Bringing the Rainbow into the home

Before the 1980’s the vast majority of Television was in monochrome or Black and White as it was simply known. Colour was restricted to the Cinema but the technology for colour television was there, in fact it had been demonstrated by John Logie Baird, one of the founding fathers of television as early as 1928 but the systems to provide it was huge and unworkable in a practical sense for the home. To get the images then, as now, you would have needed to contact a TV Aerial Installation Cheltenham company and to make sure yours is working to the best of its abilities.

It was Baird again that was determined to bring the use of colour to the home. After his initial displays the technology of electronic image transfer had moved on rapidly and in 1944 Baird came with another improvement to his invention. The advent of the Second World War had put the development of the system on hold but certain discoveries for the war effort had improved the understanding of electronics exponentially. This was Telechrome, a system that used two electron “guns” pointed at opposite ends of a plate made of phosphor. When the guns were “fired” the electrons hit the plate in such a way that cyan (a very light blue) and magenta (purple) would show through. This was very limited but it proved that colour was possible to be transmitted. At the same time, Baird showed that he could create 3D images but with Black and White signals. Baird passed away 2 years later before the development of a third electron gun, to introduce a wider spectrum of colour, could be finished.

The next 20 years saw a variety of competing system to develop colour. It was in the United States were this was keenly felt as the free market and patent element of the States meant that it was market forces that finally brought the NTSC system into wide use and the first colour transmission was by NBC of the opera Carmen which went out on 31st October 1953. In Britain the situation was much more regulated. The TV licence system had to have a new level added, the more expensive colour option. Whereas the BBC where the first to start regular colour programmes, on its second channel BBC2 from July 1st 1967, ITV channels were ahead of the game making and commissioning programmes already filmed in colour for the eventually broadcast, the intention being to sell them to the USA. Gerry Anderson, a pioneer in many ways produced the first full colour programmes for television with Stingray, Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet all ready to go out whereas the first Doctor Who, a show made for colour, did not go out until 1970.