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Reference Library: Magical Mystery Tour: B&W Or Color?

From: R Lapworth <rlapworth@zetnet.co.uk>
Newsgroups: rec.music.beatles
Subject: Re: Original Broadcast of MMT
Date: Tue, 23 Dec 1997 11:51:43 GMT

The message <349CDC37.274F@ix.netcom.com> from James Wong [jimwong@ix.netcom.com] contains these words:

It is my understanding that the original television broadcast of MMT in England (on 12/26/67) was in black and white. Why was it not televised in color?

OK, once again.

The BBC have two TV channels, BBC1 and BBC2. At the time, they were in the process of changing from the old 405 line system to the new 625 line system. BBC2 was only broadcast on 625 lines. You needed a different TV set to receive each system. Colour TV was only just beginning, was broadcast on the 625 line system, and required a colour set, of course.

A large number of people in the UK still only had the old 405 line sets, so could not receive BBC2. Some had the 625 line black and white sets, but very few had a colour set. So if the Beeb had transmitted MMT only in colour on BBC2, although the people with colour sets could see it in colour, and the people with 625 could see it in black and white, a lot of people with the old 405 line sets would not be able to see it.

If they broadcast it on BBC1, it would not be in colour.

So, they did the best thing possible - they broadcast it twice. First on BBC1 in black and white, later on BBC2 in colour.

There. Now repeat after me:

The BBC have two TV channels...

Ron


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