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Old 24th Aug 2016, 8:14 pm   #1
stevehertz
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Default JVC CX-610GB used in BBC studios?

I recall reading that the tiny JVC CX-610GB was used in BBC TV studios as a portable colour monitor. Is that correct, has anyone any first hand experience of this set being used in professional applications?
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Old 25th Aug 2016, 7:18 pm   #2
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Default Re: JVC CX-610GB used in BBC studios?

Its quite possible that they were.

I worked in broadcast TV, but not directly for a broadcaster. There were many small TV's used for monitoring where a grade 1 wasn't required. We supplied them to several broadcasters.
There were other versions of the JVC, the same size which didn't have a tuner, such as the TM-22, which I have here, and only has BNC video inputs, as well as audio inputs. They were usually Multi-standard.
The resolution however, was something to behold, or not! The shadow-mask has holes the size of meat-safe perforated zinc!

One company I worked for used me as a sort of "Which" reporter and I had to give an overall technical report, but with 'Blobs' for the non-technical users, on all new equipment that we sold. On this model I remember stating that the colour looked as though it had been hand-tinted, like the old black & white postcards!
But to be fair, for its time was 'state-of-the art, and very small.

I still use mine occasionally, just to check I have a video signal.

Dave.
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Old 25th Aug 2016, 7:46 pm   #3
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Default Re: JVC CX-610GB used in BBC studios?

I recently gave away a CX60 that was used as a location monitor. All sorts of stuff is used by the BBC for all sorts of reasons - it doesn't really mean or imply anything... Why do you ask?
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Old 25th Aug 2016, 9:01 pm   #4
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Default Re: JVC CX-610GB used in BBC studios?

I have one. I've owned it for what? 35 years? Still working although I've just taken it out of service a few weeks ago and wondering what to do with it; sell it obviously.
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Old 25th Aug 2016, 10:11 pm   #5
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Default Re: JVC CX-610GB used in BBC studios?

Hard to imagine that it's worth much, but you never know. But the potential BBC connection won't add much, if anything. After all, almost every domestic TV set made by Sony was used at some point by the BBC IME, along with many others from all brands imaginable. Thousands of Denon mini hi-fi systems were put into offices. And several different Roberts sets were used in offices and newsrooms and as check receivers - and someone I know has a Hacker RP25 that was bought by the Beeb - but none of that affects the values. Well, possibly downwards, as most of the examples I've seen are pretty battered and modified crudely. Of course, it would be different if it was a licensed design (think LS3/5A!), or perhaps BBC modified to order.

In general, domestic gear like this was bought for all sorts of reasons, including price. It does not signify endorsement in any way.

Someone I know makes his living by buying and selling from companies like the BBC. At the moment, R2R machines and analogue studio gear does well, but he doesn't bother with the domestic stuff unless there might be potential interest from the hi-fi crowd. Though the Denon mini-systems raised a few 10s of each, so it's always worth trying.

Good luck
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Old 26th Aug 2016, 8:32 am   #6
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Default Re: JVC CX-610GB used in BBC studios?

It's my view that BBC 'approval' can mean a lot when selling something. The Beeb is recognised worldwide as a centre of excellence in the fields of audio and video, and if a particular piece of kit has been chosen and used by them, it adds kudos for a lot of people. Maybe working for the Beeb you see it 'from the inside', and seemingly that's different to how 'outsiders' view Beeb 'approved' equipments. Such pieces can be more desirable - to a lesser or greater degree - depending on what it is. Historically lots of speaker manufacturers have shouted from the highest hilltops about their BBC connections and done very well out of it.
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Old 26th Aug 2016, 9:51 am   #7
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Default Re: JVC CX-610GB used in BBC studios?

In principle you have a point, but it's an over-simplification.

BBC-designed loudspeakers, such as the LS3/5A, are indeed something special. A manufacturer making such a loudspeaker has to license the design from the BBC, and pay a percentage of the price of every unit sold to the BBC. The BBC checks the work these companies are doing to ensure the loudspeakers match the agreed specification, and if they don't, the license can be removed. Building loudspeakers the BBC way is extremely arduous for the manufacturer - especially compared to the modern way of throwing MDF boxes together - but what they get in return for the cost and effort is the promise of sales from people who know that BBC loudspeaker designs really are quite special, even today.

So that's the "top tier" of BBC "kudos", if you like. Not only BBC approved, but BBC designed and BBC licensed.

The next tier down might be large capitol purchases like cameras, vision mixers, video playback servers, sound desks, audio playout systems, etc. These products cost many 10s or 100s of thousands, and decisions about these will have been the outcome of a major project, in line with strict EU procurement rules. Value for money is a major factor in the final decision, as the BBC is not in the position to simply "buy the best", despite what the tabloids might suggest. The successful manufacturers might well do a press release or two, but the BBC buying their products is not the big deal it was 30 years ago when you could count UK broadcasters on one hand (and independent production facilities were much less in number).

As the price comes down, all that changes. When I first joined in the mid '90s, the purchasing of small items was a matter of local arrangement, so if we wanted a TV set, we simply wandered around a few of the local electrical retailers that we had relationships with, and picked one more or less at random, based on price, availability and functionality. We often picked Sony because they gave the best pictures and were reliable, but sometimes we picked cheaper sets because the application wasn't critical - saving money was as important back then as it is today. OK, you might argue that at least I and my colleagues made a value-judgement as engineers, but most decisions at that level were made by non-technical people - we only got involved if we were interested or our advice was needed.

So, just because the BBC might have had a particular JVC portable TV, it really does not mean a thing. They would have been bought because they were easy to procure and fit for purpose - not because they were the outcome of a detailed and critical selection process. It's certainly not "BBC approved" in any sense.

Following your logic, the 2 Sony 14" portable TV sets up in the attic must be worth a fortune! We must have had 30 or 40 of those in the building when I first joined. How I wish I'd rescued more of them when we moved building

Seriously, as I said originally, those JVC sets might have seen use at at an OB site as an off-air monitor or similar. It won't have been used in a studio (ask yourself: what use is a 6" screen in a studio?). It wouldn't have been used in a vision gallery or edit suite or similar because, amongst other things, the shadowmask is far too coarse for anything required a semblance of quality - if having a small screen size was important, you'd use a monochrome monitor (surprisingly common back in the day). There's a chance someone might have fancied it for their office, but 14" TVs were the norm, even in smaller offices in the regions.

But such TV sets are perfectly collectable in their own right, and I'm sure you'll raise something for it. As I said, I gave mine away, but by all means see what you get. But rather than helping your cause, playing the "BBC card" might actually seem a bit desperate. I might be wrong, but I do an awful lot outside of the "9-5" which gives me a pretty well balanced view of this sort of stuff...
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Old 26th Aug 2016, 10:03 am   #8
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Default Re: JVC CX-610GB used in BBC studios?

I've a VHS muti-standard machine here with 'BBC Engineering' labels on it but I don't think its going to make it into the Ekco AD65 price bracket!
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Old 26th Aug 2016, 10:29 am   #9
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Default Re: JVC CX-610GB used in BBC studios?

The purpose of the post was always to establish a fact, not to enter into a discussion or even debate about the value of a TV set that I own. I have an awareness of its value. Looking at 'sold items' on the auction site, I can see that they only fetch about 20 or so, it's not a valuable item, although someone is rather optimistically offering one for 175 at the moment. But if/when I sell it, honest Joe as I am, I want my description to be correct, factual. Then a potential buyer can decide for themselves if the TV's 'BBC association' floats their boat. It may, it may not, but I'll sleep soundly.
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Old 26th Aug 2016, 11:20 am   #10
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Default Re: JVC CX-610GB used in BBC studios?

I've spent some time working freelance for several TV facilities over the years and tacit BBC/IBA approval caused in turn much chagrin and occasionally some amusement. I remember a BBC person appearing at one facility and when he saw we used some Sony monitors he feined shock akin to that of a Victorian lady meeting a harlot in the street; I thought he was going to faint he was so appalled. A few months later I was at a large OB site and popped my head into the BBC's Eurovision co-ordination centre at the OB and beheld around half a dozen KV1340 white portables, modified for video-in, monitoring various feeds. I have BBC North Radio OBs' Hacker off-air monitor fom the 1970s and battered and crudely modded certainly fits the description.
The JVCs of the ilk mentioned in the OP were very useful 'in the field'; they weren't big power users and would run off a 12/13.2V camera battery for an hour or so. Their biggest contribution, in the days when ENG cameras only had small b/w crt viewfinders was it enabled the crew to check the white-balance was OK; the cameraman would do an auto white and the camera would say 'OK' but occasionally the cameras mistook something and the result would look like it was shot through Lucozade wrapping or very blue. The JVC, with the chroma wound up, could be used to double check there was no obvious colour cast to the picture. Sony later brought out professional monitors for 'in the field' just such use but these cost around 4 times as much, weighed around 4 times as much and consumed twice the power (they were nice though).
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Old 26th Aug 2016, 11:42 am   #11
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Default Re: JVC CX-610GB used in BBC studios?

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevehertz
It's my view that BBC 'approval' can mean a lot when selling something.
In the early days of my vintage radio business, I made sure to mention that the BBC and Harrods had been customers. This didn't mean I had been 'approved' by them of course. Whether mentioning this made any difference was a moot point but I doubt it did any harm...

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevehertz
I have one. I've owned it for what? 35 years?
I too still have a JVC CX610-GB, bought at about the same time. A versatile little set. It's presently serving as a monitor for the safety I/R camera with my optical broadcasting experiments. In the '80s it was great for Band I colour DX'ing (PAL or SECAM) from Europe and Russia, using a crossed dipole on the chimney.

Steve
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Old 26th Aug 2016, 12:40 pm   #12
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Default Re: JVC CX-610GB used in BBC studios?

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevehertz View Post
The purpose of the post was always to establish a fact, not to enter into a discussion or even debate about the value of a TV set that I own.
Steve, no-one is discussing or debating the value of the set

The answer to your first question ("were these used by BBC studios") was "quite possibly - though more likely in OBs", followed by "here's a similar model that definitely was used at OBs in a BBC region". And maybe a "yes, definitely" will come along soon?

Upon learning that you wish to sell it, the implied question is "does this add to its value?". And that, after all, is the crux of your original question.

So you got an answer to that. OK, it's my view, but it came complete with explanation, reasoning, and independent experience. You then pressed the point that you thought that the BBC association might well add value, so you got a similar answer, with expanded explanation and reasoning.

I really don't see a problem with any of that. I even dared to hope that some people might even find it interesting, as it's a question with much wider scope than your TV set. It's a discussion forum, after all

All the best,

Mark
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Old 26th Aug 2016, 5:14 pm   #13
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Default Re: JVC CX-610GB used in BBC studios?

I remember seeing these JVC monitors in the radio continuity suites at Broadcasting House in the mid 1980's.
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