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Riaz398 posts since 6 Jan 2016
I'm not here to crush any mouldy old chestnuts...

Does anybody know what were the first programmes from TVS and TSW to be produced in stereo, but not necessarily broadcast in NICAM in their own territory due to transmitters not being enabled? Were any networked then broadcast in NICAM from Crystal Palace?
Markymark4,963 posts since 13 Dec 2004
Meridian (North) South Today
I'm not here to crush any mouldy old chestnuts...

Does anybody know what were the first programmes from TVS and TSW to be produced in stereo, but not necessarily broadcast in NICAM in their own territory due to transmitters not being enabled? Were any networked then broadcast in NICAM from Crystal Palace?


TVS's first programme was a (live ?) concert from Salisbury Cathedral that was shown on Channel 4.

NICAM from Rowridge was enabled that morning for TVS and C4. July 1990 I think

An ex TVS colleague had to rush round to Southampton Maplins and buy, then assemble their NICAM off air receiver kit in order to monitor the off air signal !
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Riaz398 posts since 6 Jan 2016
TVS's first programme was a (live ?) concert from Salisbury Cathedral that was shown on Channel 4.

NICAM from Rowridge was enabled that morning for TVS and C4. July 1990 I think


As recently as that. IIRC the Maidstone studio had stereo enabled facilities for production in 1989. TVS had some relationship with LWT who would network certain TVS productions which were broadcast from NICAM enabled Crystal Palace, along with some other transmitters.

I'm vaguely aware that transmitters in TSW territory were NICAM enabled quite early on (1990?) so did TSW ever make use of this or was it only used for networked programmes?

Quote:
An ex TVS colleague had to rush round to Southampton Maplins and buy, then assemble their NICAM off air receiver kit in order to monitor the off air signal !


I have heard that rumour as well. Any ideas if Maplin HQ knew about the date when Rowridge would be NICAM enabled then stocked the Southampton store with the NICAM receiver kit shortly beforehand?
BeanosOnToast28 posts since 17 Feb 2016
Granada North West Today
On the topic of children's programming. I think the first ever UK children's programme produced in Stereo was Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends, as if I recall correctly, the episodes were originally broadcast in Mono on Children's ITV, yet sometime in the 1990's, the first two series got remastered, complete with Stereo soundtracks, which I presume is from the original masters;

Original broadcast from 1984 (Mono);


Restored version from 2003 (Stereo);


I'm certain that Cosgrove Hall Films had Stereo facilities from the late 80's, as some of their biggest hits, like Danger Mouse, The Wind in the Willows and Count Duckula, were originally produced in Mono, but I believe all switched to Stereo around 1989, case in point, the pilot of Count Duckula produced in 1987, airing in 1988, (notice the gradual 'hiss'), compared to the final episode produced in 1989, but aired in 1993, which by that point, Thames had already lost the London franchise!



Some of the earliest programmes produced in Stereo on CBBC were Ragdoll Productions' Brum and Cosgrove Hall's Noddy's Toyland Adventures, which the former strangely used a lot of reverb for its first run of episodes in 1991, when the BBC had officially launched the NICAM system on BBC1 and 2, two weeks prior;

Last edited by BeanosOnToast on 17 October 2017 9:36pm
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noggin12,612 posts since 26 Jun 2001
Just thought I'd use my first post here to mention that Bodger and Badger was certainly an early adopter of NICAM. This is S2E2, transmitted 16/01/1991

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TGNc_kNOkI


Slightly pedantic - but that never stops us - point. Programmes weren't made in 'NICAM' - and didn't adopt it.

NICAM was a transmission technology (*) rather than a production technology. You broadcast a show in NICAM, but programme makers didn't make shows in NICAM.

(*) Yes - I know NICAM technology originated for Radio distribution not broadcast, and was also used for Sound-in-Syncs contribution links...
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Steve in Pudsey8,521 posts since 4 Jan 2003
Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
TVS's first programme was a (live ?) concert from Salisbury Cathedral that was shown on Channel 4.

NICAM from Rowridge was enabled that morning for TVS and C4. July 1990 I think


As recently as that. IIRC the Maidstone studio had stereo enabled facilities for production in 1989. TVS had some relationship with LWT who would network certain TVS productions which were broadcast from NICAM enabled Crystal Palace, along with some other transmitters.

I'm vaguely aware that transmitters in TSW territory were NICAM enabled quite early on (1990?) so did TSW ever make use of this or was it only used for networked programmes?

Quote:
An ex TVS colleague had to rush round to Southampton Maplins and buy, then assemble their NICAM off air receiver kit in order to monitor the off air signal !


I have heard that rumour as well. Any ideas if Maplin HQ knew about the date when Rowridge would be NICAM enabled then stocked the Southampton store with the NICAM receiver kit shortly beforehand?


If they kept an eye on the Engineering pages of Ceefax and Oracle, or watched Engineering Announcements they would have been aware.
Write that down in your copybook now.
AidanLunn2 posts since 17 Oct 2017 new member
Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
Just thought I'd use my first post here to mention that Bodger and Badger was certainly an early adopter of NICAM. This is S2E2, transmitted 16/01/1991

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TGNc_kNOkI


Slightly pedantic - but that never stops us - point. Programmes weren't made in 'NICAM' - and didn't adopt it.

NICAM was a transmission technology (*) rather than a production technology. You broadcast a show in NICAM, but programme makers didn't make shows in NICAM.

(*) Yes - I know NICAM technology originated for Radio distribution not broadcast, and was also used for Sound-in-Syncs contribution links...


Yes I've noticed my mistake now and edited it.
Markymark4,963 posts since 13 Dec 2004
Meridian (North) South Today
TVS's first programme was a (live ?) concert from Salisbury Cathedral that was shown on Channel 4.

NICAM from Rowridge was enabled that morning for TVS and C4. July 1990 I think


As recently as that. IIRC the Maidstone studio had stereo enabled facilities for production in 1989. TVS had some relationship with LWT who would network certain TVS productions which were broadcast from NICAM enabled Crystal Palace, along with some other transmitters.

I'm vaguely aware that transmitters in TSW territory were NICAM enabled quite early on (1990?) so did TSW ever make use of this or was it only used for networked programmes?


As I posted earlier in this thread, Caradon Hill was enabled August 1990


Quote:
An ex TVS colleague had to rush round to Southampton Maplins and buy, then assemble their NICAM off air receiver kit in order to monitor the off air signal !


I have heard that rumour as well. Any ideas if Maplin HQ knew about the date when Rowridge would be NICAM enabled then stocked the Southampton store with the NICAM receiver kit shortly beforehand?


It's not a rumour, it's true, as I said the person that did it is a colleague of mine !!

BTW he's checked his loft, and says the TVS archive isn't up there
Last edited by Markymark on 18 October 2017 9:36am
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Run_Telecine13 posts since 29 Jan 2016
Meridian (South East) South East Today
I wonder what percentage of people actually hear broadcast surround sound.
The constant dropouts I get with it on Sky, along with annoying gaps when it switches to and from stereo, means that I have it disabled from the Sky box.
Considering how popular sound bars are, I wouldn't be surprised if the 5.1 broadcast audience in this country is tiny.


The best 5.1 audio I experience is from American drama, either via C4 HD, or Netflix

As mentioned SCD was in 5.1, and it was a bit of a curate's egg quality wise, perhaps why it's been totally dropped now.

BBC 1's Doctor Foster was in 5.1, and that was awful in places.


Yep - by doing less of it we get even less experience and the quality drops. You look at Sweden - and most of the SVT drama, and lots of their entertainment shows, are 5.1. It's become the norm for high-end stuff on SVT.

I'm guessing UK drama is moving to 5.1 because of the requirement for Amazon and Netflix co-pro or re-sales, and it being expected?



I think that Later with Jools Holland have the right approach - doing the Live show on Tuesday in stereo, then mixing the Weekend show in 5.1 over a couple of days or so of editing. It works well having the vocals and some instruments on the centre speaker. It's a shame that more BBC Music programmes aren't made in 5.1 - SCD was possibly more difficult, as I believe there were separate rigs mixing the 5.1 and 2.0 versions Live.
dosxuk3,793 posts since 22 Oct 2005
Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
Meanwhile, even stereo at a live gig is still a bit of a novelty!

Although that does mean making a broadcast 5.1 mix is a lot harder, as it's not something many people (including the bands' agents / promoters) will have heard before, which then creates resistance to it being done that way.