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Old 19th May 2020, 6:35 pm   #1
Dickie
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Default Television's Opening Night

On BBC4 tonight at10pm (and presumably on catchup) a repeat of "Television's opening Night: How the Box was Born"
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Old 19th May 2020, 6:37 pm   #2
dave walsh
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Default "Television's Opening Night....

How The Box Was Born" Repeated at 10pm BBC4 tonight if you missed it the first time around and want to view or record it. This 90 minute re-construction is worth the effort [in my opinion anyway]. Mixed views here when first shown, as you might expect and there should be threads around still from that occasion

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Old 19th May 2020, 7:04 pm   #3
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Default Re: "Television's Opening Night....

I thought it was very patchy last time. Perhaps this time they will twig that the screeching bearing just needs some oil?
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Old 20th May 2020, 9:40 am   #4
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Default 'Televisions Opening Night - How The Box Was Won'

I don't know if anyone else watched it again. It was good to see Paul Reveley totally compos mentis. Nice to see Paul Marshall's camera in operation too. Perhaps not too surprising that most of the program was devoted to the Baird System. Historical accuracy went slightly awry with Adele's cleavage that should have been concealed by a rose and there was a distinctly unconvincing lack of flicker from spotlight studio but a brave attempt.

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Old 20th May 2020, 9:53 am   #5
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Default Re: 'Televisions Opening Night - How The Box Was Won'

It was on BBC4 last night at 10pm - I'm watching it right now on iPlayer
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Old 20th May 2020, 10:23 am   #6
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Default Re: 'Televisions Opening Night - How The Box Was Won'

There's already two merged threads in General Vintage so at least a few of us were "looking in" for the first or second time The Radio Times preview said "If you dozed off in physics lessons at school" [now that's a big assumption either way]" there are moments in this 90 min Documentary, from 2016, that might be challenging. But persevere. Amid the education and information there is much that entertains as well. Lord Reith would be proud!" [No he wouldn't-Reith pretty much hated Television.].

There was a fair amount of criticism first time around-predictably about those pesky technical details and a rather clunky, over excited presentation. They were trying to "act out" the 1936 first night tension but it was perhaps all too real at some points or at least "wound up" for effect, as in repair Shop perhaps? Given that it did convey the story though, included fascinating conversations with people who were around at the time and portrayed the wealth of problems that had to be overcome just to get any result.. I hesitate to complain! I noticed a well known Forum TV expert apparently sorting things out in the background but he doesn't seem to get much of a "look[ing] in" overall at the final edit. Comments appreciated-particularly if you'd not seen it before!

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Old 20th May 2020, 10:53 am   #7
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Default Re: 'Televisions Opening Night - How The Box Was Won'

Quote:
Originally Posted by peter_scott View Post
I don't know if anyone else watched it again. It was good to see Paul Reveley totally compos mentis. Nice to see Paul Marshall's camera in operation too. Perhaps not too surprising that most of the program was devoted to the Baird System. Historical accuracy went slightly awry with Adele's cleavage that should have been concealed by a rose and there was a distinctly unconvincing lack of flicker from spotlight studio but a brave attempt.

Peter
I noticed that the spotlight scanner they built only generated 60 lines at 15 frames per second. I think they then used a computer to generated 405 lines and modulator to feed the Bush Tv.
One interesting thought was if the Baird system used developed film to produce the intermediate process of transmission, what happened to it?
I would have thought it would have been ideal to use for repeat transmissions and I am amazed that it has all been lost.
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Old 20th May 2020, 11:01 am   #8
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Default Re: Televisions Opening Night

There is some intermediate film footage in the Fernseh documentary on Peter's website, and it's quite funny - not that it was meant to be...
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Old 20th May 2020, 11:37 am   #9
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Default Re: Televisions Opening Night

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There is some intermediate film footage in the Fernseh documentary on Peter's website, and it's quite funny - not that it was meant to be...
Just a fragment. Of BTL footage anyway.

I suspect they created the light scanning but when it came to image generation they used a modern camera. This must certainly have been the case for the image on the TV22.

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Old 20th May 2020, 12:18 pm   #10
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Default Re: 'Televisions Opening Night - How The Box Was Won'

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One interesting thought was if the Baird system used developed film to produce the intermediate process of transmission, what happened to it?
I would have thought it would have been ideal to use for repeat transmissions and I am amazed that it has all been lost.
My understanding is that the process didn't result in something that could be saved and reused later - the processing was very different from that used to produce "normal" film stock. Please correct me if this understanding is mistaken.
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Old 20th May 2020, 12:23 pm   #11
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Default Re: Television's Opening Night

If that were so, then presumably the Fernseh footage would be subject to the same problems, and some of that survives - although some of the chemicals used by BTL sound very nasty. The quality of both sound and vision suffered from the rapid processing, too.
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Old 20th May 2020, 12:29 pm   #12
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Default Re: Television's Opening Night

Yes, I was wondering about that. Maybe there was some sort of stabilising procedure - or the film wasn't as unstable as I had been led to believe.
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Old 20th May 2020, 12:39 pm   #13
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Default Re: Television's Opening Night

Jeffrey over on GVR, who you can see briefly assisting at the event contacted me with details:

"Here is how the various images were shown.

Spotlight: Captured on a PC, VGA to PAL conversion. More detail on GVR
Intermediate film: Shot on B&W 16mm cine. Processed later and included post-production
M-EMI: Camera running at 625. Direct connection

625 pictures bumped up to HD by the production team. Commonplace requirement, hardware readily available."

Peter
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Old 20th May 2020, 3:21 pm   #14
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Default Re: 'Televisions Opening Night - How The Box Was Won'

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My understanding is that the process didn't result in something that could be saved and reused later - the processing was very different from that used to produce "normal" film stock. Please correct me if this understanding is mistaken.
I believe the intermediate film was scanned wet then washed and reused.
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Old 20th May 2020, 4:54 pm   #15
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Default Re: Television's Opening Night

The reference to cyanide leads me to think the film was developed and then scanned, no need to fix (it wouldn't be exposed to enough light for long enough to fade) or reverse (black to white, you can do that electronically). And cyanide is a well known bleach (Farmer reducer) for film photography, it turns the silver back into a light sensitive silver compound. Rather handy if you over do it, just re develop.

On the other hand, "Fools on the Hill" mentions 20 minutes maximum for Bairds IFT (Intermediate Film Technique/Technology) so it could have bee a one run through process.
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Old 20th May 2020, 5:16 pm   #16
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Default Re: Television's Opening Night

I find it ironic to watch all the effort that was put into producing live TV in 1936 and Baird with the intermediate film process when they could have prerecorded most things on film properly processed and have a permanent record. I understand the Baird system was better than EMI at scanning films.
They then would have been well ahead as all we ever get now is recordings with the occasional news bulletin and sports event. Even most "live" events have a delay added to allow for someone saying out of turn!
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Old 20th May 2020, 6:01 pm   #17
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Default Re: Television's Opening Night

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Originally Posted by merlinmaxwell View Post
The reference to cyanide leads me to think the film was developed and then scanned, no need to fix
No, it was developed and fixed prior to scanning. The light source was intense.

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Originally Posted by chriswood1900 View Post
They then would have been well ahead
The IF camera was used in Germany with a large van below the camera to contain the processing and scanning but it was not exactly a very portable or flexible thing as a camera and program lengths were rather restricted by the quantity of film in the magazine.

Peter

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Old 21st May 2020, 9:42 am   #18
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Default Re: Television's Opening Night

The reason that so much German TV has survived is because the intermediate-film was properly developed and retained.
It isn't film of ACTUAL TV, of course. It's immediately pre-transmission material, shot using a cine-camera moments BEFORE the television process begins.
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Old 21st May 2020, 10:20 am   #19
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Default Re: Television's Opening Night

Indeed! Watching the films doesn't give a true impression of how they appeared on television with 180 line frames and 25 Hz flicker.

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Old 21st May 2020, 11:11 am   #20
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Default Re: Television's Opening Night

The intermediate film system was current technology in Germany and backed by RRG, whereas BTL's was rejected technology for a suspended service in the care of a company in administration in wartime - probably reasons enough for very little film to survive.
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