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An artical from Wireless World for June 1953, describing the various links set up between transmitters throughout Great Britain as well as links into Europe at the time of the Coronation.


Radio and Cable 2,000-mile Network for the Coronation Transmissions

THE international exchange of television programmes has been brought a stage nearer by the unqualified sucess of the recent tests conducted on the Continent, prearatory to the re-radiation of the B.B.C. Coronation day transmissions by stations in France, Holland and Western Germany. On these two pages we reproduce sketch maps of the British Isles and northern Europe showing the 2,000-mile radio and cable network which will convey the B.B.C. television transmissions on June 2nd to viewers in four countries. On the opposite page is shown the complete chain of British television stations, the methods of linking and the service areas of each of the five high-power and three low-power transmitters now in use.

For the continental relay the vision signal will be transitted from London to France by relay stations provided by Standard Telephones & Cables, Ltd. It will be picked up at a point near Cap Blanc Nez, Calais, and re-transmitted to Cassel. It will be seen from the map that the 405-line signal is carried by the French P.T.T. and Radiodiffusion et Télévision Prançaises south from Cassel to Paris for conversion to 441 and 819 lines for re-transmission by Paris and Lille. The 405-line signal is also carried east from Cassel to Lille where it is conveyed over a chain of centimetre-wave links across Belgium, which has not yet a television service. It is, however, planned to monitor the transmission in Brussels where a limited number of people will see the 405-line picture probably on large-screen equipment.

The key point for the 625-line transmissions by the Dutch and West German stations is Breda, where, as described on page 273, the Philips organization has set up a conversion unit. The 625-line signal will be taken by direct links to Hilversum and Eindhoven and via four centimetre-wave relays to Wuppertal to be fed into the permanent network recently inaugurated by the Nord-westdeutsche Runfunk to link the five N.W.D.R. television stations. The longest hop in this chain of relay stations is that linking the Berlin transmitter with the last station in Western Germany—a distance of nearly 100 miles. The frequency used for this hop is 196.25 Mc/s. In addition to the five N.W.D.R. stations the Frankfurt transmitter in the American Zone and possibly the Weinbiet station near Baden Baden (French Zone) will be radiating the 625-line transmission.

The complementary sound transmissions will be caried by cable to the Continent, where broadcasting organizations will have the choice of two of the following three circuits:

  1. Background sound free from any commentary,
  2. English commentary; and
  3. French commentary.

It will, therefore, be possible for Dutch and German comentators to hear the English or French commentary which they can then translate for superimposition on the background sound.

With the recent opening of the temporary, mobile, low-power television stations at Glencairn (Belfast) and Pontop Pike (Newcastle) and the booster station near Brighton, approximately 80% of the population are now within the B.B.C. television service area, indicated on this map by the lOOµV/m contours. The estimated coverage of the Glencairn transmitter, which relies on its direct reception of Kirk o'Shotts, is Belfast and its immediate surroundings. Using the permanent aerial, Pontop Pike serves an area within a radius of approximately 20 miles of the transmitter. The Brighton booster station, which re-transmits the Alexandra Palace transmission, is intended to serve the town and district. [Link to larger map, 122K]

Centimetre-wave links covering some 1,100 miles form the chain for the re-transmission of the B.B.C.'s Coronation day broadasts by Continental television stations. Against each transmitter is indicated the standard employed. [Link to larger map, 66K]

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22nd September 2004