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Markymark6,393 posts since 13 Dec 2004
Meridian (North) South Today

I suspect it was an IBA thing to ensure circuits between ITV franchise holder and the IBA transmitters were OK/ensure IBA tech standards adhered to?


Here's a couple of sample IBA QC reports taken from Tech Review 2 (1977)

https://www.dropbox.com/s/heohdm6wrx5bseg/IBA_QA.pdf?dl=0


We didn’t use these of course as they appear to be internal IBA documents. What I find odd with them is the ‘low’ values for picture grading. They almost seem to be the complete inverse of our internal grading. For example a live studio programme would be absolutely expected to get a pair of 5’s for vision and sound as you really couldn’t get anything better. Giving a programme a rating, say, of 2 would really ring alarm bells as you should not be transmitting a programme of such low technical quality. Given that a representative list of transmitted programmes had to be agreed each evening between an ITV MCR and the transmitter engineer it makes you wonder how it was possible if they were using different scales? I wonder if the system changed at some point? It might be ringing some faint bells somewhere?


The explanatory notes on another page say the gradings went from 1: Excellent, to 6: Very Poor, however the the IBA were expected to soon (this was written in 1977 remember !) adopt the CCIR scale, which was 5 points and 'inverted'.
noggin14,167 posts since 26 Jun 2001
I imagine loads of programmes go out these days with what would have been a 2 then, standards seem to have dropped so much.


People say that, but then look at most BBC One/ITV non-news factual and drama output - and the picture quality has seldom ever been better.

Drama shot on Alexa, factual shot on Amira and F55s, C300s or similar usually looks cracking. Planet Earth II and Blue Planet II in HDR UHD are stunning.

Sport shot on HDC2500/HDC54300s similarly.

Strictly, The Voice, X Factor studio pictures look vastly better than pretty much any studio shot on SD cameras, let alone SD tubed cameras.

Yes - there is video that News outlets use now that is poorer quality, but in days gone by the equivalent to that would often have just been still pictures and 3.5kHz phone line audio... Skype has really just replaced phonos, mobile phone video has replaced, well in many cases, nothing (previously we just wouldn't have had this content at all), and if people are going to tell me an Ikegami 79D is better than the camera in an iPhone XS for shooting a PTC...
Last edited by noggin on 2 April 2019 11:00am
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Markymark6,393 posts since 13 Dec 2004
Meridian (North) South Today


Yes - there is video that News outlets use now that is poorer quality, but in days gone by the equivalent to that would often have just been still pictures and 3.5kHz phone line audio... Skype has really just replaced phonos, mobile phone video has replaced, well in many cases, nothing (previously we just wouldn't have had this content at all), and if people are going to tell me an Ikegami 79D is better than the camera in an iPhone XS for shooting a PTC...


The regular problem with news footage are the temporal artefacts, I saw a football match sourced from Spurs TV yesterday via some streaming platform, that was just hideous, particularly for a football match.

All that said, remember the Attenborough/Obama interview a few years ago, that should never have made it to air on technical grounds, (it was a documentary/feature, not news in my book).
ttt410 posts since 15 Aug 2015

I suspect it was an IBA thing to ensure circuits between ITV franchise holder and the IBA transmitters were OK/ensure IBA tech standards adhered to?


Here's a couple of sample IBA QC reports taken from Tech Review 2 (1977)

https://www.dropbox.com/s/heohdm6wrx5bseg/IBA_QA.pdf?dl=0


We didn’t use these of course as they appear to be internal IBA documents. What I find odd with them is the ‘low’ values for picture grading. They almost seem to be the complete inverse of our internal grading. For example a live studio programme would be absolutely expected to get a pair of 5’s for vision and sound as you really couldn’t get anything better. Giving a programme a rating, say, of 2 would really ring alarm bells as you should not be transmitting a programme of such low technical quality. Given that a representative list of transmitted programmes had to be agreed each evening between an ITV MCR and the transmitter engineer it makes you wonder how it was possible if they were using different scales? I wonder if the system changed at some point? It might be ringing some faint bells somewhere?


What would have been grounds for low technical quality of a live programme?

For example I distinctly remember the quality of captions during the early 1980s in particular could be pretty grubby on some regional live broadcasts, with inconsistent masking around the characters and the like. TT had a particular issue with the late local news on occasions where they'd record news reports off-air at 6pm and play them back with astons from the main programme intact. Problem was the tracking didn't seem right a lot of the time and there would be flaring around the captions.

These were by no means isolated cases either, with similar artefacts on view at YTV as well from time to time. When I was in the North West I used to find the picture jumps on Granada (where the image would shift to the right just as the transition was ending), when local news broadcasts from continuity were cross-fading from the studio to reports etc, especially jarring.

It'd be interesting to know what was just dismissed as "creative deficiencies" and what crossed the line into actual technical issues and what was done about it, as a lot of this stuff just seemed to continue without alteration for years.
Markymark6,393 posts since 13 Dec 2004
Meridian (North) South Today

These were by no means isolated cases either, with similar artefacts on view at YTV as well from time to time. When I was in the North West I used to find the picture jumps on Granada (where the image would shift to the right just as the transition was ending), when local news broadcasts from continuity were cross-fading from the studio to reports etc, especially jarring.


They were sc/h timing errors probably, I saw them a lot in the 70s and 80s, it's a bit of a minefield to explain and discuss Cool
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Steve in Pudsey9,721 posts since 4 Jan 2003
Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)

Was this a London-only thing or did all regions have to do this?


I suspect it was an IBA thing to ensure circuits between ITV franchise holder and the IBA transmitters were OK/ensure IBA tech standards adhered to?


Here's a couple of sample IBA QC reports taken from Tech Review 2 (1977)

https://www.dropbox.com/s/heohdm6wrx5bseg/IBA_QA.pdf?dl=0

I'm quite surprised that Caldbeck monitored UTV. Getting a reliable enough feed over the sea path that it was possible to discern whether a quality issue is on the transmission or the out of area reception must have been challenging.
Write that down in your copybook now.
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bluecortina758 posts since 26 Jul 2012

These were by no means isolated cases either, with similar artefacts on view at YTV as well from time to time. When I was in the North West I used to find the picture jumps on Granada (where the image would shift to the right just as the transition was ending), when local news broadcasts from continuity were cross-fading from the studio to reports etc, especially jarring.


They were sc/h timing errors probably, I saw them a lot in the 70s and 80s, it's a bit of a minefield to explain and discuss Cool


... and how differently vision mixers could/would handle signals ‘apparently’ timed correctly into them. I’m not going there either. Over to Noggin and Inspector!
Markymark6,393 posts since 13 Dec 2004
Meridian (North) South Today

I suspect it was an IBA thing to ensure circuits between ITV franchise holder and the IBA transmitters were OK/ensure IBA tech standards adhered to?


Here's a couple of sample IBA QC reports taken from Tech Review 2 (1977)

https://www.dropbox.com/s/heohdm6wrx5bseg/IBA_QA.pdf?dl=0

I'm quite surprised that Caldbeck monitored UTV. Getting a reliable enough feed over the sea path that it was possible to discern whether a quality issue is on the transmission or the out of area reception must have been challenging.


Well Caldbeck does have a 750 ft mast to mount the Rx aerials to, so that helps !

I'm surprised they wern't using the local control room at Black Mountain in 1977, though remember post 1980 ish there were only four IBA monitoring stations, that between them covered all regions.
Ne1L C699 posts since 11 Sep 2011
Many years ago I had a black and white tv with an ring aerial and with some adjustment and twiddling could get Tyne Tees (I live in Yorkshire)

The news bulletins were clear enough but when they switched to graphics eg for sports results the picture would shake.
JKDerry1,402 posts since 15 Oct 2016
UTV Newsline
Many years ago I had a black and white tv with an ring aerial and with some adjustment and twiddling could get Tyne Tees (I live in Yorkshire)

The news bulletins were clear enough but when they switched to graphics eg for sports results the picture would shake.

Many people in 1978 who lived in the Yorkshire Television region but could manage to pick up either Tyne Tees or Granada were very happy people, as Yorkshire went off on strike over Christmas 1978. I remember speaking to someone who lived in the Yorkshire Television region in 1978 and said it was a miracle they could get a could signal. Thanks to good old analogue.
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Ne1L C699 posts since 11 Sep 2011
There was something about tuning into another itv region that seemed exciting and enthralling. That’s one reason why consolidation has took something away from the channel
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