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1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 581 (553)

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition
1945 Theatre Catalog
1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 581
Page 581

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 581

sumed; a summary of the aims of the technician in preparing for full commercial use large screen television equipment, and the means whereby programs can be provided for such an equipment; and a statement of the various aspects which will need to be considered in detail by the exhibitor between now and such time when commercial equipment will be available on the market.


Broadcast Television

The beginning of official transmission of television in England was due to the dogged persistence of John Logie Baird, who, as a result of his experiments and demonstrations over the period from 1923 to 1928, was able to get the British Broadcasting Corporation to radiate vision signals, first in 1929 by an experimental service, and later, from August, 1932, on, in the form of a regular program service. These television transmissions provided over the normal broadcasting channels a low-definition picture on a 30-line basis. Such a coarse texture of picture rendered the transmission of small detail impossible, and the program, although interesting, had little entertainment value. But it started the ball rolling, and, from 1933 on, work was commenced in many laboratories in England, America, France, and Germany toward the development of a higher standard definition.

The low-definition broadcast service ceased in September, 1935, and its place was taken by trial transmissions from the new television station at the Alexandra Palace, London, commencing in July, 1936, on a 240-line standard provided by the Baird company, and a 405line standard with interlaced scanning developed by the Marconi and E. M. 1. companies. The latter standard was subsequently adopted by the B. B. C. for the transmission of television programs to home viewers.

During the three years from August, 1936, to September, 1939, some 20,000 home television receivers were sold in the London area; the majority of these incorporated direct viewing cathode-ray tubes with a picture size between 8x6 inches and 13x 10 inches.

During this period, there was very rapld development in the type of program material. Not only was studio space at Alexandra Palace considerably enlarged to allow a variety of studio programs to be transmitted, including plays and variety productions which involved the use of multi-studio technique, but the range of outside events was increased by the laying 01 a rlng cable of the coaxial type, connecting the more important points of entertainment and interest in the London area, and also by the provision of a mobile equipment which linked such events as rugby football matches on the outskirts of London and the Derby at Epsom Downs 20 miles away, with the Alexandra Palace for rebroadcasting from that station. The hours of transmission for home screens averaged 18 hours a week, usually one hour in the afternoon and two in the evening, and the improvement in programs, particularly in respect



FIGURE 2.-The equipment shown in Figure I is seen here in operation in the Tatler Newsreel Theatre, in london in 1938. The projector, obServed in the middle ground, is manned by a crew of two. The picture size on the screen is 6x8 feet. Note that the special horns for use with the television sound are placed on either side of the stage. Theatres of the Gaumont-British Picture Corporation were used for some of the early experiments.

to outside broadcasts and actualities (such as cricket, tennis, and boxing matches) was so considerable in 1938 and 1939 that the home televiewer had exceedingly good value for his money. So far, the London area was the only favored area, but plans were in hand for an extension of the service to the Birmingham area and other centers of population. Television was brought to an abrupt conclusion in this country on September 3, 1939, and since that date no transmissions of any type have taken place. However, the subject of the future development of television in Britain has been considered by a committee appointed by the government in 1943, whose

report was published April, 1945. This committee advises resumption of the television service in London as soon as possible with an early extension to provincial cities. It is believed that programs for the home will be in full swing in the London area by May, 1946, and that, by the building of six provincial stations, the home television service will by 1948 or 1949 be available to 75 per cent of the population of Great Britain.

Progress of Theatre Television

Since 1934, attention has been paid to the possibilities of producing television

FIGURE 3.- This is the Baird large-screen television proiector installed in the auditorium of the Marble Arch Pavilion, in London, in 1939. In the background can be seen the television screen, which is l2x15 feet. With more powerful equipment, the apparatus is moved further from the screen, but the same time necessitating the removal of some 50 seats from the center of the auditorium level. Increased patronage may compensate this loss.
1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 581