Like what you've read?

On Line Opinion is the only Australian site where you get all sides of the story. We don't
charge, but we need your support. Here’s how you can help.

  • Advertise

    We have a monthly audience of 70,000 and advertising packages from $200 a month.

  • Volunteer

    We always need commissioning editors and sub-editors.

  • Contribute

    Got something to say? Submit an essay.


 The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
On Line Opinion logo ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate

Subscribe!
Subscribe





On Line Opinion is a not-for-profit publication and relies on the generosity of its sponsors, editors and contributors. If you would like to help, contact us.
___________

Syndicate
RSS/XML


RSS 2.0

Free-to-air's future

By Ian Nance - posted Thursday, 13 December 2012


I became part of the television industry when I joined it in 1960 from an earlier career in radio, so electronic communication has been a large portion of my professional life. This article speaks from my historical experience.

Back then, TV was an exciting new technology - it still is- and in those days, to me it established its place very quickly as another vehicle for entertainment, news, education and current affairs - all fields in which I had worked in radio.

It also caused the press to lose its news topicality and immediacy, and resort to a more in-depth analysis of news stories, which radio was disinclined to spend time doing except for a small number of specific news magazine-style programmes. This swung the nature of print journalism from hard news to feature writing.

Advertisement

Television in Australia began as an entertaining mix of cinema, live stage performance, children's entertainment and topical news with the added advantage of illustrative footage and graphic treatment. It still lagged the instant coverage of evolving stories which was exclusive to radio in those times, yet provided mass education in the form of specialised programmes, both filmed and live, as well as documentaries.

The medium lent itself admirably to the coverage of local and international current affairs, with the added benefits of the emotive impact of imagery.

It is hard to accept that helical scan videotape recording did not come into commercial use until the early 60s, and the only way to record programming was either by regular film production, or the newly-developed (no pun) method of kinescope recording, which was achieved by having a 16mm film camera focussed on a high intensity small TV screen, with audio recorded either on synchronised 16mm audio tape, or optically on the film's sound area.

Naturally, the quality left a lot to be desired, but at least it was the sole method of capturing recorded material until videotape came into being.

This meant that a considerable amount of time (and money) was spent on big-crewed live television production of drama, comedy, as well as sport where much development of outside broadcasting occurred.

In the early days, as often now, TV signals were transmitted back to receiving dishes at the stations on the super high frequency bands, using repeater points on hilltops as link sites.

Advertisement

No such thing as satellite technology, or vision over phone lines then!

As a whimsical aside, Channel Nine's then owner, Sir Frank Packer, had such an outside broadcast link path set up from the station to his home, so that he could watch material privately. Sometimes it caused irritations when the equipment was needed for major O.B events, but this also caused him to dig a bit deeper into his ample pockets, and purchase more gear.

I also recall his sometimes humorous irascible nature, such as when asked at a management meeting to approve additional staffing for telecine, the film projection area, because there was someone on leave each month, replying: "then f***ing-well fire him!"

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. All


Discuss in our Forums

See what other readers are saying about this article!

Click here to read & post comments.

3 posts so far.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with del.icio.us Del.icio.usdigg thisseed newsvineSeed NewsvineStumbleUpon StumbleUponsubmit to propellerkwoff it

About the Author

Ian Nance's media career began in radio drama production and news. He took up TV direction of news/current affairs, thence freelance television and film producing, directing and writing. He operated a program and commercial production company, later moving into advertising and marketing.

Other articles by this Author

All articles by Ian Nance

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Photo of Ian Nance
Article Tools
Comment 3 comments
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend
Deals from Sponsor
Flipit.com Australia
15% off with this coupon code on HP Notebooks and PCs $2000 and above
Sign up now and use this promo code to receive your second year free at Smile.com.au
Woolworths coupon code: Get $10 off when you spend $100 or more
Travel Factory promo code: Get 10% off storewide
ValueBasket discount code: Get $8 off any order of $330 or more
Advertisement

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy