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Markymark5,038 posts since 13 Dec 2004
Meridian (North) South Today

Mitsubishi sets were very reliable and there was once a company which converted them into monitors. It's not clear when the first Mitsubishi stereo sets were first available but Japanese manufacturers seemed to slightly lag behind European manufacturers when it came to stereo sets and very few models predate the public launch of NICAM or were not fitted with a NICAM decoder.


I worked for Sony at the time, and I remember in 1989 talking to the UK VCR product manager about NICAM, the company had no interest in it then, so I went out and bought a Philips NICAM VCR, (then waited 6 months for the IBA to enable Rowridge !)
noggin12,683 posts since 26 Jun 2001
Japanese manufacturers seemed to slightly lag behind European manufacturers when it came to stereo sets and very few models predate the public launch of NICAM or were not fitted with a NICAM decoder. The Sony Profeel was an exception.


I guess that's understandable since NICAM was a European standard, and it wasn't universally adopted across Europe for that matter.

There was no guarantee it was going to be the success it was.
Riaz398 posts since 6 Jan 2016
I guess that's understandable since NICAM was a European standard, and it wasn't universally adopted across Europe for that matter.


There were probably many factors at play. Japanese manufacturers seemed to wait until NICAM was officially launched before making sets with NICAM decoders. Bear in mind that many Japanese sets from the 1980s to the early 2000s were manufactured in the UK so they were hardly dealing with NICAM from thousands of miles away. There could be parallels with Teletext in the US where Japanese manufacturers did not include Teletext decoders as standard apart from on some high end sets also sold in Canada.
noggin12,683 posts since 26 Jun 2001
I guess that's understandable since NICAM was a European standard, and it wasn't universally adopted across Europe for that matter.


There were probably many factors at play. Japanese manufacturers seemed to wait until NICAM was officially launched before making sets with NICAM decoders. Bear in mind that many Japanese sets from the 1980s to the early 2000s were manufactured in the UK so they were hardly dealing with NICAM from thousands of miles away.

Yep - I'm aware that Japanese-brand TVs were manufactured in the UK (Sony still have a manufacturing operation in Wales, now well known for manufacturing Raspberry Pi computers)

What isn't so clear is whether the sets made in the UK were designed in the UK, rather than just being built here, and whether the country-specific features were dictated by UK teams, or decided by Europe-wide teams, or by teams in Japan. Manufacturing isn't the same as design.

Quote:

There could be parallels with Teletext in the US where Japanese manufacturers did not include Teletext decoders as standard apart from on some high end sets also sold in Canada.


I think that was a different situation as North America trialled at least three different flavours of teletext - and there wasn't a clear market leader. At least with NICAM there was only ever one UK stereo standard to consider- you just had to decide whether it was definitely going to be a public success (not whether it would be transmitted or not)

The 525 version of WST (which was used by TBS and supported by some sets in the US) hadn't hit anything like critical mass, and none of the major groups had really bought into it - unlike NICAM which prior to official service-start, was clearly going to be universal in the UK. A 525 version of the French non-WST system, Antiope, was trialled by CBS/NBC and PBS in LA, and there was a third system called NABTS (which I believe was the only standard considered and used in Canada).

With no clear leader in the US I can see why Japanese manufacturers adopted a wait and see approach.

Ironically analogue stereo was what effectively killed US teletext, as US TV set manufacturers next generation sets which added stereo support, removed teletext support.
Markymark5,038 posts since 13 Dec 2004
Meridian (North) South Today
Bear in mind that many Japanese sets from the 1980s to the early 2000s were manufactured in the UK so they were hardly dealing with NICAM from thousands of miles away.


They still got it wrong though, I can't remember the exact details, but one manufacturer used off air UK signals to develop and test their decoders. That was fine, until TV-am decided to use the 'closed' aux audio channels in NICAM (quite legitimately) for a talkback path for OBs. The decoder made farting noises whenever the aux channels were used. A case of not reading the FULL spec, and assuming broadcasts contained all the possible scenarios all the time.
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noggin gave kudos
Riaz398 posts since 6 Jan 2016
Yorkshire TV experimented with 'psuedo stereo', taking a mono source, and frequency spliiting the L and R feeds (some pre NICAM stereo tellies did the same). The IBA were not amused, and had it stopped


What was wrong with this? Many broadcasters worldwide have done the same with old recordings with a mono soundtrack. There are several different pseudo stereo circuits around so the end results will differ depending on which circuit is used. On some of the circuits only the right channel is modified and the left channel is the original mono soundtrack.
Markymark5,038 posts since 13 Dec 2004
Meridian (North) South Today
Yorkshire TV experimented with 'psuedo stereo', taking a mono source, and frequency spliiting the L and R feeds (some pre NICAM stereo tellies did the same). The IBA were not amused, and had it stopped


What was wrong with this? Many broadcasters worldwide have done the same with old recordings with a mono soundtrack. There are several different pseudo stereo circuits around so the end results will differ depending on which circuit is used. On some of the circuits only the right channel is modified and the left channel is the original mono soundtrack.


Well it's the sort of thing that would be perfectly acceptable today (along with zooming and cropping 4:3 pictures to make them 'fit' 16:9, and the unstoppable march of 'vertical video' from phones). However back in the 70s and 80s, the BBC and IBA prided themselves, and matched each other, on technical excellence. It's something the Beeb would never have considered, and therefore the IBA gave YTV a smack on the wrist for it.
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UKnews gave kudos
Riaz398 posts since 6 Jan 2016
However back in the 70s and 80s, the BBC and IBA prided themselves, and matched each other, on technical excellence. It's something the Beeb would never have considered, and therefore the IBA gave YTV a smack on the wrist for it.


Was it anything to do with the lack of a BBC or IBA standard for pseudo stereo?
Markymark5,038 posts since 13 Dec 2004
Meridian (North) South Today
However back in the 70s and 80s, the BBC and IBA prided themselves, and matched each other, on technical excellence. It's something the Beeb would never have considered, and therefore the IBA gave YTV a smack on the wrist for it.


Was it anything to do with the lack of a BBC or IBA standard for pseudo stereo?


Such a concept wasn't on their radar, or anywhere near it
Riaz398 posts since 6 Jan 2016
Such a concept wasn't on their radar, or anywhere near it


So, the IBA didn't like it when their programme contractors were ahead of them with technology!

The origin of pseudo stereo circuits is lost in time. I can believe that such a concept was not on the radar of the IBA which was brought up on mono audio, but I'm surprised that the BBC with their longstanding presence in radio broadcasting had not dabbled about with them.
noggin12,683 posts since 26 Jun 2001
I'm surprised that the BBC with their longstanding presence in radio broadcasting had not dabbled about with them.


I'm not - it's like colourising black and white video. A basically pointless exercise for no real gain. If people want it, optionally, in their receiver processing, that's one thing, imposing it on everyone? I can see why the BBC would think it a pointless thing to do, and a deflection on moving forward with stereo production.

AIUI some pseudo-stereo processing also reduced the quality of the mono signal - which was also the reason the BBC didn't do Dolby Surround.
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Markymark and UKnews gave kudos