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Television Transmissions in Auckland by ZL1XQ, October 1957

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Gary Cowans
Gary Cowans
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25.Nov.21 02:35
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SEVEN HOURS OF TELEVISION A WEEK IN AUCKLAND

The Press” Special Service

 AUCKLAND, October 27. At least 6000 Aucklanders sit in hushed and darkened rooms at their homes three nights a week to watch television. Although television transmissions in Auckland are experimental, they provide seven hours of viewing a week for about 14,000 people. In these transmissions is enough worthwhile content to make television quite rewarding entertainment.

Films provide almost all the fare. Some are old and almost fraying at the edges, most are very presentable, and many are extremely interesting.
Two channels are in use. One is used by the 1YA studio of the New Zealand Broadcasting Service and the other by ZL1XQ, the call sign of the Bell Radio and Television Corporation.

Within a couple of weeks, these stations will be joined by transmissions from Seddon Memorial Technical College, using the same channel as Bell.
The 1YA service transmits from 8.15 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Mondays. The Bell transmissions are from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Sundays, from 7.15 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Mondays, and from 7 p.m. to about 9.30 p.m. on Thursdays.
Seddon College will transmit for about two hours on Wednesday nights. The addition of its transmissions will give viewers about nine hours of television a week.
Government regulations stipulate that only educational material may be seen on television. The same regulations rule out live transmissions.

As an alternative to films, 1YA shows the announcer. Both studios show test charts to enable sets to be tuned.

Variations
 

By way of variation, there are odd happenings, such as when the picture turns over or dissolves into lines and flashes. Although this is usually done for experimental reasons, viewers do not think this is amusing. They mutter as they leap from their chairs to adjust dials.  
If a set is working properly, once it is correctly tuned it should give an uninterrupted picture as long as the studio equipment is also working properly.
Interference can be a bugbear. A sewing machine next door or a car going past the home can sprinkle the screen with black spots, “snow” or white lines. Similar interference may also affect the sound.
A three-night watch last week gave a good idea of what is now available to viewers in Auckland. Apart from a live five-minute sketch to test studio cameras, the transmissions were made up entirely of films. Many were travelogues, a few were made by an American religious organisation and a number were truly educational features.
Some were films originally made for the cinema and others were true television films. Those films originally made for television are noticeable for a better contrast between black and white, thus affording a better image. Cinema black-and-white films suffer from some lack of contrast, but coloured cinema films are better.
Another disadvantage of cinema films is that the television camera cuts off some of the frame. Not all these films transfer well to television because they are conceived for a larger screen than that of a television set. Crowd scenes, for instance, tend on television to appear crammed.

Programmes

These were the programmes for last week: —


October 18.—ZL1XQ: 7 p.m. Bible making; 7.30: Schooling in Aitutaki; 7.45: Religious film; 8.15: Canadian canoeing holiday; 9: Cartoon and talk on road safety; 9.5: Close down.


October 19.—ZL1XQ: 7.15 p.m.: Travelogue Panama; 7.45-8: Travelogue—England. IYA: 8.15: London airport; 8.30: Uses and history of paraffin; 8.50: 1956 Commonwealth Games, Cardiff; 9.25: Foothold in Antarctica; 9.45: Canadian social study; 10: Close down.


October 22.—ZL1XQ: 7 p.m.: Sights of London; 7.30: Rubber manufacture; 7.55: Dances of the South Pacific; 8.20: Religious film; 8.55: Metal machining; 9.20: Close down.


The five-minute sketch was stuck haphazardly in the middle of the film “Dances of the South Pacific.” Three young men, apparently technicians, took part in it.
After two or three hours of watching television, unaccustomed eyes may feel a little strained. The strain is eased if a soft light is on in the room at the same time; there is then less contrast between the screen and its surroundings.
About two or three sets a week are now being sold in Auckland. One with a 17-inch screen costs about £150 and one with a -21inch screen between £208 and £216.

One television technician estimates that a good receiver will give up to five years’ good service, but as a television set has three times as many parts as a radio receiver it may need repairs three times as often.

Press 28 Oct 1959, Page 7.

This article was edited 25.Nov.21 02:43 by Gary Cowans .

  
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