All the papers bring the news that, to quote The Guardian, “The BBC is to begin on October 10 a series of experimental television transmissions in colour from Alexandra Palace. They will be made at the end of normal programmes at 11pm, and people with ordinary sets will be able to receive them in black and white.”
The BBC statement makes it clear that the broadcasts will mainly consist of “still patterns, demonstration films in colour and simple studio shots” and are designed “only to provide technical information.” The tests are being carried out in agreement with the Television Advisory Committee who have been asked, by the Postmaster General, to report on the field of colour television.
The Times adds, “Preliminary work on a colour system which might prove suitable for a public service in Britain has been in progress in the BBC research laboratories for some years, in collaboration with the radio industry. The stage has ben reached where it is desirable to study the practical problems of transmission and reception such as would be encountered in a public service.”
In the Daily Mirror, Clifford Davis notes that, “Regular colour TV is already used in America. There is no practical difficulty in starting in Britain – but the cost of production and of new TV receivers would be trebled.”
The earliest experiments will be using a version of the NTSC system as adopted in the United States of America, but other systems may be tried later. Part of the testing process will be to discover whether such broadcasts can be received successfully on normal black-and-white receivers – in monochrome, obviously, but this is a requirement of the Postmaster-General. Let’s hope they report on their progress.
The Guardian’s Radio Critic (RC) was not put off Thursday evening’s Strike! by any “jargon” and felt Colin Morris and Gilchrist Calder have succeeded with their latest programme as they did with the earlier The Unloved. The subject this time was a minor industrial dispute in an aircraft plant which escalated into a strike. RC writes that, “Strike! should be repeated, and when it is done again the names of the actors should be allowed to stay on screen long enough to be noted. No names were given in the Radio Times and the foolish habit still persists of flashing on a moving list of names too quickly to be remembered. Critics have repeatedly complained of this, yet still those responsible take no notice, and the actors of robbed of the credit due to excellent performances.”