines and could not change the content of the text. The technical director had a copy of the text assigned to the announcer. If the announcer were to change the text it would not have fit the sound of the commercial. Per night the announcer shot 5 commercials. The cameraman became experts into changing shots despite the fact that there was only one camera. The viewers at home hardly noticed, this is due to the talent of the cameraman. With some advice from Dutch experts and ultimately thanks to the Multi-plexer camera used in the control room, it all went well. This camera worked with mirror, which allowed the camera to become multi-functional. This camera was connected to Ferns hen film projectors 2 slide drums. The announcement booth and station identification allowed the camera to change the shots, therefore creating a different impression for the viewer.
During its existence, Tele Aruba presented besides local programs, different shows that came from Latin and North America, where soap operas and movies were included.
As stated before, Tele Aruba operated as a commercial station. In the past commercial consisted of slides, pictures, film or Live. After that, the format changed to ¾ inch. This gave the commercials a new dimension and was more attractive in color. WhenTele Aruba wanted to go over into they had to decide on a compatible one. It was confirmed that Venezuela would use the same system as USA, NTSC and that is what Tele Aruba started with on 12th of July, 1973.
In the meantime Radio Caracas TV and Venevision TV from Venezuela where still black and white. The color transition went slow. When Aruba got its Apart Status in 1986, Tele Aruba was incorporated and was no longer part of “Antilliaanse Televisie Maatschappij” ATM- Tele-Curacao, which was Dutch Antilles.
On the 14 of September, 2004 SETAR the national telecommunication company of Aruba bought Tele Aruba. In a short period thereafter Tele Aruba had to reorganize the company and rebuild part of the building.
Today Telearuba enjoys a new logo, new building and a young and dynamic team. In keeping up with innovation, Telearuba launched in november 2010 the first HD channel of Aruba – Channel 313. At Telearuba we provide the highest quality of diverse programming to our audiences from locally-produced programs such as in-depth live coverage of cultural events and entertainment, comprehensive and relevant news, live talk shows, children programs, sports coverage to exciting game shows. Telearuba is also on the Internet with live video streaming 24 hours a day 7 days a week.Telearuba continuously explores new possibilities to offer a richer mix of content to our viewers.