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Old 10-19-2014, 10:23 PM
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Telecruiser Telecruiser is offline
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GE Color Film Chain

I know that WNAC-TV in Boston (An RKO station) had GE PE-24 cameras on their film chains around 1968 or so. As I recall there were three film chains that used RCA projectors and one that used Eastman 285's. The RCA chains also had a black and white RCA vidicon camera, so you could select either color or B&W to put on the air, depending on program content.
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Old 10-23-2014, 11:43 AM
W.B. W.B. is offline
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Originally Posted by John Hafer View Post
W.B: Actually, here is an ad for GE from August 1965 stating that WOR-TV did purchase GE PE-24 4 Tube color cameras. If they did use RCA film chains, they must have been later on.
The ad did not explicitly mention that WOR used PE-24's, just that they first used "the 4-V type" starting in late 1964 (apparently an RCA TK-27; kind of like RCA's Broadcast News, whenever they spoke of a TV station's equipment, occasionally failing to bring up videotape recorders which is a tipoff that the VTR's were Ampex). I did read in one of the trade papers (Broadcasting? - no, on second thought, it was an earlier 1965 Broadcast News) that WOR had placed an order for RCA TK-27's in 1965 (those were definitely fully operational by the time the station moved their entire kit 'n' kaboodle - studios, VT, telecine and master control - to 1481 Broadway in 1968). That GE ad mentioned only two RKO stations ordering PE-24's - WNAC and WHBQ. KHJ in Los Angeles, from what I read in another forum, used vintage RCA TK-26's (the 3-V variety) well into the 1980's (and from what I saw of one of the slide replications, apparently a TK-27 or two). As did WOR - at first; besides what they first got in 1960, they also got at least one, possibly two, TK-26's from RCA's 1964-65 World's Fair exhibit after the fair ended. Then CKLW-TV (now CBET) may have also had RCA 4-V's.

RKO's other major GE order, in 1966, was for a huge bank of PE-250 color cameras, the lion's share of which went to WOR-TV (six for use at Shea Stadium for Mets broadcasts, three for their studios), others went to WNAC (five, I.I.N.M.) and WHBQ (two).

No, in terms of film chains, apart from WCBS and the GE PE-240's that were shared with CBS network at the vast Broadcast Center, New York was otherwise generally RCA territory from the mid-'60's and into the '80's.

Last edited by W.B.; 10-23-2014 at 12:09 PM.
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Old 11-03-2014, 06:02 PM
J Ballard J Ballard is offline
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Hi all-

In an earlier post, I mentioned that the Museum of Broadcast Technology (Woonsocket, RI) would be receiving a GE PE-240 color film camera shortly. Sure enough, last week a shipment arrived with the GE in good cosmetic condition, but when the top access door was opened, it was completely absent yokes, tubes, and optics! Plus the dreaded encoder .Groan.

Still, some observations can be made about this camera. First, the build quality is excellent. As with RCA, GE Electronics Park was a defense contarctor, so the wiring and layout were of top quality. The optical bedplate had to be 5/8"-3/4" thick aluminum.

There were test points on one card for masking (color matrix), suggesting a variable matrix-something not available on the TK-27. Also, there was reference to the GE "AutoTrast", unless this was a module also used in the live camera. This was an auto knee circuit that became common on Japanese and European ENG cameras.

But, there was a muffin fan on the ear of the upper housing, and from photos seen of the GE 4V design, the deflection assemblies and optics were not enclosed, as in the RCA designs. If so, I bet dust was a serious problem.

If anyone has the missiing pieces to a PE-240, please contact off

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Old 03-12-2015, 04:47 PM
W.B. W.B. is offline
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Originally Posted by J Ballard View Post
I received word from a former ABC colleague who confirms that ABC did indeed have 3 GE color film cameras at the Union City, NJ site. These were located in NJ to avoid the 35mm exhibition tax in NYC (NBC had a similar arrangement in Englewood Cliffs), and the signals were microwaved back to the NY TOC. Being in NJ is probably the reason why photos don't exist (I've been through the ABC Technical Photo archive, and don't recall seeing any GEs).

However, in NY, ABC had 10 TK-27s and 4 TK-28s. These telecines also supported WABC-TV's newsgathering efforts.

A former ABC Hollywood manager confirms that ABC's first color programming originated in Hollywood in September 1963 [NOTE: actually 1962] on an RCA TK-26. Two years later, a second TK-26 was added, followed by seven TK-27s and later, a TK-29.
I figured that origination of filmed TV shows and presumably The ABC ___________ Night Movie would have been in Union City, and thus via PE-24's. I presume that local film and slide capacity for WABC-TV would have come from the TV Center on 66th Street, and thus projected through TK-27's and later -28's (not just for WABC's newscasts). However, my question has to do with from which outpost would WABC's local movie shows (including and notably The 4:30 Movie) have originated.
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Old 03-12-2015, 05:06 PM
W.B. W.B. is offline
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Originally Posted by mpatoray View Post
Here is a clip form "Music Scene" which aired on ABC, this is form 1969 and is of "The Archies" "Sugar Sugar" which would have been on film. Sure is a lot softer then the Live video, which would have been PC-60/70's
Seeing that clip, it looks like the film transfer would have been put through one of the two TK-26's that ABC's Prospect & Talmadge setup would've had.
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