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Early Television Broadcasting

Italian Pre-1945 Stations

Here is an article by Andy Emmerson about early Italian TV

Safar Television Studios - Rome

Safar (Societa Anonima Fabricazione Aparecchi Radiofonici), under the direction of Arturo Castellani, built this studio and transmitter in Rome, Italy, in 1939. The transmitter was located on top of Mount Mario, making the transmitter antenna about 500 feet above the average terrain of Rome. The audio carrier was at 41.0 mHz, and the video was at 44.1 mHz, with a peak visual power of 5 kw.

Directional transmitter antenna

Transmitter anode voltage regulator and rotary converter for tube filaments

Transmitter

Transmitter with cover plates removed

Control desk - front view

Control desk - rear view

Synchronizing apparatus and camera controls

Mockup studio at the XI National Exhibition of Radio

Inner hall of mockup studio

Entrance hall of mockup studio

The cameras used in this studio used the Telepantoscope, an unusual camera tube with electronic horizontal scanning and mechanical vertical scanning.

This 1939 article in Radio & Television shows a different studio, and a German Fernseh camera, but the same transmitting antenna.

Milan - Transmissions from Littoria Park

Experimental TV transmissions were made in 1939-40 from Littoria Park in Milan during the XI Mostra
Nazionale della Radio (9th National Radio Show).

Here is an English translation, courtesy of Louis-Marie Foratier:

RADIOVISION IN MILAN

To mark the 11th National Radio Fair, 'EIAR' [Ente Italiano Audizioni Radiofonici, aka Italian Radio Hearings Agency] performs experimental radiovision transmissions from Littoria Tower [now Branca Tower] in Milan's North Park.

For research purposes during recent months, 'EIAR' had already installed at the top of Littoria Tower an ultra-short-wave radio transmitter that regularly aired sound broadcasts. This transmitter is now used to broadcast vision's synchronous sound.

Recently was installed at the top of the tower again, and adjacent to the first one, a second transmitter itself able to transmit pictures.

By means of a special coaxial cable, it is connected to the output equipment installed in a room at the base of Littoria Tower. All scanning and live transmitted shooting scenes equipment - and apparently the ultra-short wave transmitter - have been built in Italy by the Marelli magnets company.

In an adjoining room has been set up a studio where scenes take place that are transmitted with an orchestral accompaniment. There is also the electronic camera (Iconoscope) to capture these scenes, served by a major lighting equipment.

The technical specifications adopted for Milanese radiovision broadcasts are the same as those adopted for radiovision transmissions that are regularly aired since last July in Rome, except for transmitters wavelengths that are 6.70 m (45 MHz) for vision and 7.22 m (41.5 MHz) for sound respectively. The peak power for transmitters is approximately 2 kW.

A pioneering antenna system used for vision like for sound [consists in] two groups of three low impedance half-dipoles, connected in parallel.
Installing the transmitters at the top of the tower considerably shortens the transmission lines leading to the antenna system, reducing the losses to a minimum and thus achieving high performance with this complex technique.

It is estimated that Milanese radiovision broadcasts can be received within a radius of fifty kilometers.

We are publishing here some photographs of artists who performed during a few days on Milan radiovision screens.

[caption 1]: Littoria Tower of Milan from where are aired the experimental radiovision broadcasts.

[caption 2]: [Nunzio] Filogama, [Fausto] Tommei and [Giancarla] Bizzoni

[caption 3]: Maria Valesco

[caption 4]: Alberto Rabagliati

[caption 5]: Lina Termini

(Translated from Italian and supplemented by Louis-Marie Foratier)

Here is an interesting picture that can be found here : http://www.trio-lescano.it/partecipazioni.html. It shows the 441 line German camera used from 1939 to 1943 in Milan. Caption says : "Maria Jottini in front of the experimental studio's TV-camera in North Park's Tower in Milan". The rest of the page is only devoted to the Lescano singing sisters trio and other artists who were invited to 'radiovisione' programs and to other music-hall performances in theatres and on the radio.

Courtesy of Louis-Marie Foratier