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Early BBC Colour Tests

The Artist's Pallette This collection of images comes from early experiments by the BBC in Colour Television from 1959 and was featured in the BBC promotional film "This is the BBC"

My understanding is that these were made using the NTSC standard.

These colour bars were actually on a card placed in front of the camera. The card was removed to reveal the card above. Colour Bars painted on board
The Song and Dance Routine
The star of the song and dance routine. Any ideas who she is? Play Now! Download
0:47 93K

The experimental gallery in use, spot the fake images! Although this film is fairly realistic, much of what you see was put on for the benefit of the publicity camera.

Experimental Gallery
Colour Mixing Controls A Close-Up of those complicated controls!
A behind the scenes view of the artist having her costume adjusted, with the cameramen visible. Behind the scenes
Early Colour Camera A closer view of one of the early colour cameras. Dicky Howett writes:

The cameras are Marconi BD848 models, with three 3" image orthicon tubes supplying the picture. The camera was based on the RCA TK41 design. The camera itself was pretty unwieldy and ran hot. Colours shifted constantly. Marconi had not many customers for the camera with the exception of the BBC (1956), and medical supplier Smith Kline and French who loaned an ob van with two cameras for relaying operations. The van also went to an Eistedford and was run by ITV company TWW as a demonstrator. Subsequent upgrades of the camera were used by Intertel for simultaneous shooting of ITV shows for resale (in colour) to the USA. One such camera has now been revived and is in the collection of the Bradford-based museum of Photography, Film and Television.

To end, we give you an early colour tuning signal featuring Sylvia Peters. Sylvia Peters Colour Tuning Signal

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Last Updated 29 Mar 2000