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Old 1st Apr 2024, 3:49 pm   #1
dave walsh
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Default More Lost Treaures [TV] Recovered on film

Further to my recent BBC Archive Radio thread [24/3] the current Radio Times [30/3- 5/4] now flags up a Dixon of Dock Green episode "Duffy Calls The Tune" from March 1959 [p 160]. Only a few [early] episodes were recorded so it's an unexpected addition. It's rarity was not recognised by one collecter who sold it to another and it's now been returned to the Beeb via the Radio Times "Treasure Hunt". The collector says "I wasn't sure how the 16mm film would look after it was digitised but I was delighted by the quality of the sound and picture, after being lost in the woods for so long!" [I recall that 16mm film was said to be the equivalent of 1000 lines].

Talking Pictures TV has been showing some [later] D of D G episodes but this "new" find [or more likely a digital copy] has been passed on to them. In fact it was broadcast on Saturday night [29/3]. It's not clear how that came about but I suppose BBC and TPTV are more colleagues than any sort of rivals Despite the link to Radio, I started this seperate thread in case there's a lot of Dixon fans still around. The collector has also contributed a missing episode of the rather impressive police series "Softly Softly" ["The Good Girls" 1968] and a 1972 comedy "Them" [written by Johnny Speight]. The blurb re Dixon in Radio Times [p54] ends with "Bravo to Talking Pictures TV. With any luck they will soon secure the rights for Z Cars. "Fancy" that! [The name of the largest Copper in the small Patrol Cars]

Perhaps related to digital transfer and vintage finds.... a reader on the letters page agree's that BBC iPlayer is the best of the UK's streaming services [a matter of taste perhaps?]. He says that isn't much to celebrate and complains that iPlayer streams at a lower resolution than the BBC's HD TV channel with no surround sound for example. He says it's not a problem when viewing on a mobile phone but on a modern, large, 4k set it's lamentable combined with overblown, compressed audio and doesn't match up to US based providers!

That's quite a range of course! A lot of my vintage 405 line recordings will be a bit blurry on a 50" FS but I'm not really after such high quality and on a 14" CRT portable or a larger FS [say 32"] it's very acceptable. Some members used to comment that they would never view 405 line recordings like that but maybe that's also a matter of taste? Vintage TV screens [non-Projection] were never that big anyway and 21" was pretty much a CRT standard for a very long time. How we forget, or don't know! The greatest irony is that while viewing screens get bigger and bigger [possibly ending up as a wall of your living room] more and more people watch on a tiny device-which is always going to look good.

Dave W

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Old 2nd Apr 2024, 8:39 am   #2
60136 Alcazar
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Default Re: More Lost Treaures [TV] Recovered on film

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Originally Posted by dave walsh View Post
That's quite a range of course! A lot of my vintage 405 line recordings will be a bit blurry on a 50" FS but I'm not really after such high quality and on a 14" CRT portable or a larger FS [say 32"] it's very acceptable.
Dave W
My wife tells me that both picture quality and more particularly sound are much better on our 14" CRT Combi TVs than on any of our 'new' flat screen affairs. Of course they have differing viewing distances, but I sometimes wonder if going forward is always progress....
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Old 2nd Apr 2024, 9:28 am   #3
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Default Re: More Lost Treaures [TV] Recovered on film

CRT tubes seem to be able to produce a blacker black than LCD types, something that you would notice when viewing in subdued lighting. You can also view them from any angle without the brightness falling off as you go off-centre.
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Old 2nd Apr 2024, 9:31 am   #4
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Default Re: More Lost Treaures [TV] Recovered on film

Back on topic please.

If you want to discuss the merits of CRT TV's versus LCD TV's please start a new thread.
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Old 2nd Apr 2024, 9:50 am   #5
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Default Re: More Lost Treaures [TV] Recovered on film

I seem to remember that the early telecine used to record the 1953 Coronation, was shot using 35mm film at 25 frames per second, but only recorded alternate fields (half-frames), as the other half-frame periods were required to mechanically advance the film. This gave an effective resolution of around 200 lines. Spot wobble was used to fill in the gaps. A later method that used less film was to shoot at 16 2/3 frames per second. Film frame 1 would record both half fields of the first frame, film frame two would record the second field of the second frame and the first field of the third frame, and film frame three would record both fields of the fourth frame, and so on. I have a commercial VHS cassette of some "Pinky and Perky" BBC programmes where you can see this when stepping frame by frame.

Last edited by emeritus; 2nd Apr 2024 at 9:52 am. Reason: typos
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Old 20th Apr 2024, 11:11 pm   #6
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Default Re: More Lost Treaures [TV] Recovered on film

CRT sets do have better pictires and sound compared to these plastic flat panels
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Old 21st Apr 2024, 9:07 am   #7
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Default Re: More Lost Treaures [TV] Recovered on film

I did read somewhere that many BBC employees salvaged some of the original masters when they were thrown away, but feared for prosecution if they admitted they had them in their possession, so hopefully there will continue to be more discoveries like this.

It is hard to get my head around how someone could have demanded that those old recordings should be disposed of, or overwritten on video tapes. I have seen a discussion that looked at the wholesale destruction of old town centres in the 60's, where the suggestion was that the new generation needed to wipe out the history of the previous generation to detract from the horrors of 2nd world war; trying to rebuild and create a new future. Perhaps that fear of the old drove the destruction at the BBC.
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Old 21st Apr 2024, 10:13 am   #8
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Default Re: More Lost Treaures [TV] Recovered on film

That’s an interesting take on things, I’ve always thought that it was more a case of lack of appreciation of the worth of programs that had been broadcast with a large dash of management incompetence thrown in for good measure. Also the view of what was important to preserve was sadly very much biased towards politics and the royals rather than entertainment for the rest of us.
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Old 21st Apr 2024, 10:17 am   #9
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Default Re: More Lost Treaures [TV] Recovered on film

Lists of stuff of interest relating to this thread here. (Mods, please feel free to delete if inappropriate to post links to different forums).


https://missingepisodes.proboards.com/
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Old 21st Apr 2024, 11:23 am   #10
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Default Re: More Lost Treaures [TV] Recovered on film

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hybrid tellies View Post
CRT sets do have better pu tires and sound compared to these plastic flat panels
I had to ask what pu tires could be, David suggests its a typo for pictures?

If you could confirm I'll edit the post and delete this one.

Cheers

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Old 21st Apr 2024, 12:03 pm   #11
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Default Re: More Lost Treaures [TV] Recovered on film

A decade or more ago I heard a radio programme where the loss of old TV programme material came up. Someone who had worked at the BBC said that a lot of old stuff got binned when the librarian needed more space and thought that no-one would be interested in old black and white material any more.

The high cost of broadcast-quality video tape would have been a factor. In the 1988 Kodak Professional catalogue, a 2 hour spool of their professional 1" tape cost more than £100, compared with under £5 for a 2 hour VHS cassette.

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Old 21st Apr 2024, 2:22 pm   #12
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Default Re: More Lost Treaures [TV] Recovered on film

My understanding was the vtr machines and the tapes used were the property of the BBC’s engineering department. After transmission the pertinent production department would be informed the tape was going to be re-used and if they wanted to retain it they could purchase the tape from the engineering department at cost. I do not know anything about subsequent storage costs. VT librarians dumping or wiping tapes for re-use seems a very cavalier approach and most un-BBC like?

Where I worked in ITV tapes were generally kept by the company. I do know some were copied and stashed away under the computer floorboards unofficially by vt engineers for their personal enjoyment. In the run up to my retirement I lifted up most of the flooring in VT but only found one (quad) tape, it was a sports insert tape so nothing of any use, value or interest - by this stage we only had one machine left capable of playing it back. I think the underfloor had been mostly cleared years before in one of the re-equippage programs of the area.
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Old 21st Apr 2024, 3:50 pm   #13
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Default Re: More Lost Treaures [TV] Recovered on film

I heard the mastertapes of Sapphire & Steel were used as a doorstop, supposedly to stop them being wiped! Central seemed to wiped a lot of material, as Crossroads fans might attest.
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Old 21st Apr 2024, 4:07 pm   #14
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Default Re: More Lost Treaures [TV] Recovered on film

They knew the cost of the tape to the last penny, but they had no idea of the value of the programmes. And in the world run by accountants, certain costs beat unproven values every day.

Cynical, but accurate!

David
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Old 21st Apr 2024, 4:36 pm   #15
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Default Re: More Lost Treaures [TV] Recovered on film

Pu tires, I think pictures.
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Old 21st Apr 2024, 9:35 pm   #16
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Default Re: More Lost Treaures [TV] Recovered on film

Here's a link to the BBC's tv-to-film (telerecording or kinescoping) recording process which I think is applicable to the thread

http://www.vtoldboys.com/fr01.htm
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Old 21st Apr 2024, 10:51 pm   #17
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Default Re: More Lost Treaures [TV] Recovered on film

Quote:
Originally Posted by red16v View Post
Central seemed to wiped a lot of material, as Crossroads fans might attest.
Or else they sold off the tapes. I still have a few 2" audio multitrack tapes of Peak Practice in my garage.

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Old 22nd Apr 2024, 12:00 pm   #18
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Default Re: More Lost Treaures [TV] Recovered on film

The stuff that the librarian allegedly dumped would have been cans of 16mm film, not video tape.

Black & white was seen by many as outdated when colour came in. I remember a friend saying that, when they got their first VCR in the 1980's, his wife refused to record any programmes that were in black & white.
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Old 22nd Apr 2024, 12:26 pm   #19
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Default Re: More Lost Treaures [TV] Recovered on film

Plus ca change!

My late father always told me about a work colleague with a vast (thousands) collection of pristine classical LPs, all numbered and catalogued which he'd amassed over several decades.

When CD came along in the early-mid 1980s, he decided they were worthless and sold them to his (delighted) friends and colleagues for a pittance.
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Old 22nd Apr 2024, 1:02 pm   #20
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Default Re: More Lost Treaures [TV] Recovered on film

'Happy Christmas VT' were usually the best programmes.
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