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Markymark6,250 posts since 13 Dec 2004
Meridian (North) South Today
I recognise someone in that video who I used to work with - I knew he was at Thames but not that he'd been in the control room as it went off air! Fascinating clip. For the more technically minded among us, would the TC have had to put up the off air audio to hear the Carlton intro, surely they wouldn't be listening to that normally


It might have been a routine thing for off air confidence for the normal Thames to LWT switch-overs. Remember
often in the late 80s early 90s the 17:15:00 switchover would start with Thames News (via LWT's pres). Thames' MCR would have still liked to make 100% sure the audio was getting through OK. Then later; programmes (Home and Away ?) would straddle that switch. Again if Thames were playing out, no better way to know it's leaving them, is to hear and see it coming back from Crystal P.


TVS to Meridian didn't take the ITN bulletin, only Big Ben itself, and kept the same shot, but the sound faded out just before midnight - of course there was no move for the tx output there as far as I know.


To this day I don't know whether that sound fade out just before midnight was malicious or accidental.

You can just see a slight glitch about 10 secs in, I was watching at the time, and that's the point the Teletext Ltd data inserter was switched into the video path.
Inspector Sands13,139 posts since 25 Aug 2004
I notice there's a monitor with the caption "Goodbye from Thames" - was that used on air or was it perhaps something used internally?

It wasn't used on air, although I think maybe there was something similar on the goodbye item on Thames News. It could have been that they sent it down their lines to other stations
Inspector Sands13,139 posts since 25 Aug 2004

Yes, C4 went from an analogue BT distribution network, that went via each regional ITV company (for ad insertion) to each primary regional transmitter, to six macro regions all originating from Charlotte St, to each cluster of regional transmitters via new BT provided digital (34 Mb/s) circuits. A lot of replugging to be done.

I'm sure I saw the normal Thames/TVam/LWT glitch on channel 4 at spot on midnight and then other disturbances in the few minutes afterwards (one of which was presumably the Teletext inserter). Could it have been that in London it changed from being C4 via Thames to C4 via the South Bank, then C4 via the new distribution?
VMPhil9,201 posts since 31 Mar 2005
Granada North West Today
Very interesting footage! This is Carlton… BOOOO!!

If you look at the Twitter account there's another video showing the end of their last programme

Quote:
It looks as though UK Gold is on one of the monitors and that even they had a live shot of Big Ben at midnight.

Yes, UK Gold came from Thames at Euston.

I used to work with the UK Gold transmission controller on that night, he missed out on all the farewell party and was left in the building when everyone else had switched off and gone home!

I knew UK Gold was a Thames/BBC joint partnership initially - I was just surprised to see they had a Big Ben live countdown programme. Not something I expect now from any channel other than BBC, ITV or Sky One.
Brekkie30,718 posts since 4 Jan 2003 Recently warned
HTV Wales Wales Today
Do we know much about the failed CPV-TV bid, who were rejected on quality despite bidding more than Carlton. The same question to about LWT rival London Independent Broadcasting and also was there any chatter at the time about combining the weekday and weekend franchise? I guess that's something neither Thames or LWT would have pushed as the risks of losing what they had were probably greater than the potential rewards of winning a 7 day operation.
Shouldn't that have been posted in the "John Logie Baird has Invented Television" thread?
Neil Jones4,881 posts since 23 Dec 2001
Central (West) Midlands Today
The amount CPV-TV bid was about £45m, it was mentioned in a Freedom of Information request. As to combining the franchises, they were advertised separately, though there was a Transdiffusion article (see here ), based on the 1980 round, that that putting two licences together was suggested by a challenger to the London franchises. Which is probably why they lost.
Inspector Sands13,139 posts since 25 Aug 2004

I knew UK Gold was a Thames/BBC joint partnership initially - I was just surprised to see they had a Big Ben live countdown programme. Not something I expect now from any channel other than BBC, ITV or Sky One.

I suppose if they had the means to do it then why not? It was their first new year after all.


These days not many channels could do that even of they wanted. Most channels won't have any capability to have a live programme in their schedules, they're essentially just video jukeboxes and the suites won't be built with any OS lines. Transmission was far more manual back then, there was a lot more flexibility, plus the channels had much broader range of programmes.

I don't think UK Gold had any live programmes, but they had a lot of technical resources as well as a lines area so could do whatever they wanted. I suspect they might not have done something like that once they left Euston and went to Molinaire. Incidently, their sister channel, UK Living had live programmes from launch.

Incidently it's different Big Ben shots then we're seen on ITN/Thames. I wonder if they were from the BBC?
Whataday9,603 posts since 13 Sep 2001
HTV Wales Wales Today
Do we know much about the failed CPV-TV bid, who were rejected on quality despite bidding more than Carlton. The same question to about LWT rival London Independent Broadcasting and also was there any chatter at the time about combining the weekday and weekend franchise? I guess that's something neither Thames or LWT would have pushed as the risks of losing what they had were probably greater than the potential rewards of winning a 7 day operation.


I don't know if this is just something I've made up, as I can't find reference to it anywhere, but I'm sure CPV-TV intended to pool resources with TV-am.
nwtv20038,297 posts since 5 Jan 2003
Granada North West Today
I don't know if this is just something I've made up, as I can't find reference to it anywhere, but I'm sure CPV-TV intended to pool resources with TV-am.


There was a video on TV Ark previously of a BBC News report about the potential franchisees, it was mentioned that if CPV TV won the London franchise it would use TV-am to provide its local news, with many at this point still questioning the quality of the news output provided by TV-am.
steve
steviegTVreturns
Inspector Sands13,139 posts since 25 Aug 2004

I don't know if this is just something I've made up, as I can't find reference to it anywhere, but I'm sure CPV-TV intended to pool resources with TV-am.

Yes, I've read that. It was a Virgin/David Frost consortium wasn't it, the P in CPV presumably was for Paradine, Frosts company. He was still an owner/director of TVam
Inspector Sands13,139 posts since 25 Aug 2004
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It might have been a routine thing for off air confidence for the normal Thames to LWT switch-overs. Remember often in the late 80s early 90s the 17:15:00 switchover would start with Thames News (via LWT's pres). Thames' MCR would have still liked to make 100% sure the audio was getting through OK. Then later; programmes (Home and Away ?) would straddle that switch. Again if Thames were playing out, no better way to know it's leaving them, is to hear and see it coming back from Crystal P.

Would have been useful in the mornings too, to make sure they were on air properly after TVam

It's always good practice to have off-air monitoring anyway even if it's just a portable telly in the monitor stack