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1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 583 (565)

1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition
1947-48 Theatre Catalog
1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 583
Page 583

1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 583

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The Present Status of Theatre Television

A Review of Large-Screen Video Proiection

And Discussion of Possible Things to Come

Theatre television e that lusty, husky child of scientific research and engineering developmentAAwas born at 8.00 p.m. on September 12 before a discreet audience in the main dining room of Atlantic Cityls famed Ambassador Hotel.

And, as the likeness of W. W. Watts, Vice-president in charge of the Radio Corporation of Americas engineering products department, was reflected from 48 square feet of television screen, there was no question as to the accuracy of his statement that this was, indeed, tta unique demonstration which marks an historic step in televisionl' by being ttthe first time that live-action television pictures of this size have been presented with high resolution and brilliance made possible by new advances in optics, cathode-ray tubes, and electronic circuits}y

To be sure, no exhibitor can tomorrow purchase the equipment: that was (lemonstratedenor its dozen or so equally experimentally designed brothersebut no further proof is needed that the basic principles of large-screen television have been determined and actual working models developed.


Scientists. engineers, and great corporations are ofttimes annoyingly reluctant to put into so many words that which many a less technical mind deduces as a logical conclusion to the known facts.

That television should eventually come to the theatre has, almost since the inception of television itself, been a foregone conclusion, and all the advances that have been made in the pick-up, broadcasting, and home reception of television have only added to that fund of knowledge which should eventually be applied to the problem as it has a bearing on theatre uses.

Even for home receivers the television industry has been hard-pressed to satisfy a natural demand for larger and more brilliant pictures. The latter has to a large extent been achieved through the developments of micro-thin metallic films and phosphors for the screen surface, as well as through developments in the electronic aspects of the tube itself. The problem of larger images was solved in part by larger tubes, and, in part, by the development of a projection system, the present large-screen demmn st'ration being the culmination (up to the present, at least) of such researches.

Still the manufacturers were reluctant publicly to use adjectivally the word utheatre" in connection with large-screen projection television apparatus. lut the implications were obvious, and when the ladio Corporation of America announced the consummation of research and dovolopment pacts with \Varner Brothers Pictures, lnc., and 20th Century-Fox Film Corporation, all that remained was for the company publicly to declare what


the industry noW knew perfectly well was happening.

Accordingly, the theatre industry welcomed the statement of Frank M. Folsom, executive vice-president in charge of the RCA Victor Division, that ttDevelopments in television have reached a point where they can be of definite service to the motion-picture industry. Practical tests and experiments will determine how television can be used for the best interest of the industry and the theatre-going public."

The same militancy was indicated in Atlantic City when Frank E. Mullen, now in charge of the television activities of the National Broadcasting Company, Inc. (an RCA subsidiary), declared

nRCA is through waiting," and, so far as television is concerned, 'twe are down to practicalities."


Concentrated study and experimentation by scientists and engineers have revealed that the most efficient and effective system for projecting largescreen television images from the face of a cathode-ray tube is one employing the principle of redective optics. The great light-gathering power of the spherical mirror makes it possible to project a very high percentage of the light appearing on the face of the cathode-ray projection tube.

With the new reflective optical sys THE LARGE SCREEN TELEVISION PROJECTOR is shown here with an operator at the control console. The unit, employing an RCA-developed system of reflective optics, produces pictures on a screen 8 feet wide by six feet high. Programs led to the unit from any standard television source can be enlarged by the projector for audiences. In theatre use, CI remote control system would be possible.
1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 583