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Television in Germany
December 1937 Popular Mechanics

December 1937 Popular Mechanics
December 1937 Popular Mechanics - RF Cafe[Table of Contents]

Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early mechanics and electronics. See articles from Popular Mechanics, published continuously since 1902. All copyrights hereby acknowledged.

What's the big deal about television in Germany, you might ask? Today, it is no big deal, but in 1937 when this article appeared in Popular Mechanics magazine, it was. Philo Farnsworth and Vladimir Zworykin had only recently demonstrated their all-electronics TV systems, and the battle was on to decide whether the electromechanical systems that used rotating disks and/or mirrors, or the electronic-only types would emerge victorious. Communications standards committees were evaluating and hotly debating the pros and cons of each. Multiple all-electronic television system schemes contended as well. Each country and/or area in the world generated their own set of standards, so manufacturers who serviced worldwide markets needed to accommodate more than one system. Shortly after black-and-white (B&W) broadcasting finally settled out, color TV thrust the industry and government regulators into another round of contentious competition. This story reports on Germany's efforts to bring television to its citizens - as it is preparing to start World War II.

Television in Germany

Television in Germany, December 1937 Popular Mechanics - RF Cafe

Preparing to shoot a scene for television.

Practical television receivers for the home are ready for Germany's radio fans as the result of extensive experiment with various types of apparatus necessary for transmission and reception. Latest developments include the announcement of a combination of television, radio and phonographic reproduction in a single cabinet. The radio is an all-wave receiver of the superheterodyne type. Another cabinet is a projection-type television receiver, which uses a very small cathode-ray tube and three mirrors and lenses to project a picture approximately thirteen by eighteen inches upon a ground-glass screen. One model has a screen which folds down. A third development is a projection-type receiver which reproduces on the screen a picture about thirty-nine by forty-seven inches. Two other sizes of home receivers provide for the picture to be viewed in a mirror. One employs a twelve-inch cathode-ray tube, the other a nineteen-inch tube. An outstanding development, from a standpoint of technique in transmission of television pictures, is a control board or mixing panel which enables the operator to "fade" a film television program into a direct pick-up.

Photo and diagram of home receiver - RF Cafe

Photo and diagram of home receiver.

Regulating the quality of television in broadcasting station by means of monitor panels - RF Cafe

Regulating the quality of television in broadcasting station by means of monitor panels.

How television pictures are taken - RF cafe

How television pictures are taken.

Electron-tube camera for use in stage work - RF Cafe

Left: Electron-tube camera for use in stage work. Center: Receiver with nineteen-inch cathode-ray tube. Right: Small, easily portable television camera for indoor and outdoor work.

Thus, this control makes it possible to eliminate abrupt changes in fading from one program into another, adding to enjoyment of programs. Considerable progress in development of a fast film process is re-ported. In this process, the scene first is photographed by an ordinary motion-picture camera. Then the film is developed quickly and the part intended for television is taken from the film and transmitted. The process employs the high technique of modern motion-picture camera and newsreel. One German company has perfected an intermediate film apparatus which is quite compact, the whole device, including the film-developing equipment, being enclosed in a box not much larger than a standard radio receiver. New film and chemicals for speedy developing have been brought out for use with the apparatus so that the lag between time of photographing the scene and of placing the development on the television transmitter is ninety seconds.



Posted December 26, 2023

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