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Old April 12th, 2006, 02:24 AM   #1
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History of TV Systems

Some of you may be interested in this website that gives extensive descriptions and histories of all the TV systems around the World. Who knew that until the late 1960s, England had a TV system with only 405 scanning lines, while France had one with 819 lines?

http://www.ftppro.com/library/HDTV
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Old April 12th, 2006, 04:12 AM   #2
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Yes, our 405 b & w system was pretty crude. Of course with the heavy TV masking in use back in the 60s we were lucky to see 360 lines of picture.

Sounds pretty dire, doesn't it? But when you switch your NTSC VX2k into the 16:9 mode, you only have a 720 x 360 pictures. Not much change in 40 years, huh?

tom.
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Old April 12th, 2006, 06:42 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Hardwick
Yes, our 405 b & w system was pretty crude. Of course with the heavy TV masking in use back in the 60s we were lucky to see 360 lines of picture.

Sounds pretty dire, doesn't it? But when you switch your NTSC VX2k into the 16:9 mode, you only have a 720 x 360 pictures. Not much change in 40 years, huh?

tom.
Tom, did you ever see French TV, when they were running 819 lines? If so, how did it look? Was it only in B&W?
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Old April 12th, 2006, 07:36 AM   #4
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No, I never got to see French TV but if it was pre 1967 then I'm pretty sure it was a b & w system.
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Old April 22nd, 2006, 09:43 AM   #5
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That page seems to be nicked from the wikipedia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hdtv

Took us 40 years from the introduction of 625 line TV to get rid of 405. Things seem to run in multiples of 40 years in the TV world.

They don't mention the 1000 line system running during the second world war as a 'mark of national pride'. Its only taken us 60 years to get something similar back.
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Old April 22nd, 2006, 06:34 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Tom Hardwick
No, I never got to see French TV but if it was pre 1967 then I'm pretty sure it was a b & w system.
It was, I believe they experimented with colour on it, but never for broadcast. From what I've heard it wasn't as good as may be thought, the number of lines was capable of more than imaging systems could resolve, never mind the displays of the era. In spite of the higher channel bandwidth (14MHz), the number of lines meant that each one was so short in time that the horizontal resolution was limited, so the system was 'unbalanced' - higher resolution vertically than horizontally. Equally 14 MHz was a huge struggle for video DAs of the time. It may be an apocryphal story, but I heard that one reason it came about was French engineers during the war being keen not to be seen as doing any work that may be seen as collaborating with the occupying forces - work on an advanced TV system seemed pacifist enough to fit the bill nicely! I'd like to believe it's true.

I grew up with 405 line, and it seemed fine to watch childrens TV on then. Quite a bit of work was done on colourising the system, and the UK only narrowly escaped a 405 line system with NTSC colour. Phew! The commercial channels were keen on it (they saw an advantage to start colour broadcasting as soon as possible), the BBC less so. For hours of reading on 405 line (and TV history and anecdotes in general) see http://www.bvws.org.uk/405alive/index.html

For more history, see http://www.vtoldboys.com/index.htm# for VT history from a BBC perspective, right from the early days. "Panorama" was (possibly still is) the flagship current affairs programme in the UK. Amazing to think that recording TV pictures on tape was such a revolution that Panorama thought it worth a story in it's own right.

And don't lets forget the 441 line TV system......
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