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Kinescope

Kinescope

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Kinescope shortened to kine ˈ, also known as telerecording in Britain, is a recording of a television program made by filming the picture from a video monitor
Video monitor
A video monitor also called a broadcast monitor, broadcast reference monitor or just reference monitor, is a display device similar to a television set, used to monitor the output of a video-generating device, such as playout from a video server, IRD, video camera, VCR, or DVD player. It may or...

. The newer telecine
Telecine
Telecine is transferring motion picture film into video and is performed in a color suite. The term is also used to refer to the equipment used in the post-production process....

 has replaced the kinescope in the post-production
Post-production
Post-production is part of filmmaking and the video production process. It occurs in the making of motion pictures, television programs, radio programs, advertising, audio recordings, photography, and digital art...

 process.

Typically, the term can refer to the process itself, the equipment used for the procedure (a 16 mm
16 mm film
16 mm film refers to a popular, economical gauge of film used for motion pictures and non-theatrical film making. 16 mm refers to the width of the film...

 or 35 mm
35 mm film
35 mm film is the film gauge most commonly used for chemical still photography and motion pictures. The name of the gauge refers to the width of the photographic film, which consists of strips 35 millimeters in width...

 movie camera
Movie camera
The movie camera is a type of photographic camera which takes a rapid sequence of photographs on strips of film which was very popular for private use in the last century until its successor, the video camera, replaced it...

 mounted in front of a video monitor, and synchronized to the monitor's scanning rate), or a film made using the process. Kinescopes were the only practical way to preserve live television
Live television
Live television refers to a television production broadcast in real-time, as events happen, in the present. From the early days of television until about 1958, live television was used heavily, except for filmed shows such as I Love Lucy and Gunsmoke. Video tape did not exist until 1957...

 broadcasts prior to the introduction of videotape
Videotape
A videotape is a recording of images and sounds on to magnetic tape as opposed to film stock or random access digital media. Videotapes are also used for storing scientific or medical data, such as the data produced by an electrocardiogram...

 in 1956. A small number of theatrically released feature films have also been produced as kinescopes.

The term originally referred to the cathode ray tube
Cathode ray tube
The cathode ray tube is a vacuum tube containing an electron gun and a fluorescent screen used to view images. It has a means to accelerate and deflect the electron beam onto the fluorescent screen to create the images. The image may represent electrical waveforms , pictures , radar targets and...

 used in television receivers, as named by inventor Vladimir K. Zworykin in 1929. Hence, the recordings were known in full as kinescope films. RCA was granted a trademark for the term (for its cathode ray tube) in 1932; it voluntarily released the term to the public domain in 1950.

History


The General Electric
General Electric
General Electric Company , or GE, is an American multinational conglomerate corporation incorporated in Schenectady, New York and headquartered in Fairfield, Connecticut, United States...

 laboratories in Schenectady, New York
Schenectady, New York
Schenectady is a city in Schenectady County, New York, United States, of which it is the county seat. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 66,135...

 experimented with making still and motion picture records of television images in 1931.

There is some evidence to suggest that the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 experimented with filming the output of the television monitor before the television service was placed on hiatus in 1939 due to World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. BBC executive Cecil Madden later recalled filming a production of The Scarlet Pimpernel
The Scarlet Pimpernel
The Scarlet Pimpernel is a play and adventure novel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy, set during the Reign of Terror following the start of the French Revolution. The story is a precursor to the "disguised superhero" tales such as Zorro and Batman....

 in this way, only for film director Alexander Korda
Alexander Korda
Sir Alexander Korda was a Hungarian-born British producer and film director. He was a leading figure in the British film industry, the founder of London Films and the owner of British Lion Films, a film distributing company.-Life and career:The elder brother of filmmakers Zoltán Korda and Vincent...

 to order the burning of the negative as he owned the film rights to the book, which he felt had been infringed. However, the evidence for this is purely anecdotal, and indeed there is no written record of any BBC Television production of The Scarlet Pimpernel during the 1936–1939 period.

According to a 1949 film produced by RCA
RCA
RCA Corporation, founded as the Radio Corporation of America, was an American electronics company in existence from 1919 to 1986. The RCA trademark is currently owned by the French conglomerate Technicolor SA through RCA Trademark Management S.A., a company owned by Technicolor...

, silent films had been made of early experimental telecasts during the 1930s. The films were shot off television monitors at a speed of eight frames per second, resulting in somewhat jerky reproductions of the images. By the mid 1940s, RCA and NBC
NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

 were refining the filming process and including sound; the images were less jerky but still somewhat fuzzy.

During World War II, television cameras were attached to American and German guided missiles to aid in their remote steering. Films were made of the television images they transmitted for further evaluation of the target and the missile's performance.

The first known surviving example of the telerecording process in Britain
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 is from October 1947, showing the singer Adelaide Hall
Adelaide Hall
Adelaide Hall was an American-born U.K.-based jazz singer and entertainer.Hall was born in Brooklyn, New York and was taught to sing by her father...

 performing at the RadiOlympia event. The wedding of Princess Elizabeth to Prince Philip
Wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Philip Mountbatten, Duke of Edinburgh
The wedding of Princess Elizabeth , and Philip, Duke of Edinburgh took place on 20 November 1947 at Westminster Abbey in London.-Engagement:...

 also survives, as do various early 1950s productions such as It is Midnight, Dr Schweitzer and the opening two episodes of The Quatermass Experiment
The Quatermass Experiment
The Quatermass Experiment is a British science-fiction serial broadcast by BBC Television in the summer of 1953 and re-staged by BBC Four in 2005. Set in the near future against the background of a British space programme, it tells the story of the first manned flight into space, overseen by...

, although in varying degrees of quality. A complete 7-hour set of telerecordings of Queen Elizabeth II's 1953 coronation
Coronation of the British monarch
The coronation of the British monarch is a ceremony in which the monarch of the United Kingdom is formally crowned and invested with regalia...

 also exists.

Worldwide Program Distribution


In the days before satellites, telerecordings were used to distribute live events such as a Royal Wedding as quickly as possible to other countries of the Commonwealth that had started a television service. An RAF aeroplane would fly the telerecording from the UK to Canada, where it would be broadcast over the whole North American network; for Australia, a second telerecording would be made in San Francisco and flown to Sydney for transmission. After being originally televised in 405 lines, telerecorded, scanned in 525 lines, telerecorded again, and then rescanned in 625 lines for local transmission, the quality would be terrible, but it could be broadcast only 18 hours after the event.

Eastman Television Recording Camera


In September 1947, Kodak introduced the Eastman Television Recording Camera, in cooperation with DuMont Laboratories, Inc.
Allen B. DuMont
Allen Balcom DuMont also spelled Du Mont, was an American scientist and inventor best known for improvements to the cathode ray tube in 1931 for use in television receivers. Seven years later he manufactured and sold the first commercially practical television set to the public...

 and NBC
NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

, for recording images from a television screen under the trademark "Kinephoto". Prior to the introduction of videotape
Videotape
A videotape is a recording of images and sounds on to magnetic tape as opposed to film stock or random access digital media. Videotapes are also used for storing scientific or medical data, such as the data produced by an electrocardiogram...

 in 1956, kinescopes were the only way to record television broadcasts, or to distribute network television programs that were broadcast live from New York
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 or other originating cities, to stations not connected to the network, or to stations that wished to show a program at a different time than the network broadcast. Although the quality was less than desirable, television program
Television program
A television program , also called television show, is a segment of content which is intended to be broadcast on television. It may be a one-time production or part of a periodically recurring series...

s of all types from prestigious dramas to regular news shows were handled in this manner.

NBC, CBS
CBS
CBS Broadcasting Inc. is a major US commercial broadcasting television network, which started as a radio network. The name is derived from the initials of the network's former name, Columbia Broadcasting System. The network is sometimes referred to as the "Eye Network" in reference to the shape of...

, and DuMont
DuMont Television Network
The DuMont Television Network, also known as the DuMont Network, DuMont, Du Mont, or Dumont was one of the world's pioneer commercial television networks, rivalling NBC for the distinction of being first overall. It began operation in the United States in 1946. It was owned by DuMont...

 set up their main kinescope recording facilities in New York City, while ABC
American Broadcasting Company
The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...

 chose Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

. By 1951, NBC and CBS were each shipping out some 1,000 16mm kinescope prints each week to their affiliate
Affiliate
An affiliate is a commercial entity with a relationship with a peer or a larger entity.- Corporate structure :A corporation may be referred to as an affiliate of another when it is related to it but not strictly controlled by it, as with a subsidiary relationship, or when it is desired to avoid...

s across the United States, and by 1955 that number had increased to 2,500 per week for CBS. By 1954 the television industry’s film consumption surpassed that of all of the Hollywood
Cinema of the United States
The cinema of the United States, also known as Hollywood, has had a profound effect on cinema across the world since the early 20th century. Its history is sometimes separated into four main periods: the silent film era, classical Hollywood cinema, New Hollywood, and the contemporary period...

 studios combined.

"Hot kinescope"


After the network of coaxial cable
Coaxial cable
Coaxial cable, or coax, has an inner conductor surrounded by a flexible, tubular insulating layer, surrounded by a tubular conducting shield. The term coaxial comes from the inner conductor and the outer shield sharing the same geometric axis...

 and microwave relays carrying programs to the West Coast was completed in September 1951, CBS and NBC in 1952 instituted a "hot kinescope" process in which shows being performed in New York were transmitted west, filmed on two kinescope machines in 35 mm negative and 16 mm reversal film (the latter for backup protection) in Los Angeles, rushed to film processing, and then transmitted from Los Angeles three hours later for broadcast in the Pacific Time Zone
Pacific Time Zone
The Pacific Time Zone observes standard time by subtracting eight hours from Coordinated Universal Time . The clock time in this zone is based on the mean solar time of the 120th meridian west of the Greenwich Observatory. During daylight saving time, its time offset is UTC-7.In the United States...

.

In September 1956, NBC began making color "hot kines" of some of its color programs using a lenticular film process which, unlike color negative film, could be processed rapidly using standard black-and-white methods.

Double system method of editing


Even after the introduction of Quadruplex videotape machines in 1956 removed the need for "hot kines", the television networks continued to use kinescopes in the "double system" method of videotape editing. It was impossible to slow or freeze frame
Freeze frame television
Freeze frame television: Television in which fixed images are transmitted sequentially at a rate far too slow to be perceived as continuous motion by human vision...

 a videotape at that time, so the unedited tape would be copied to a kinescope, and edited conventionally. The edited kinescope print was then used to conform the videotape master. More than 300 videotaped network series and specials used this method over a 12-year period, including the fast-paced Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In
Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In
Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In is an American sketch comedy television program which ran for 140 episodes from January 22, 1968, to May 14, 1973. It was hosted by comedians Dan Rowan and Dick Martin and was broadcast over NBC...

.

History continues on the film recorder
Film recorder
A Film Recorder is a graphical output device for transferring digital images to photographic film.All film recorders typically work in the same manner. The image is fed from a host computer as a raster stream over a digital interface...

 page.

Alternatives to kinescoping


With the variable quality of Kinescopes, networks looked towards alternative methods to replace them with a higher degree of quality.

Change to 35 mm film broadcasts


Filmed programs were also used in television’s early years, although they were generally considered inferior to the big-production "live" programs because of their lower budgets and loss of immediacy. This, however, was about to change.

In 1951, the stars and producers of the Hollywood-based television series I Love Lucy
I Love Lucy
I Love Lucy is an American television sitcom starring Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance, and William Frawley. The black-and-white series originally ran from October 15, 1951, to May 6, 1957, on the Columbia Broadcasting System...

, Desi Arnaz
Desi Arnaz
Desi Arnaz was a Cuban-born American musician, actor and television producer. While he gained international renown for leading a Latin music band, the Desi Arnaz Orchestra, he is probably best known for his role as Ricky Ricardo on the American TV series I Love Lucy, starring with Lucille Ball, to...

 and Lucille Ball
Lucille Ball
Lucille Désirée Ball was an American comedian, film, television, stage and radio actress, model, film and television executive, and star of the sitcoms I Love Lucy, The Lucy–Desi Comedy Hour, The Lucy Show, Here's Lucy and Life With Lucy...

, decided to shoot their show directly onto 35 mm film using the three-camera system, instead of broadcasting it live. Normally, a live program originating from Los Angeles (for example, The Frank Sinatra Show) would be performed live in the late afternoon for the Eastern Time Zone, and seen on a kinescope three hours later in the Pacific Time Zone. But as an article in American Cinematographer
American Cinematographer
American Cinematographer is a monthly magazine published by the American Society of Cinematographers.American Cinematographer focuses on the art and craft of cinematography, going behind the scenes on domestic and international productions of all shapes and sizes...

 explained,
In the beginning there was a very definite reason for the decision of Desilu Productions
Desilu Productions
Desilu Productions was a Los Angeles, California-based company jointly owned by actors Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball, who were married to each other from 1940 to 1960....

 to put I Love Lucy on film instead of doing it live and having kinescope recordings carry it to affiliate outlets of the network. The company was not satisfied with the quality of kinescopes. It saw that film, produced especially for television, was the only means of ensuring top quality pictures on the home receiver as well as ensuring a flawless show.


The I Love Lucy decision introduced reruns to most of the American television audience, and set a pattern for the syndication
Television syndication
In broadcasting, syndication is the sale of the right to broadcast radio shows and television shows by multiple radio stations and television stations, without going through a broadcast network, though the process of syndication may conjure up structures like those of a network itself, by its very...

 of TV shows after their network runs (and later, for first-run airings via syndication) that still continues to this very day.

Electronicam



The program director of the short-lived DuMont Television Network
DuMont Television Network
The DuMont Television Network, also known as the DuMont Network, DuMont, Du Mont, or Dumont was one of the world's pioneer commercial television networks, rivalling NBC for the distinction of being first overall. It began operation in the United States in 1946. It was owned by DuMont...

, James L. Caddigan, devised an alternative — the Electronicam
Electronicam
Electronicam was a television recording system that shot an image on film and television at the same time through a common lens. It was developed by James L. Caddigan for the DuMont Television Network in the 1950s, before electronic recording on videotape was available...

. In this, all the studio TV cameras had built-in 35 mm film cameras which shared the same optical path. An Electronicam technician threw switches to mark the film footage electronically, identifying the camera "takes" called by the director. The corresponding film segments from the various cameras then were combined by a film editor to duplicate the live program. The 39 syndicated episodes of The Honeymooners
The Honeymooners
The Honeymooners is an American situation comedy television show, based on a recurring 1951–'55 sketch of the same name. It originally aired on the DuMont network's Cavalcade of Stars and subsequently on the CBS network's The Jackie Gleason Show hosted by Jackie Gleason, and filmed before a live...

 were filmed using Electronicam (as well as the daily five minute syndicated series Les Paul & Mary Ford At Home in 1954–55), but with the introduction of a practical videotape
Videotape
A videotape is a recording of images and sounds on to magnetic tape as opposed to film stock or random access digital media. Videotapes are also used for storing scientific or medical data, such as the data produced by an electrocardiogram...

 recorder only one year away, the Electronicam system never saw widespread use. The DuMont network did not survive into the era of videotape, and in order to gain clearances for its programs, was heavily dependent on kinescopes, which it called teletranscriptions.

Videotape


In 1951, singer Bing Crosby’s
Bing Crosby
Harry Lillis "Bing" Crosby was an American singer and actor. Crosby's trademark bass-baritone voice made him one of the best-selling recording artists of the 20th century, with over half a billion records in circulation....

 company Bing Crosby Enterprises made the first experimental magnetic video recordings; however, the poor picture quality and very high tape speed meant it would be impractical to use. In 1956, Ampex
Ampex
Ampex is an American electronics company founded in 1944 by Alexander M. Poniatoff. The name AMPEX is an acronym, created by its founder, which stands for Alexander M. Poniatoff Excellence...

 introduced the first commercial Quadruplex videotape
Videotape
A videotape is a recording of images and sounds on to magnetic tape as opposed to film stock or random access digital media. Videotapes are also used for storing scientific or medical data, such as the data produced by an electrocardiogram...

 recorder, followed in 1958 by a color model. Offering high quality and instant playback at a much lower cost, Quadruplex tape quickly replaced kinescope as the primary means of recording television broadcasts.

The last years of the kinescopes


The U.S. networks continued to make kinescopes of their daytime dramas (many of which still aired live into the late 1960s) available as late as 1969 for their smaller network affiliates that did not yet have videotape capability but wished to time-shift the network programming. Some of these programs aired up to two weeks after their original dates, particularly in Alaska
Alaska
Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait...

 and Hawaii
Hawaii
Hawaii is the newest of the 50 U.S. states , and is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of...

. Many episodes of programs from the 1960s survive only through kinescoped copies. The last 16 mm kinescopes of television programs ended in the late 1970s, as video tape recorders became more affordable.

In Australia, kinescopes were still being made of some evening news programs as late as 1977, if they were recorded at all.

In later years, film and television producers were often reluctant to include kinescope footage in anthologies, because of the "inferior" quality. While it is true that kinescopes did look inferior to live transmissions in the 1950s, it was due to the industry's technical limitations at that time. Even the best live transmission could look contrasty or hazy by the time it reached the home viewer. Advances in broadcast technology soon allowed for a wider gray scale in black-and-white, and a fuller spectrum of colors, making kinescopes a perfectly viable commodity. This was demonstrated in the feature film Ten from Your Show of Shows, a compilation of Sid Caesar
Sid Caesar
Isaac Sidney "Sid" Caesar is an Emmy award winning American comic actor and writer known as the leading man on the 1950s television series Your Show of Shows and Caesar's Hour, and to younger generations as Coach Calhoun in Grease and Grease 2.- Early life :Caesar was born in Yonkers, New York,...

 kinescopes released to theaters. Reviewers were astonished at how good the kinescoped image looked on a large screen. Kinescopes have since lost their stigma of inferiority, and are commonly consulted today for archival purposes.

In the U.K., telerecordings continued to be made after the advent of commercial broadcast videotape from 1958 as they possessed several distinct advantages, particularly for overseas program sales. Firstly, they were cheaper, easier to transport and more durable than video. Secondly, they could be used in any country regardless of the television broadcasting standard, which was not true of videotape. Thirdly, the system could be used to make black and white copies of color programs for sale to television stations who were not yet broadcasting in color.

The telerecording system could be of a very high quality, easily reproducing the full detail of the television picture. The only slight disadvantage of the system was that it removed the 'fluid' look of interlaced video and 'filmized
Filmizing
Filmizing is a process that makes video productions seem to have been shot on film. The term is generic and informal. The process is usually electronic, although filmizing can sometimes occur as an un-intentional by-product of some optical techniques, such as telerecording.-Differences between...

' the picture, but this would generally not have made a great deal of difference to the viewing audiences.

The system was largely used for black and white reproduction. Although some color telerecordings were made, they were generally in the minority as by the time color programmes were widely needed for sale, video standards conversion was easier and higher quality and the price of videotape had become much reduced. Before videotape became the exclusive transmission format during the early to mid-1980s, any (color) video recordings used in documentaries or filmed program inserts were usually transferred onto film.

Up until the early 1960s, much of the BBC and British television in general's output was broadcast live, and telerecordings would be used to preserve a programme for repeat showings, which had previously required the entire production being performed live for a second time.

In the 1950s a home telerecording kit was introduced in Britain, allowing enthusiasts to make 16 mm film
16 mm film
16 mm film refers to a popular, economical gauge of film used for motion pictures and non-theatrical film making. 16 mm refers to the width of the film...

 recordings of television programmes . The major drawback, apart from the short duration of a 16 mm film magazine, was that a large opaque frame had to be placed in front of the TV set in order to block out any stray reflections, making it impossible to watch the set normally while filming. It is not known if any recordings made using this equipment still exist.

British broadcasters used telerecordings for domestic purposes well into the 1960s, with 35 mm
35 mm film
35 mm film is the film gauge most commonly used for chemical still photography and motion pictures. The name of the gauge refers to the width of the photographic film, which consists of strips 35 millimeters in width...

 being the film gauge usually used as it produced a higher quality result. For overseas sales, 16 mm film would be used, as it was cheaper. Although domestic use of telerecording in the UK for repeat broadcasts dropped off sharply after the move to color in the late 1960s, 16 mm black and white film telerecordings were still being offered for sale by British broadcasters well into the 1970s.

Telerecording was still being used internally at the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 in the 1980s too, to preserve copies for posterity of programmes which were not necessarily of the highest importance, but which nonetheless their producers wanted to be preserved. If there were no videotape machines available on a given day, then a telerecording would be made. There is evidence to suggest that the children's magazine programme Blue Peter
Blue Peter
Blue Peter is the world's longest-running children's television show, having first aired in 1958. It is shown on CBBC, both in its BBC One programming block and on the CBBC channel. During its history there have been many presenters, often consisting of two women and two men at a time...

 was occasionally being telerecorded as late as 1985. After this point, however, cheap domestic videotape formats such as VHS
VHS
The Video Home System is a consumer-level analog recording videocassette standard developed by Victor Company of Japan ....

 could more easily be used to keep a back-up reference copy of a programme.

Another occasional use of telerecording into the late 1980s was by documentary makers working in 16 mm film who wished to include a videotape-sourced excerpt in their work, although such use was again rare.

Legacy


Kinescopes were intended to be used for immediate rebroadcast, or for an occasional repeat of a prerecorded program; thus, only a small fraction of kinescope recordings remain today. Many television shows are represented by only a handful of episodes, such as with the early television work of comedian Ernie Kovacs
Ernie Kovacs
Ernie Kovacs was a Hungarian American comedian and actor.Kovacs' uninhibited, often ad-libbed, and visually experimental comedic style came to influence numerous television comedy programs for years after his death in an automobile accident...

, and the original version of Jeopardy!
Jeopardy!
Griffin's first conception of the game used a board comprising ten categories with ten clues each, but after finding that this board could not be shown on camera easily, he reduced it to two rounds of thirty clues each, with five clues in each of six categories...

 hosted by Art Fleming
Art Fleming
Art Fleming was an American television host, most notably the original host of the TV game show Jeopardy!.-Early life:...

.

Kinescopes were also used for some live television programs, like Captain Kangaroo
Captain Kangaroo
Captain Kangaroo is a children's television series which aired weekday mornings on the American television network CBS for nearly 30 years, from October 3, 1955 until December 8, 1984, making it the longest-running children's television program of its day...

, when back-to-back episodes were made in a day for different time zones. As performers never went three times in a day, kinescopes were made for the west coast
West Coast
West Coast most often refers to coastline which is on the western side of a particular area. Many other terms refer to this initial meaning. Some of these things include:-Australia:...

 at a later date.

Technology


NTSC
NTSC
NTSC, named for the National Television System Committee, is the analog television system that is used in most of North America, most of South America , Burma, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, the Philippines, and some Pacific island nations and territories .Most countries using the NTSC standard, as...

 television images are scanned
Raster scan
A raster scan, or raster scanning, is the rectangular pattern of image capture and reconstruction in television. By analogy, the term is used for raster graphics, the pattern of image storage and transmission used in most computer bitmap image systems...

 at roughly 60 Hz
Hertz
The hertz is the SI unit of frequency defined as the number of cycles per second of a periodic phenomenon. One of its most common uses is the description of the sine wave, particularly those used in radio and audio applications....

, with two interlaced fields
Field (video)
In video, a field is one of the many still images which are displayed sequentially to create the impression of motion on the screen. Two fields comprise one video frame...

 per frame, displayed at 30 frames per second.

A kinescope must be able to:
  1. Convert the 30 frame/s image to 24 frame/s, the standard sound speed of film cameras,
  2. Do so in a way so that the image is clear enough to then re-broadcast by means of a film chain
    Film chain
    A film chain or film island is a television - Professional video camera with one or more projectors aligned into the photographic lens of the camera. With two or more projectors a system of front-surface mirrors that can pop-up are used in a multiplexer. These mirrors switch different projectors...

     back to 30 frame/s.


In kinescoping an NTSC signal, 525 lines are broadcast in one frame. A 35 mm or 16 mm camera exposes one frame of film for every one frame of television (525 lines), and moving a new frame of film into place during the time equivalent of one field of television (131.25 lines). In the British 405-line television system, television ran at 25 frames—or more correctly, 50 fields—per second, so the film camera would also be run at 25 frames per second rather than the cinematic film standard of 24 frames.

Therefore, in order to maintain successful kinescope photography, a camera must expose one frame of film for exactly 1/30th or 1/25th of a second, the time in which one frame of video is transmitted, and move to another frame of film within the small interval of 1/120 of a second. In some instances, this was accomplished through means of an electronic shutter which cuts off the TV image at the end of every set of visible lines.

Most U.S. kinescope situations, however, utilized a mechanical shutter, revolving at 24 revolutions per second. This shutter had a closed angle of 72° and an open angle of 288°, yielding the necessary closed time of 1/120 of a second and open time 1/30 of a second. Using this shutter, in 1 second of video (60 fields equaling 30 frames), 48 television fields (totaling to 24 frames of video) would be captured on 24 frames of film, and 12 additional fields would be omitted as the shutter closed and the film advanced.

Because television is a field rather than frame-based system, however, not all the information in the picture can be retained on film in the same way as it can on videotape. The time taken physically to move the film on by one frame and stop it so that the gate can be opened to expose a new frame of film to the two fields
Field (video)
In video, a field is one of the many still images which are displayed sequentially to create the impression of motion on the screen. Two fields comprise one video frame...

 of television picture is much longer than the vertical blanking interval
Vertical blanking interval
The vertical blanking interval , also known as the vertical interval or VBLANK, is the time difference between the last line of one frame or field of a raster display, and the beginning of the first line of the next frame. It is present in analog television, VGA, DVI and other signals. During the...

 between these fields—so the film is still moving when the start of the next field is being displayed on the television screen. It is not possible to accelerate the film fast enough to get it there in time without destroying the perforations
Film perforations
Film perforations, also known as perfs, are the holes placed in the film stock during manufacturing and used for transporting and steadying the film. Films may have different types of perforations depending on film gauge, film format, and the intended usage...

 in the film stock
Film stock
Film stock is photographic film on which filmmaking of motion pictures are shot and reproduced. The equivalent in television production is video tape.-1889–1899:...

—and the larger the film gauge
Film gauge
Film gauge is a physical property of photographic or motion picture film stock which defines its width. Traditionally the major film gauges in usage are 8 mm, 16 mm, 35 mm, and 65/70 mm...

 used, the worse the problem becomes.

The problem of adapting the way the image is either displayed or captured on film, to get around the above, was solved in various different ways as time went on—improving the quality of the image.

Shutter bar and banding problems


The 72°/288° shutter and the systematic loss of 12 fields per second were not without its side effects. In going from 30 frame/s to 24 frame/s, the camera photographed part of some fields. The juncture on the film frame where these part-fields met was called a "splice".

If the timing was accurate, the splice was invisible. However, if the camera and television were out of phase, a phenomenon known as "shutter bar" or "banding" took place. If the shutter was slow in closing, overexposure resulted where the part-fields joined and the "shutter bar" took the form of a white line. If the shutter closed too soon, underexposure took place and the line was black. The term "banding" referred to the phenomenon occurring on the screen as two bars.

This obstacle could be overcome by brushing a thin coat of lacquer on the edge of the shutter according to the phasing between the camera shutter and the television impulses.

Suppressed field


A simpler system less prone to breakdown was to suppress one of the two fields in displaying the television picture. This left the time in which the second field was displayed for the film camera to advance the film by one frame, which proved enough. This method was also called 'Skip field' recording.

This method had several disadvantages. In missing out every second field of video, half the information of the picture was lost on such recordings. The resulting film consisted of fewer than 200 lines of picture information and as a result the line structure was very apparent; the missing field information also made movement look very 'jerky'.

Stored field


A development on the suppressed field system was to display the image from one of the fields at a much higher intensity on the television screen during the time when the film gate was closed, and then capture the image as the second field was being displayed. By adjusting the intensity of the first field, it was possible to arrange it so that the luminosity of the phosphor had decayed to exactly match that of the second field, so that the two appeared to be at the same level and the film camera captured both.This method came to be preferred.

Another technique developed by the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 known as 'spot wobble' involved the addition of an extremely high frequency but low voltage sine wave to the vertical deflection plate of the television screen, which changed the moving 'spot' through which the television picture was displayed into an elongated oval. While this made the image slightly blurred, it removed the visible line structure and resulted in a better image. It also prevented moiré pattern
Moiré pattern
In physics, a moiré pattern is an interference pattern created, for example, when two grids are overlaid at an angle, or when they have slightly different mesh sizes.- Etymology :...

s appearing when the resulting film was re-broadcast on television and the lines of the recording did not match the scan lines.

Moye-Mechau film recording


The first successful procedure was to use the Mechau film projector mechanism in reverse. The Mechau system used a synchronised rotating mirror to display each frame of a film in sequence without the need for a gate. When reversed, a high-quality television monitor was set up in place of the projection screen, and unexposed film stock is run through at the point where the lamp was illuminating the film.

This procedure had the advantage of capturing both fields of the frame on a film, but it was difficult to keep the mirrors running at the right speed and all the equipment adjusted correctly, which often resulted in poor quality output. An additional problem was that the whole procedure took place in an open room and it was known for insects to settle on the screen which were then permanently present on the film recording. The Mechau film magazine only held enough for nine minutes so two recorders were needed to run in sequence in order to record anything longer.

Lenses for kinescoping


Lenses did not need a great depth of field, but had to be capable both of producing a very sharp image with high resolution of a flat surface and of doing so at high speed. In order to keep from light fall-off on the perimeter of the lens, a coated lens was preferable. 40 mm or 50 mm lenses were usually used with 16mm in calibrated mounts. Focus was checked by examining a print yielded under a microscope.

Magazines and film length


In order to record half-hour programs without interruption, magazines were designed which accommodated a load of 1,200 feet for 16 mm film. Stations recording on 35 mm utilized 6,000 foot magazines for one hour of continuous recording.

Sound recording


The camera could be equipped with sound recording to place the soundtrack and picture on the same film for single system sound recording. More commonly, the alternative double system, whereby the soundtrack was recorded on an optical recorder or magnetic dubber in sync with the camera, yielded a better quality sound track and greatly facilitated editing.

The kinescope image


Kinescope tubes intended for photographic use were coated with phosphors rich in blue and ultra-violet radiations. This permitted the use of positive type emulsions for photographing in spite of their slow film speeds. The brightness range of kinescope tubes were about 1 to 30.

Kinescope images were capable of great flexibility. The operator could make the image brighter or darker, adjust contrast, width and height, turn left, right or upside down, and positive or negative.

Since kinescopes were able to produce a negative picture, direct positive recordings could be made by simply photographing a negative image on the kinescope tube. When making a negative film, in order for final prints to be in the correct emulsion position, the direction of the image was reversed on the television. This applied only when double system sound was used.

Film stock used


For kinescopes, 16 mm film was the common choice by most studios because of the lower cost of stock and film processing, but in the larger network markets, it was not uncommon to see 35 mm kinescopes, particularly for national rebroadcast. By law, all film supplied to TV stations, both 16 mm and 35 mm had to be on a non-flammable, safety film base.

For U.S. video recording, fine grain positive stock was the most common used because of its low cost and high resolution yield. Of the fine grain stocks, the following were recommended by film manufacturers:
  • Ansco
    Ansco
    Ansco was the name of a photographic company based in Binghamton, New York, which produced inexpensive cameras for most of the 20th century. It also sold rebadged versions of cameras made by other manufacturers, including Agfa and Chinon...

    : Fine Grain Positive for Television Purposes, for making direct positive recordings with 16 mm kinescope cameras.
  • DuPont
    DuPont
    E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company , commonly referred to as DuPont, is an American chemical company that was founded in July 1802 as a gunpowder mill by Eleuthère Irénée du Pont. DuPont was the world's third largest chemical company based on market capitalization and ninth based on revenue in 2009...

    : Fine Grain Master Positive Film Type 628A (16 mm) and 628B (35 mm). Difference in contrast can be controlled in development.
  • Eastman Kodak
    Eastman Kodak
    Eastman Kodak Company is a multinational imaging and photographic equipment, materials and services company headquarted in Rochester, New York, United States. It was founded by George Eastman in 1892....

    : Eastman Fine Grain Sound Recording Film, Type 5373 (low-contrast) for negative stock where other prints would be made. Fine Grain Release Positive Film, Type 7302 (high-contrast) for direct positive recordings and single system sound recordings using variable area sound.

Other common issues with kinescopes


Videotape engineer Frederick M. Remley wrote of kinescope recordings,
Because of the many variables in the combined electronic/photographic process, the quality of such recordings often leaves much to be desired. Defects often encountered in photographic recording include relatively poor image resolution; a compressed brightness range often limited by kinescope display technology to a brightness ratio of about 40:1; nonlinearity of recordings, as exemplified by lack of gradation in both the near-white and near-black portions of the reproduced pictures; and excessive image noise due to film grain and video processing artifacts. The final signal-to-noise ratio
Signal-to-noise ratio
Signal-to-noise ratio is a measure used in science and engineering that compares the level of a desired signal to the level of background noise. It is defined as the ratio of signal power to the noise power. A ratio higher than 1:1 indicates more signal than noise...

 is often less than 40 dB
Decibel
The decibel is a logarithmic unit that indicates the ratio of a physical quantity relative to a specified or implied reference level. A ratio in decibels is ten times the logarithm to base 10 of the ratio of two power quantities...

, especially in the case of 16 mm film.


Because each field is sequential in time to the next, a kinescope film frame that captured two interlaced fields at once often showed a ghostly fringe around the edges of moving objects, an artifact not as visible when watching television directly at 50 or 60 fields per second.

Some kinescopes filmed the television pictures at the same frame rate
Frame rate
Frame rate is the frequency at which an imaging device produces unique consecutive images called frames. The term applies equally well to computer graphics, video cameras, film cameras, and motion capture systems...

 of 30 full frames per second, resulting in more faithful picture quality than those that recorded at 24 frames per second. The standard was later changed for color TV to 59.94 fields/s. or 29.97 frame/s. when color TV was invented.

In the era of early color TV, the chroma
Chroma
Chroma, the Greek word for color, may refer to:* Colorfulness or chroma, the perceived intensity of a specific color* Chrominance or chroma, one of the two components of a television signal* Chroma, a measure of color purity in the Munsell color system...

 information included in the video signal filmed could cause visible artifacts
Chroma dots
Chroma dots are visual artefacts caused by displaying an unfiltered analogue colour video signal on a black and white television or monitor. They are commonly found on black and white recordings of television programmes originally made in colour...

. It was possible to filter the chroma out, but this was not always done. Consequently, the color information was included (but not in color) in the black & white film image. Using modern computing techniques, the color may now be recovered, a process known as color recovery
Colour recovery
Colour recovery is a process which can restore lost colour, specifically to television programmes which were originally transmitted in colour, but for which only black & white copies remain archived...

.

In recent years, the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 has introduced a video process called VidFIRE
VidFIRE
VidFIRE is a restoration technique intended to restore the video-like motion of footage originally shot with television cameras now existing only in formats with telerecording as their basis...

, which can restore kinescope recordings to their original frame rate by interpolating video fields between the film frames.

Certain performers or production companies would require that a kinescope be made of every television program. Such is the case with performers Jackie Gleason
Jackie Gleason
Jackie Gleason was an American comedian, actor and musician. He was known for his brash visual and verbal comedy style, especially by his character Ralph Kramden on The Honeymooners, a situation-comedy television series. His most noted film roles were as Minnesota Fats in the drama film The...

 and Milton Berle
Milton Berle
Milton Berlinger , better known as Milton Berle, was an American comedian and actor. As the manic host of NBC's Texaco Star Theater , in 1948 he was the first major star of U.S. television and as such became known as Uncle Miltie and Mr...

, for whom nearly complete program archives exist. As Jackie Gleason’s program was broadcast live in New York, the show was kinescoped for later rebroadcast for the West Coast. After these programs were shown, the kinescopes would be returned to Gleason, who kept them in his vault, and only released them to the public (on home video) shortly before his death in 1987.

Milton Berle sued NBC
NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

 late in his life, believing the kinescopes of a major portion of his programs were lost. However, the programs were later found in a warehouse in Los Angeles.

Mark Goodson-Bill Todman Productions, the producers of such TV game shows as What's My Line?
What's My Line?
What's My Line? is a panel game show which originally ran in the United States on the CBS Television Network from 1950 to 1967, with several international versions and subsequent U.S. revivals. The game tasked celebrity panelists with questioning contestants in order to determine their occupations....

, had a significant portion of their output recorded on both videotape and kinescopes. These programs are rebroadcast on the American cable TV’s Game Show Network
Game Show Network
The Game Show Network is an American cable television and direct broadcast satellite channel dedicated to game shows and casino game shows. The channel was launched on December 1, 1994. Its current slogan is "The World Needs More Winners"...

.

All of the NBC Symphony Orchestra
NBC Symphony Orchestra
The NBC Symphony Orchestra was a radio orchestra established by David Sarnoff of the National Broadcasting Company especially for conductor Arturo Toscanini...

 telecasts with Arturo Toscanini
Arturo Toscanini
Arturo Toscanini was an Italian conductor. One of the most acclaimed musicians of the late 19th and 20th century, he was renowned for his intensity, his perfectionism, his ear for orchestral detail and sonority, and his photographic memory...

, from 1948 to 1952, were preserved on kinescopes and later released on VHS and laser disc by RCA
RCA
RCA Corporation, founded as the Radio Corporation of America, was an American electronics company in existence from 1919 to 1986. The RCA trademark is currently owned by the French conglomerate Technicolor SA through RCA Trademark Management S.A., a company owned by Technicolor...

 and on DVD by Testament
Testament Records (UK)
The Testament Records label, based in Great Britain, specialises in historical classical music recordings, including previously unreleased broadcast performances by Arturo Toscanini and the NBC Symphony Orchestra and Solomon...

. The original audio from the kinescopes, however, was replaced with high fidelity
High fidelity
High fidelity—or hi-fi—reproduction is a term used by home stereo listeners and home audio enthusiasts to refer to high-quality reproduction of sound or images, to distinguish it from the poorer quality sound produced by inexpensive audio equipment...

 sound that had been recorded simultaneously either on transcription discs or magnetic tape
Magnetic tape
Magnetic tape is a medium for magnetic recording, made of a thin magnetizable coating on a long, narrow strip of plastic. It was developed in Germany, based on magnetic wire recording. Devices that record and play back audio and video using magnetic tape are tape recorders and video tape recorders...

.

In the mid-90s, Edie Adams
Edie Adams
Edie Adams was an American singer, Broadway, television and film actress and comedienne. Adams, a Tony Award winner, "both embodied and winked at the stereotypes of fetching chanteuse and sexpot blonde." She was well-known for her impersonations of female stars on stage and television, most...

, wife of Ernie Kovacs, claimed that so little value was given to the kinescope recordings of the DuMont Television Network
DuMont Television Network
The DuMont Television Network, also known as the DuMont Network, DuMont, Du Mont, or Dumont was one of the world's pioneer commercial television networks, rivalling NBC for the distinction of being first overall. It began operation in the United States in 1946. It was owned by DuMont...

 that after the network folded in 1956 its entire archive was dumped into upper New York bay. Today however, efforts are made to preserve the few surviving DuMont kinescopes, with the UCLA Film and Television Archive
UCLA Film and Television Archive
The UCLA Film and Television Archive is an internationally renowned visual arts organization focused on the preservation, study, and appreciation of film and television, based at the University of California, Los Angeles. It holds more than 220,000 film and television titles and 27 million feet of...

 having collected over 300 for preservation.

Telerecordings form an important part of British television heritage, preserving what would otherwise have been lost. Nearly every pre-1960s British television programme in the archives is in the form of a telerecording, along with the vast majority of existing 1960s output. Videotape was expensive and could be wiped and re-used; film was cheaper, smaller, and in practice more durable. Only a very small proportion of British television from the black and white era survives at all; perhaps 5% from the 1953–58 period and 8–10% from the 1960s.

Many recovered programmes, particularly those made by the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

, have been returned as telerecordings by foreign broadcasters or private film collectors from the 1980s onwards, as the BBC has taken stock of the large gaps in its archive and sought to recover as much of the missing material as possible. Many of these surviving telerecorded programmes, such as episodes of Doctor Who
Doctor Who
Doctor Who is a British science fiction television programme produced by the BBC. The programme depicts the adventures of a time-travelling humanoid alien known as the Doctor who explores the universe in a sentient time machine called the TARDIS that flies through time and space, whose exterior...

, Steptoe and Son
Steptoe and Son
Steptoe and Son is a British sitcom written by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson about two rag and bone men living in Oil Drum Lane, a fictional street in Shepherd's Bush, London. Four series were broadcast by the BBC from 1962 to 1965, followed by a second run from 1970 to 1974. Its theme tune, "Old...

 and Till Death Us Do Part continue to be transmitted on satellite television
Satellite television
Satellite television is television programming delivered by the means of communications satellite and received by an outdoor antenna, usually a parabolic mirror generally referred to as a satellite dish, and as far as household usage is concerned, a satellite receiver either in the form of an...

 stations such as UKTV Gold
UKTV Gold
GOLD is the original channel of the UKTV network, broadcasting to the United Kingdom and Ireland. It launched on 1 November 1992 as UK Gold, and is currently available on Sky, Virgin Media, TalkTalk TV and terrestrial subscription via Top Up TV. It shows repeats of classic programming from the BBC...

, and many such programmes have been released on VHS
VHS
The Video Home System is a consumer-level analog recording videocassette standard developed by Victor Company of Japan ....

 and DVD
DVD
A DVD is an optical disc storage media format, invented and developed by Philips, Sony, Toshiba, and Panasonic in 1995. DVDs offer higher storage capacity than Compact Discs while having the same dimensions....

.

In late 2008 the BBC transmitted an episode of Dad's Army
Dad's Army
Dad's Army is a British sitcom about the Home Guard during the Second World War. It was written by Jimmy Perry and David Croft and broadcast on BBC television between 1968 and 1977. The series ran for 9 series and 80 episodes in total, plus a radio series, a feature film and a stage show...

 after the original color had been restored to the only surviving monochrome film recording of Room at the Bottom
Room at the Bottom
-Synopsis:Room at the Bottom is the 17th adapted radio episode of Dad's Army. The synopsis remains virtually unchanged from the TV episode, although there are a few minor changes in terms of actions performed by certain characters.-Plot:...

.

In September 2010, a kinescope of game 7 of the 1960 World Series
1960 World Series
The 1960 World Series was played between the Pittsburgh Pirates of the National League and the New York Yankees of the American League from October 5 to October 13, 1960...

 was found in the wine cellar of Bing Crosby. The game was thought lost forever, but was preserved due to Crosby's superstition about watching the game live. The film was transferred to DVD and is planned to be broadcast on the MLB Network
MLB Network
MLB Network is an American television specialty channel dedicated to professional baseball. It is primarily owned by Major League Baseball. Comcast, DirecTV, Time Warner Cable and Cox Communications have minority ownership of the new network, with MLB retaining a controlling two-thirds share...

.

Because videotape
Videotape
A videotape is a recording of images and sounds on to magnetic tape as opposed to film stock or random access digital media. Videotapes are also used for storing scientific or medical data, such as the data produced by an electrocardiogram...

 records at fifty interlaced fields per second and telerecordings at twenty-five progressive frames per second, videotaped programmes that exist now only as telerecordings look more "jerky" than the originals. One solution to this problem is VidFIRE
VidFIRE
VidFIRE is a restoration technique intended to restore the video-like motion of footage originally shot with television cameras now existing only in formats with telerecording as their basis...

, an electronic process to restore video-type motion.

External links