Today in 20th Century Television

60 years ago today experimental transmissions began of a 625-line television service…

Tv_hdIn the late 1950s and early after-closedown experimental colour transmissions were made from the BBC’s London transmitter using a variant of the American NTSC (National Television Systems Committee) colour system adapted for 405-line/50 fields per second operation. The tests became quite comprehensive, featuring slides, films, live studio camerawork and even outside broadcasts. Receivers were installed in people’s homes to assess the problems involved with reception, but of course demonstrations were also given at the studio to visiting parties. At first both the studio and transmitter were housed at Alexandra Palace, but in 1957 the Crystal Palace site was brought into use and from there uhf and 625-line NTSC colour test transmissions were eventually made. The Independent Television Authority favoured the French SECAM (Système en Couleur à Mémoire) and made some test transmissions in the autumn of 1962 to assess monochrome receiver compatibility.

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Mary_Hopkin50 years ago today Mary Hopkin performs on Opportunity Knocks and Twiggy recommends her to Paul McCartney…

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