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625-Line Transmissions

The Radio Constructor, June, 1953
    
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Speaking at the Television Society's Annual Dinner on April 13th, 1953 Sir Robert Renwick, President of the Society, said that they would shortly be building an experimental 625-line transmitter in order to provide a. service to both amateurs and the radio industry and thus help the export market.

It was realised that receivers intended for the continental standard of 625 lines could he more conveniently demonstrated and tested on a radio signal under working conditions, and with the approval of the radio industry, the Society has undertaken to operate an suitable transmitter.

Discussions are shortly taking place between the Society amd BREMA on a suitable site and design of the equipment.

Sir Robert said: 'I want to make it clear that this is an experimental project undertaken for the advancement of television technique, subject to Post Office approval, and will transmit still pictures for experimental purposes. We shall take advice from the BBC and the industry and hope that the export trade will benefit accordingly'.

The principal guest at the Dinner was Mr David Gammans, MP, the Assistant Postmaster-General.

Note: The UK television service pre-war was the first public service in the world and 405 lines represented best practice at the time. When transmissions resumed post-war the 405 line service was continued in spite of the limited number of sets that had previously been sold. By the mid 1950s the UK had the only 405 line television service in the world and as the UK market became saturated the industry wanted to expand. Adopting the continental 625 line standard would open a potential export market as well as generating renewed sales in the UK. Talk of colour television was also in the air and there was concern that colour on 405 lines would lock the UK into an obsolete standard for decades to come. With a centrally regulated system any progress was dependent on persuading government and the BBC, not a fast process!. It was not until 1964 that BBC2 was launched as a 625 line UHF service. This new TV channel stimulated the production of dual standard sets and increased sales. The colour 625 line only UHF service commenced in 1967.

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