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November 1, 2016 / consort3

80 years of BBC TV

On Nov 2 1936 the BBC started TV broadcasts from Alexandra Palace. There were 2 systems the Baird and the Marconi-EMI and both systems were tried, the Marconi system winning. That decision was made in March 1937. On May 12th 1937 the first British outside broadcast was made, the Coronation of George VI. You could buy these sets at launch:
By September 1938 KB and Philips sets were also available
These were household names back until the 1980’s, when Sony, Hitachi (GEC) Toshiba(Rank), Panasonic, Sanyo(Philips/Pye) and Tatung (Decca)  took over. The bracketed make is the factory that the Japanese took over. Pedants will point out that Tatung was from Taiwan. Funny how the Japanese made a success of TV production in the UK when the Brits could not.
A BBC programme covers the start up:
The Baird work was not wasted as the flying spot Telecine became a useful piece of kit.
The 1953 coronation of the present Queen provided a major boost for TV. A lot of the population finding a place to view a TV set. My father in law built a DIY one for the occasion.

Here is the history straight from the horses mouth:

German experiments with early TV

Yet another great engineer beginning with B, Blumlein gets a posthumous Grammy award for inventing stereo, but his inventions  helped establish Television.

Another great engineer beginning with B was Walter Bruch who invented the PAL colour TV system

Aug 14 2017 is the 50th anniversary of the Marine offences act (hello Sailor!) which outlawed the Pirate radio stations:

Restoring old programmes:

The BBC TV transmitter at Alexandra Palace was used during WW2 to jam the direction finding beams. This BBC engineering information note explains, also articles on the BBC loudspeaker LS5/8 and the Blattnerphone metal tape recorder.


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