March 6, 1964 Electronics
[Table of Contents]
Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics.
See articles from Electronics,
published 1930 - 1988. All copyrights hereby acknowledged.
This issue of Electronics magazine's Newsletter page contained, as usual, a number of topics, but the two that caught my eye were on the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) lobbying their International Radio Consultative Committee (CCIR) to consider adopting America's NTSC (National Television System Committee) standard for color television. The two competing standards were France's SECAM (Sequential Color with Memory) and Germany's PAL (Phase Alternating Line). The main difference between NTSC and the other two standards is NTSC used 525 scan lines whereas the other two used 625 scan lines (different frame rates, too). All three were designed to be backward-compatible with the existing black & white (B&W, or "monocolor" in Europe) television broadcast scheme. The map thumbnail above shows adoption worldwide of NSTC vs. SECAM vs. PAL. The other topic is test on the Echo II communications satellite.
UK May Go with NTSC Color TV
London - British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) last week was pressuring for Britain's immediate adoption of the American NTSC color-tv system.
BBC's action came after the failure of the fourth meeting of the International Radio Consultative Committee (CCIR) to come any closer to an agreement on what color-tv system should be adopted in Europe than its first three conferences. Next year, CCIR will try its luck in Vienna.
A current policy review may result in the BBC, with government backing, taking a unilateral action in starting an NTSC color service in 1965-66. The British Television Advisory Committee will meet this month to advise the government whether or not to proceed with an NTSC service.
The CCIR meetings have dragged on over several years, without a choice between the three rival color-tv systems: NTSC, SECAM (French) and PAL (German). At the London meeting, the 100 committee members representing 19 countries examined technical performance tests made in various European countries. They concluded, said the British Post Office, that "many countries did not consider that sufficient work had been done to enable a definitive choice of systems to be made."
CCIR's consistent lack of decision was attributed by a British electronics industry spokesman to the lack of saturation of the European black-and-white-tv market. "This is holding back many countries from launching a new service. In the UK," he said, "monocolor market penetration is virtually complete. Consequently, while the British are pressing to start color, other European countries feel there is no hurry and are more concerned ... on a long-term basis."
Also clouding the picture are political implications in the various systems. It is thought unlikely that France will agree to any other system than their own SECAM system. SECAM has also received backing from the Russians and Swiss.
USSR Begins Echo Tests, AM Reception Is Poor
Washington - Transmission tests between Jodrell Bank in Britain and the Soviet station at Gorki using the Echo II communications satellite began February 21 and have been only moderately successful. Experimenters had no success with teletype, fair success with facsimile, got readable but noisy signals at Gorki on 400-cps a-m and have had as high as 10 db s/n ratio with unmodulated carriers signals. Line drawings transmitted last week were received fairly clearly. Cooperative tests were conducted during 25 passes of the satellite. To improve reception, Jodrell Bank may add f-m gear to replace the a-m tests
Posted March 26, 2019