Narrow-bandwidth Television Association
Don McLean restored 1930's live video signals
Our club member Donald McLean restored 30 line video signals coming from
recordings on aluminium recordable grammophone discs. These were recorded in
the 1930's, when the BBC 30-line television programmes were transmitted. By
means of computer processing he
removed a lot of the distortions and imperfections that were recorded on the
discs. In this way the live video stored in these discs became visible for the first
time in history.
Not only did he restore the video signals of the discs, he also researched
the backgrounds and the dates of recording of the scenes that he rediscovered.
One of the discs revealed live video of singing persons, like the in 1930
famous Betty Bolton.
Betty Bolton, born in 1906, as an early TV star around 1934:
|At the right is an off-air still picture from
the 1934 magazine "Television".
||In 1996 and 1998 amateur 'off-air' recordings of the BBC's
30-line Television Service (1929-1935) were found, giving us our first
view of what viewers were watching. Don McLean's restoration overturns
established views on mechanically scanned television, providing us today
with a true measure of Brittain's heritage of television programme making
before the era of electronic television.|
This book gives a clear view on the work that has been done to make the
pictures visible, but it also reveals technical details on the original
recording equipment and the persons that can be seen.
Published by the Institution of Electrical Engineers, London UK
in the History of
Technology series, number 27.
Short clips of another singer.
Three pictures apparently of the same singer in
The faces of the singers look bleached. The photo sensitive devices that were
used featured quite some sensitivety in the infra red spectrum. This bleaches
red cheeks and all the colours that make a face looking healthy. Heavy unnatural
make-up could do something but looked awful in the studio.
Sometimes the televised objects are very difficult to recognise.
|Still another singer ..... and puppets?
..... or what?|
You can read more about the restoration of the old TV recordings on 78 rpm
grammophone discs on the website of Don McLean