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Old 5th Dec 2017, 10:18 am   #21
AidanLunn
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Default Re: Fifty Years of Colour Television in the UK

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Originally Posted by red16v View Post
Granada started off with EMI 2001's.
They actually started with one studio that was Marconi Mk7 and contracted Marconi to refurbish the studios, but Granada's engineers were so disappointed with the picture compared to the 2001 that they changed their order to EMI for the remaining studios, but still contracted Marconi to install them!
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Old 5th Dec 2017, 12:27 pm   #22
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Default Re: Fifty Years of Colour Television in the UK

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It would be good to to see some members' dual standard sets especially if displaying pictures.
This site had off screen photos from a Philips G25K500 on Christmas Day 1967. Can't seem to find them now though.

http://www.philipstv.org.uk/blog/

I have some photos from a G25K502 I used to have, taken in 2000 which don't scan too well and nothing like the excellent quality obtained off screen. The pictures impressed everyone who saw it.

Brian
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Old 5th Dec 2017, 12:55 pm   #23
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Default Re: Fifty Years of Colour Television in the UK

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They actually started with one studio that was Marconi Mk7 and contracted Marconi to refurbish the studios, but Granada's engineers were so disappointed with the picture compared to the 2001 that they changed their order to EMI for the remaining studios, but still contracted Marconi to install them!
I've heard lots of MkVII stories over the years and it can be very hard to say what's likely to be true. It was never simply a case of engineering - there's always money, people, politics (small p) and even politics (large P) with high value deals like these. These cameras were very expensive (think small detached house) and it was never solely up to engineers to decide. The 2001 was by the early 70s an old design. It worked well but it was very expensive, very heavy, not particularly reliable (eg viewfinder and H Def - I have a large BBC EMI 2001 fault log book which is interesting reading!), a G101 camera cable and only two basic zoom lenses to choose between. It's not surprising that it couldn't be exported as the world had moved on. By 1970, Marconi had their MkVIII and all the other manufacturers were producing smaller, lighter, cheaper and more versatile cameras.

Best regards,

Paul M

BTW, small point - Marconi cameras always use Roman numerals, whereas Pye used Arabic. I know it's picky
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Old 5th Dec 2017, 11:23 pm   #24
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Default Re: Fifty Years of Colour Television in the UK

What a fascinating thread, compulsive and informative reading bringing back some happy memories of first generation colour equipment, a lot of which was still in service into the mid eighties.
In 1981 Marconi installed four MkIX cameras at BBC Glasgow, no doubt hoping to win the contract to replace the 2001s in the main studio.
Engineering loved them, they were beautifully built and reasonably reliable. Light entertainment and game show producers also liked them, however drama lighting directors (aka the princes of darkness) thought the images lacked subtlety, one commenting that the pictures 'look a bit ITV', that was their death knell.
So the old EMIs were coaxed along for another couple of years and the poor Marconis lived out their lives in a 'talking heads' news and sport studio.
I guess the 'highs out of green' design with limited red and blue bandwidth didn't help. The 4 tube cameras and even, dare I say it, the full bandwidth RGB Link 110/120 displayed a more natural sharpness, compared to which the MkIX pictures looked a bit 'electronic' even after the BBC mods to shift the aperture correction peak out of band.
Within a few years it was all academic, British manufacturers failed to predict the demand for operationally practical and reliable light weight cameras, and were put to the sword by the likes of Sony and Ikegami.
Still, as HKS would say... HAPPY DAYS, we had time to 'play'.
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Old 6th Dec 2017, 12:37 am   #25
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Default Re: Fifty Years of Colour Television in the UK

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Within a few years it was all academic, British manufacturers failed to predict the demand for operationally practical and reliable light weight cameras, and were put to the sword by the likes of Sony and Ikegami.
UK manufacturers did understand this, but faced with high development and production costs there was no competing with the products from the Far East. Much the same story as with domestic TVs.

What also didn't help was the BBC and its continual demands for camera features which couldn't be sold on the world market. How could that circle be squared - sell to your state broadcaster but not the world or vice-versa? You couldn't do both. Marconi chose world sales (a much bigger market), yet continued to try with the BBC. EMI (and then Link) chose the BBC market and could only export in really tiny numbers as a consequence.

Philips/Pye TVT was not selling a British made product but they had triax first and that was their ace card on OB - at least for a while. It was money and profitability that extinguished UK camera manufacture, not a lack of foresight.

Marconi was certainly guilty of using too much metal in almost all of their products which didn't help on the miniaturisation front. It used to be said that Marconi's was a metalworking company that did some electronics as well! Too cruel, of course, but you did get a lot of metal for your money - especially with the MkVII and its magnesium body shell.

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Old 6th Dec 2017, 9:27 am   #26
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Default Re: Fifty Years of Colour Television in the UK

Does anyone remember the super quick grey scale corrections made at the studio when they changed cameras? They managed it in around 2 seconds. Occasionally they turned the 'presets' the wrong way...

I had a Murphy CTV in 1968 and this procedure changed around the end of 1969.

I suppose the start date could be compared with the RadioOlympia demonstration of television in August 1936. The service was then closed for final adjustments etc and was officially opened as a regular service in November.

The change over to colour/625 UHF in the Autumn of 1969 was preceded by a long period of unannounced pre start colour transmissions on BBC1 and ITV during the summer of 1969.

I remember I had just gone to bed and the Frost Programme was announced as being in colour! I ran downstairs, switched on the dual standard Murphy and low and behold on channel 23 it was indeed in fabulous colour!

I have many memories of the early days of colour. It was very exciting times. John.
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Old 6th Dec 2017, 2:28 pm   #27
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Default Re: Fifty Years of Colour Television in the UK

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Originally Posted by Focus Diode View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philips210 View Post
It would be good to to see some members' dual standard sets especially if displaying pictures.
I have some photos from a G25K502 I used to have, taken in 2000 which don't scan too well and nothing like the excellent quality obtained off screen. The pictures impressed everyone who saw it.

Brian
Here are some, now I'm on the laptop. Difficult uploading photos when using the phone.

As you'll see the test card appears with slightly too much height. This was deliberate as most programmes were shown with gaps at the top and bottom at the time. They were from VHS recordings (405 converted via Dinosaur converter). Note the height was a little shorter on 405-lines.

These photos do no justice to the quality of the pictures obtained on the set. Excellent convergence was possible on both systems.
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Last edited by Focus Diode; 6th Dec 2017 at 2:45 pm. Reason: Improved photos.
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Old 6th Dec 2017, 2:33 pm   #28
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Default Re: Fifty Years of Colour Television in the UK

Hi John,

What you may be remembering is on air 'TARIFing' of film material, particularly news film. Studio cameras were generally set up under controlled conditions, and one was always able to preview and tweak the shot before it was cut to air (hopefully).
Not so news film, it was delivered to telecine right to the wire, so no time for a preview. It was also shot on reversal stock, often 'tail ends' of mixed manufacture and rushed through the developing baths.
The end result was usually an item with sometimes extreme colour errors between shots, usually along the green/magenta axis!
It took a skilled and calm telecine engineer to ride the film live and produce acceptable results, a moments distraction and it was easy to tweak the colours in the wrong direction.
No one mourned the demise of news reversal film when ENG arrived in the early eighties!
I guess the only reliable off air reference for home repair engineers at the time was the BBC2 test card... the only source where the burst and pulses weren't mucked about with.
I didn't join the TV industry until 1977, so tales of the early days of colour make for great reading... keep them coming.

All the best
Eric.
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Old 6th Dec 2017, 5:29 pm   #29
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Default Re: Fifty Years of Colour Television in the UK

Same year as me! Did you or PaulM ever come across Marconi’s Unipulse system?

I started off in telecine, local film was the worst as you say. The best being those glossy American imports, Hawaii 5-O, Little house on the prairie and the like. You put them on, gave the minimum of ‘tarifing’ and then just sat back for the next 50 minutes, beautifully stable.
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Old 6th Dec 2017, 6:36 pm   #30
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Default Re: Fifty Years of Colour Television in the UK

This made me smile, and late 60s tv engineers will remember this well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ulaye_qVwTY

BBC Trade test colour tv transmission film. late 60s

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Old 6th Dec 2017, 7:08 pm   #31
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Default Re: Fifty Years of Colour Television in the UK

Yes I remember this film, also the reference to illuminant C later changed to Illuminant D 6500, I think that number is correct.
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Old 6th Dec 2017, 8:42 pm   #32
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Default Re: Fifty Years of Colour Television in the UK

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The OFFICIAL start of colour TV was indeed Dec 2nd 1967.

See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1967_i...ish_television

There's a lot more out there to back that up.

I also recall a front of cover of 'Practical Television' saying 'Colour is Here - Starts Dec 2nd'.

The Wimbledon broadcasts were still experimental - even though they were claimed to be 'regular'. The BBC was playing a game of 'first' with Germany, France and the USSR over colour TV in Europe, but in the end - as is usual with 'firsts' - it boils down to definitions of that 'first'. The official date for the start of colour TV in the UK is Dec 2nd 1967 (on BBC2 only), but you can play with the definitions all day!

Best regards,

Paul M
British Relay Wireless & television started their colour broadcasts in 1967 also, but of course it was subscription wired (early pay per view I think).
Gloucester was credited with having the very first Television relay service in the world.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltI09lTuGjk
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Old 6th Dec 2017, 9:05 pm   #33
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Default Re: Fifty Years of Colour Television in the UK

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Did you or PaulM ever come across Marconi’s Unipulse system?
Ah! I think that you mean 'Monosync'. I'm still using it to distribute all 7 drives around the place (LD/FD/BL/SY/PalSq/BG/S-C). It's better for me than CVBS because I often need all 7 drives for older cameras or at the very least 4 drive mono (LD/FD/BL/SY) for black and white cameras and other equipment.

The only problems have been time expired smoothing caps in the PSU - easy fix and obvious (hum on the decoded pulses).

Best regards,

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Old 6th Dec 2017, 11:28 pm   #34
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Default Re: Fifty Years of Colour Television in the UK

I also used to know it as Monopulse too. Perhaps when you have time you could look at a manual and confirm what the proper official name is!?

Where I started off in telly I was wandering around the bays one day and came across the SPG bays. Next to that bay was another one with all the monosync encoders for all the individual bits of kit around the central area. Next to that was another bay with all the monosync decoders for all the same bits of individual kit with up to the 7 cables then going off to those bits of kit around the central area!

I couldn’t make head nor tale of this at all and asked one of the senior engineers why on earth it was installed in this way as it made absolutely no sense at all. He was an ex-Marconi engineer and indeed was a member of the original team that installed the entire tv centre. He said colour telly was all new when they were planning the install and they didn’t really understand some of it. Oh well.
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Old 7th Dec 2017, 8:50 am   #35
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Default Re: Fifty Years of Colour Television in the UK

'Monosync' is definitely the name - it says that on the back of a Monosync equipped MkVIII SPG I've just looked at. To be fair, the MkVII series kit just says 'Pulse Coding Equipment' but by the time we reach the MkVIII era it's definitely 'Monosync'. Thus, people may have called it something different locally on site at an earlier time, but by the time Marketing had finished it was definitely 'Monosync'!

I think that there may have been a competing product with a similar name, but that would need to be searched for.

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Old 7th Dec 2017, 1:43 pm   #36
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Default Re: Fifty Years of Colour Television in the UK

Thanks for the great pics Brian (Focus Diode). My parents owned the similar model, Philips G25K500 and that set displayed an outstanding picture but sadly succumbed to the EHT overwind problem. Unfortunately we parted with that set in 1980, wish now that we held onto it.
The G6 is certainly not the easiest of sets to service but that colour reproduction is something special. Some say that colour difference drive had a bearing on this but then most of the early colour TVs had this type of drive rather than RGB drive. The G6 was fairly unique in having a hybrid colour decoder as opposed to the normal fully transistorised arrangement.
Happy memories of the G6.

Regards
Symon.
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Old 7th Dec 2017, 2:33 pm   #37
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Default Re: Fifty Years of Colour Television in the UK

I agree that the G6 had the best looking colour. I never could work out why - as you say all the other hybrids used CDA drive. Also the PCF200s were pretty ordinary and the PFL200 was nowhere near as good a valve as the PL802 (quiet B&O with your American luminance valve!) but still a well-set up G6 with a good tube would run rings round the others. Perhaps its the visual equivalent of that 'valve sound'?
Glyn
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