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  #16  
Old 06-13-2015, 01:35 AM
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Electronic M Electronic M is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RJMiranda View Post
Thanks about the CCUs picture! You know, the very first time I went into a TV studio, I was graduating from tech school back in 1978 and went there with some of my fellow students. The engineers had just powered up the cameras for the day, had one fully open, and there were 2 guys around the camera head with scopes, meters, maybe a hydraulic jack for lifting things (I live in Cuba, and thew were mostly-tube, at that time state-of the art USSR-made B/W cameras). After one hour or so, they went away saying "this No. 1 is a honey, wish all the other cameras were so easy to get running in the morning!"
You know, after the spare part stopped coming from the US (I am talking about facts, not politics), the Soviet Union started making super-orthicons for the DuMont and RCA cameras we had here. They used metric units, of course, so no Soviet pick-up tube could fit the US inch-based cameras. After a while, they came up with something that worked, and Cuban TV used those pick-up tubes until mid-1970s, when started buying newer B/W USSR cameras, and even a Magnolia SECAM OB-van that our engineers converted to NTSC. (And it worked very well. But it was very difficult to do so, and as soon the Sony DXC-M3 and M3As were released, you could never again see a Soviet camera around here).
I seem to recall reading that for a brief time before the embargo Cuba adopted NTSC color. I'd love to know if any early American Color equipment was ever installed in Cuba, and how long it was maintained. Did Cuba stick with NTSC after Castro took over?
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  #17  
Old 06-14-2015, 05:57 AM
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re the Cuba posts:-
there is the "Museo de la Imagen" (no website?? found)
A small museum on the outskirts of Santiago de Cuba. It has several vintage broadcast cameras on display including a Soviet KT-87, a Dumont, an NEC, and an EMI 203. Ther is a "Remote Truck" (OB van) parked outside. Open to the public, Cuba.

There was a report about the museum in CQ-TV 245 the batc's journal ( www.batc.org.uk )
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  #18  
Old 06-14-2015, 08:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianSummers View Post
re the Cuba posts:-
there is the "Museo de la Imagen" (no website?? found)
A small museum on the outskirts of Santiago de Cuba. It has several vintage broadcast cameras on display including a Soviet KT-87, a Dumont, an NEC, and an EMI 203. Ther is a "Remote Truck" (OB van) parked outside. Open to the public, Cuba.

There was a report about the museum in CQ-TV 245 the batc's journal ( www.batc.org.uk )
http://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Attrac...ince_Cuba.html
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  #19  
Old 06-16-2015, 06:16 PM
RJMiranda RJMiranda is offline
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NTSC color in Cuba

Cuban TV history has funny episodes. In the early 50s, the Mestre brothers, who had a large capital, started a big building in Havana, to be the 1st Cuban TV station (B/W of course). Today, it still houses Cuban TV and its main studios. But at the same time, a guy called Gaspar Pumarejo was trying to beat the Mestres, and he succeded. He bought used TV gear from US broadcasters, specially "portable" cameras, that is, the ones you could transport in three pieces, with only a mid-sized truck. And while the Mestres were building their brand-new studios and installing demonstration TV sets on every the store window around Havana, Pumarejo rebuilt his two-storied home (seven blocks from the Mestre´s Radiocentro) and beat them for some days by being the first on air. I suppose that when he started erecting his antenna tower it was like showing his hand, but maybe he did it last thing and the Mestres weren´t ready yet.
Talking about second-hand equipment, until mid-60s or 70s all the news footage here was shot on 16mm film, of course, and it was developed using a portable laboratory of the WWII, built to be installed into an aircraft so the film could be processed while the plane returned to its base. The laboratory was last used in a building across Radiocentro. I don´t know who bought it, if it was Pumarejo or either the Mestre brothers had decided to economise at last.
Well, in the late fifties Pumarejo again was the first to transmit color TV in Cuba. The attached photos show the López Serrano building (five blocks from Radiocentro, but in another direction) with the Channel 12´s antenna (others say it was Ch13, but I was not around at the time) and the control room in one of the highest floors of the building.
This channel did broadcast only color movies in NTSC. So I suppose its equipment was only a telecine and maybe a camera for the presenter.
Back to the first Pumarejo´s channel, at first he had only 2 cameras. So, when a baseball game was about to be broadcast, the technicians dismantled one of them and rushed it to the stadium while the other camera was kept in the studio. As soon as the game started, they covered it with only one camera until the second had time to join it. And near the end of the game, one camera had to be sent back to the studio to be ready with the next program. Think of watching a baseball game with just one camera!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg López Serrano TV1a.jpg (123.5 KB, 17 views)
File Type: jpg López Serrano TV2a.jpg (125.9 KB, 13 views)
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  #20  
Old 06-17-2015, 08:29 AM
RJMiranda RJMiranda is offline
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I am sorry to say I don´t know for how long did live these first color broadcast after spare parts stopped coming to Cuba.
Even to keep B/W TV on air was difficult. I was told that on every camera head they had put a 110V outlet, and a soldering iron was kept ready at every studio, so technicians could plug it and start repairing any camera that failed while on air. And even so, sometimes you started the show with three or four cameras, and ended it with only one.
About late 60s it was clear something had to be done about getting color in Cuban TV screens. I was just an interested teenager then, but I know it was talked about using the SECAM system.
For compatibility reasons, B/W transmissions had to keep the US EIA standard, and to use SECAM, it would have been necessary for the Soviets to build a custom line of SECAM studio gear (and TV sets) with 525 line specifications.
After some time it was decided to go with NTSC. The first color equipment Cuba got was a brand-new NEC OB-van with 4 cameras and 1-inch TT-series R2R VTRs, maybe in 1973. It was a beauty to behold after years of having older RCA and DuMont equipment in every stage of decay (and working).
And that OB-van did everything. Of course it was the ONLY color equipment here, and so only a few programs could be in color. On the mornings the truck could be in the Havana outskirts recording a musical or drama program, and in the afternoon it was parked alongside Radiocentro, its cables running up the stairs to the studio (whose B/W cameras had been pushed aside) broadcasting a live show.
After that came UMatic and then Betacam. Umatics were kept in use until around 2001-2003, and Cuban TV still uses BetacamSP (because we are not yet in HD).
I have a personal UMatic archive of some 2,000 documentaries and short fiction works, made in VHS around the 90s and 2000s by the then students of the University of the Arts -some of whom are now recognised film directors-, and these UMatic tapes are the only surviving copies of their early works. Of course, I keep some VTRs in good shape and am digitizing the archive, but the tapes still hold very well.
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  #21  
Old 06-17-2015, 02:28 PM
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Fascinating!

The only thing here I can think of that comes close is the station that the ETF's remote truck came form. It was a PBS station that begged ancient used equipment off of the local stations. All their gear was completely obsolete, rickety, but they probably had it better having a source of repair parts.
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