Last updated on 26 May 2006 at 09:09:06 UTC
|ATV was the first station in Australia to broadcast in colour (although only close circuit to station execs) in 1967. It was from race meetings from Pakenham and Yarra Glen.
ATV also taped a Billy Graham Crusade in colour using cameras and equipment borrowed from
Toronto, Canada's CFTO (Channel 9 -- the flagship affiliate of Canadian commercial network CTV). On both occasions ATV0 used RCA equipment for the test broadcasts.HSV7 had color test broadcast around 1968 using Phillps cameras,although they purchased Marconi cameras in 1974.
On the introduction of colour television to Australia, the following is reported by Mr Bruce Gyngell:
"I spoke to Billy McMahon about the introduction of colour television to Australia. It was 1971 and a full, prime-time colour schedule had begun in the United States in 1965, and in the United Kingdom in 1967.
I felt, like so many bureaucrats would seem to think today, that because colour was there, we must have it, and we must have it now, otherwise we?d be considered a second-class nation.
The reply that Billy McMahon gave me at that time was quite startling. He said that with the current state of our balance of payments, we can?t afford to be in Vietnam as well as the cost of importing all the equipment and television sets necessary for colour television.
He added that when we had finished with Vietnam would be soon enough for colour television." By the the end of 1974 the changeover to colour was imminent.ATV was now broadcasting a number of colour programs including
The Nerve Deafness Telethon,TV Penguin Awards,tennis,news and in November 74 the first colour movie,Fantastic Voyage.ATV used its trial color broadcast in 1967 as the basis for its slogan FIRST IN COLOR.
GTV9 slogan was Living Color,while HSV7 used Seven Colour Television with a multi-million dollar computer-animated
dancing colour S's? with electronic synthesiser music.
ABCtv used a revamped waveform logo with the world Colour(British spelling with the U added).Colour TV sets actually began to appear in Australia on a peculiar sort of "grey market" basis in the early 1970s, taking advantage of a technological quirk peculiar to the PAL system.Although there were no official colour broadcasts (and no colour production or playback equipment in the studios), many TV programs sourced from the UK and Europe were supplied on colour videotape.One of the "newer" Rank Arena sets - basically, a re-badged NEC. Legend has it that a consortium of local manufacturers was offered the choice of the British-designed "true" Rank chassis or a badge-engineered NEC chassis. They took one look at the British effort and took the NEC option!And although they were never designed for it, most of the more recent monochrome studio video recorders could reproduce the colour subcarrier to a certain extent.The Government wasn?t happy about some sections of the community jumping the colour gun, so to speak. So the TV stations were required by law to suppress the colour burst so that any PAL colour sets would only display the pictures in monochrome.But "those in the know" discovered that by the use of an add-on gadget called a "chroma lock" this lack of burst could be overcome (with certain limitations) and quite often, excellent colour fidelity was obtained.Sometimes the chroma lock locked the colours out-of-phase so that all colours were negative of what was expected (the "green face" syndrome often experienced on NTSC pictures those days). A tap of the chroma lock button usually fixed that little problem.AWA imported and sold a few hybrid German Telefunken sets with this facility built in and most technicians with access to colour sets experimented with this technique, often sitting up until the wee hours to watch English Soccer in colour!
Before the Whitlam Labor government announced sweeping changes to the tariff systems covering imported manufactured goods and components, there was a general agreement in the industry that colour TV sets would cost somewhere between $1200 and $1500 (ie, approximately 10 times the average gross weekly wage!). Moreover, there would probably be no more than five basic chassis designs: Philips, Sanyo, Panasonic, Thorn and Pye.Of course, the changes to the tariff structure changed this drastically and these prices were drastically revised. In a bid to level the playing field a bit, Telefunken, the owners of the PAL patents, enforced a 6-month moratorium on the direct importation of colour sets with screen sizes of 51cm or less, from the date the first official "limited" broadcasts started in late 1974.The locally manufactured line-up for 1974 consisted of the Philips K9, the Kriesler 59-01 (basically an electronic clone of the K9 but with different board layouts), the AWA/Thorn 4KA (an antipodean-ised version of the UK "hot chassis" Thorn 4000 series), the Panasonic 2000 chassis, the Sanyo CTP7601, the HMV C210, the PYE CT25 and the Rank Arena (NEC) 2601 and 2201.Notably absent were any locally-made models with remote control, absurd though that may sound now. The problem was that remote control necessitates a varicap tuner and because Australia has a number of "oddball" TV channel frequencies that are not used anywhere else in the world, there was nothing available that could tune in all the Australian channels. There were some up-market fully-imported European models that did offer remote control but sales-wise they were problematic, because you couldn?t guarantee they would work everywhere.The first remote controls used ultrasonic transducers and were big, clumsy and unreliable. It wasn?t until the appearance of infrared models in the 1980s that they started to become standard equipment.ref http://www.siliconchip.com.au/cms/A_103966/article.html|