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Inspector Sands13,763 posts since 25 Aug 2004
I can't remember what it was on our old 80s telly but there was some menu or similar that didnt lock in position on the screen in a certain circumstance. However if you tuned the telly into the VCR and then changed channel it would move positions depending on the sync of that channel. Whereas it would move between ITV and C4 it appeared in the same position for BBC1 and 2


Which of course makes perfect sense as the two were coming from the same technical infrastructure
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Steve in Pudsey gave kudos
MMcG198672 posts since 14 Dec 2014
UTV Newsline
Could OU Con be simultaneously in sync with NC1 and NC2? Perhaps that was why the sync issue didn't have an easy fix.

Or were the networks both in sync with each other? I know they often weren't by the time they reached regional centres


They were pretty close, I sometimes measured the difference, usually no more than a line (64us) out, but
you'd expect them to be, both locked to the same master SPG at TC ?


What way was syncing handled in NC1/2 for studio sources? On very rare occasions, a sync issue would arise. Here's an example, where the transition to/out of a late-night newsflash had a nasty sync issue:

EDIT: from a pres perspective, also worth noting at 2 mins 30 secs, the laserdisc for the globe symbol seems to have hit its endpoint and quickly reset.

MMcG198672 posts since 14 Dec 2014
UTV Newsline
Could OU Con be simultaneously in sync with NC1 and NC2? Perhaps that was why the sync issue didn't have an easy fix.

Or were the networks both in sync with each other? I know they often weren't by the time they reached regional centres


It always baffled me that BBC NI didn't have their own Con desk properly synced up with London until 1992. So, at every junction, we had two types of picture/audio blip: one when the NI desk was put in circuit; and another when the Belfast Con desk cut between a local source and the network feed (sometimes the picture rolls were quite spectacular). As late as 2000, their opting gear produced quite horrendous results: when they put their desk in circuit, we used to lose vision/audio for a couple of seconds (this affected analogue only). Any 1980s off-air recordings that I've seen of BBC Scotland/Wales seemed to have pretty clean transitions between local sources and the network feed.
Markymark6,974 posts since 13 Dec 2004
Meridian (North) South Today
Could OU Con be simultaneously in sync with NC1 and NC2? Perhaps that was why the sync issue didn't have an easy fix.

Or were the networks both in sync with each other? I know they often weren't by the time they reached regional centres


They were pretty close, I sometimes measured the difference, usually no more than a line (64us) out, but
you'd expect them to be, both locked to the same master SPG at TC ?


What way was syncing handled in NC1/2 for studio sources? On very rare occasions, a sync issue would arise. Here's an example, where the transition to/out of a late-night newsflash had a nasty sync issue:

EDIT: from a pres perspective, also worth noting at 2 mins 30 secs, the laserdisc for the globe symbol seems to have hit its endpoint and quickly reset.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fO52O31L70s


Perhaps there was no one available in NC1 and or/the news studio to set up the relative video timing, (or any lighting!)

It does seem to be a very ad hoc un scheduled broadcast very late at night
Steve in Pudsey10,179 posts since 4 Jan 2003
Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
I think last time this clip came up it was suggested that this was somebody from the radio newsroom at BH in the contribution studio there rather than the TV news operation at TV Centre.

Thinking about it, it was always the remote source that synced with pres (the opposite of ITV). It may be that the studio had most recently worked into a region/nation.
Last edited by Steve in Pudsey on 29 August 2019 8:21pm
Write that down in your copybook now.
Markymark6,974 posts since 13 Dec 2004
Meridian (North) South Today
I think last time this clip came up it was suggested that this was somebody from the radio newsroom at BH in the contribution studio there rather than the TV news operation at TV Centre.

Thinking about it, it was always the remote source that synced with pres (the opposite of ITV). It may be that the studio had most recently worked into a region/nation.


Even if it hadn't, if it wasn't locked to the same reference source as NC1 it would have probably drifted significantly out of out of sync over the course of an hour.
Dunno whether the SPG at BH back then was ref'd to any atomic standard, (TVC's was)
commseng244 posts since 8 Dec 2016
London London
I'm assuming it would be studio 3C at BH by then. There had been the Portland Place TV studio in the extention, which was staffed, but by 1992 this would have closed. 3C was unattended, and routed remotely by CAR.
How the timing was done, I don't know, but this looks to be at short notice late at night with few staff around, so maybe speed was more important than technical perfection?
Chris Bishop now appears to be working in South Africa, but was working for BBC Breakfast News between 1990 and 1994. Was that an overnight shift in the BH newsroom or did the TC newsroom go 24 hours when breakfast TV started?
Last edited by commseng on 30 August 2019 8:04am
noggin14,455 posts since 26 Jun 2001
Breakfast Time was originally at Lime Grove, although the news bulletins were from TV Centre iirc (before News merged with Current Affairs), so it's likely there was a small presence overnight.


ISTR that the newsreaders (Debbie Rix, Caroline Righton etc.) were in Lime Grove (i.e. were in the same studio) but the bulletins were produced by TV Centre news teams? I'm sure I remember the newsreader sitting at a Breakfast branded desk and there being a wide shot for the hands to and from?

There was an odd situation where the 0900 bulletin came from TV Centre in one era ISTR.
noggin14,455 posts since 26 Jun 2001
I think last time this clip came up it was suggested that this was somebody from the radio newsroom at BH in the contribution studio there rather than the TV news operation at TV Centre.

Thinking about it, it was always the remote source that synced with pres (the opposite of ITV). It may be that the studio had most recently worked into a region/nation.


Even if it hadn't, if it wasn't locked to the same reference source as NC1 it would have probably drifted significantly out of out of sync over the course of an hour.
Dunno whether the SPG at BH back then was ref'd to any atomic standard, (TVC's was)


Though the BBC had Natlock that used phone circuits to keep SPGs locked to each other didn't they (which is how they handled syncing OBs into Pres before synchronisers were in widespread use and/or deemed acceptable quality)

ISTR that Nationwide in the English regions often required quick changes from Natlock (where you were synchronous into Lime Grove to be a contribution source that arrived 'in sync') to Genlock (where you were synchronous with incoming network for your opt)
Markymark6,974 posts since 13 Dec 2004
Meridian (North) South Today
I think last time this clip came up it was suggested that this was somebody from the radio newsroom at BH in the contribution studio there rather than the TV news operation at TV Centre.

Thinking about it, it was always the remote source that synced with pres (the opposite of ITV). It may be that the studio had most recently worked into a region/nation.


Even if it hadn't, if it wasn't locked to the same reference source as NC1 it would have probably drifted significantly out of out of sync over the course of an hour.
Dunno whether the SPG at BH back then was ref'd to any atomic standard, (TVC's was)


Though the BBC had Natlock that used phone circuits to keep SPGs locked to each other didn't they (which is how they handled syncing OBs into Pres before synchronisers were in widespread use and/or deemed acceptable quality)

ISTR that Nationwide in the English regions often required quick changes from Natlock (where you were synchronous into Lime Grove to be a contribution source that arrived 'in sync') to Genlock (where you were synchronous with incoming network for your opt)


I suspect on this instance, there were probably no technical staff around to set up the timing, so just a non sync crash, (such things had an air of strange gravitas about them anyway, I still remember the huge non sync splat in the middle of Corrie's end credits into ITN's OB of the Iranian Embassy SAS assault, May 1980)
deejay2,904 posts since 5 Jan 2003
Central (South) Oxford
I’ve a vague recollection, in some of the first news report procedures I read, of a self operated news camera position at TVC for late night news reports. It had a name like ConCam, or NewsS.Op or something, but I really can’t remember. I seem to remember details (from presentation’s point of view) about how to contact them, arrange a talkback line, red lights etc. This example, which I haven’t seen before, certainly has the look of a small self op studio about it.

I don’t know how many tv newsroom staff remained on duty until network tv closedown but presumably the number of staff dwindled after newsnight. I know there are examples of well known tv news presenters appearing in late night news reports, so there must have been a scheduled duty presenter, some producers and some technicians to mount such reports as required from the main news studios, albeit in a very simple format.

Very interesting clip!
Two minutes regions...