What's My Line?

Season 15 Episode 2

EPISODE #680

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Aired Daily 12:00 AM Sep 08, 1963 on CBS

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  • Notes

    • TECH NOTES - PART 1: During this season, CBS will begin replacing their old RCA TK-10 and TK-11 television cameras in their studios on both coasts with British-manufactured Marconi Mark IV monochrome cameras. These new cameras, first introduced in the late 1950's and sold worldwide, differed from their predecessors by the use of 4½" image-orthicon (I-O) tubes, as opposed to the 3" tubes on the older cameras, thus providing a somewhat better picture. And as was paramount to CBS by this time, it was manufactured by a company other than RCA. It is this model camera which was used at the time of The Beatles' landmark appearances on "The Ed Sullivan Show" in 1964. They will remain the main cameras in use by CBS until 1965, when Dutch electronics manufacturer Philips unveils a color camera called the PC-60 (marketed in the U.S. under the Norelco brand name) which was distinguished by the use of "Plumbicon" pickup tubes - and whose introduction would forever end RCA's dominance in the color TV equipment field. The Marconis will remain in use on the last remaining videotape-based black-and-white shows on CBS, including "WML?", through 1966. - W-B

      TECH NOTES - PART 2: As noted, CBS acquired Marconi Mark IV monochrome television cameras this season to replace their old RCA TK-10 and TK-11 cameras. The network, by this time, had a policy of buying broadcast equipment that could be summed up in three words: "Anybody but RCA." Several broadcasting companies, including CBS, had a lingering resentment over what was considered to be RCA's dominance in the broadcast equipment field. It was this factor, plus the low number of color TV sets in American homes up to this point, that partly explains the reluctance among TV stations to "go color" until 1964-1965, which coincided with the introduction of Philips/Norelco's PC-60 color camera and Ampex's "high-band" VR-2000 quadruplex videotape recorder - in short, anybody but RCA. Apart from their mid-1950's special color airings, CBS never really went with color on a regular basis until 1965; also a factor was the bitter failure of their mechanical "field-sequential" color system which was approved by the FCC in 1951 over RCA's electronic "dot-sequential" color system which, after 1953, would become the NTSC standard. ABC, then the poorest of the three networks, could not afford to broadcast in color for many years, and when they did make the plunge in the mid-1960's, their losses multiplied for several more years. - W-B

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