OT: BBC videotapes (Was: DIY Kryoflux or Catweasle

Fred Cisin cisin at xenosoft.com
Thu May 25 12:33:41 CDT 2017

>> I wonder if the market is still flooded with BBC "Doctor Who" 2"
>> videotapes for erasing and re-use?
On Wed, 24 May 2017, ben via cctalk wrote:
> Well if you have any BBC DR WHO tapes, there are several gaps
> in the surviving recordings that need filling in.

For any unfamiliar with the reference, . . .
from 1967 to 1978, BBC routinely erased and reused the tapes of shows, 
including "Doctor Who".
And, occasionally would dumpster film copies to free up shelf space.

Some of that was an assumption that there was no further value or use in 
retaining copies, since nobody would be interested in reruns, along with 
cost of paying royalties for any re-broadcast (Equity contract was 
some was cost and value of blank tape;
and much was assumptions that "some other department" maintained archival 

In 1978, executives were finally convinced that due to the advent of home 
videotape, that there might be future value, and there was a policy change 
to stop disposing of them.

152 episodes, mostly from the 1960s, were missing.

Efforts have been made to locate missing episodes.  That includes 
retrieving copies sent overseas, buying some from personal collections, 
finds in storage sheds in the outback, even gathering home audio tapes and 
amateur 8mm and Super-8 "kinetoscope" (movie camera aimed at TV screen).

Copies that had been transcoded from PAL to NTSC or SECAM have now been 
transcoded back.

BBC had "professionally" done some kinetoscope copies.  Those were 
16mm B&W, and BBC colorised some of those, including some commercial 
colorisation services.
But contrary to common knowledge that when making B&W films, better 
image quality results from using a B&W monitor, the BBC kinetoscope had 
had a color monitor.
Fortuitously, the B&W film was sharp enough to be able to make out the dot 
mask of the CRT!  That made possible the development of a new technique - 
computer recognition of which pixels were the original RGB dots of the 
image!  That, unlike manual colorisation, results in reasonably exact 
recreation of the original colors.

Some of the missing content has even been replaced with animation,
synched to home audio.   Earlier this year, BBC released animated
version of "Power Of The Daleks"

97 of the 253 episodes from the first six years are still unavailable.

Almost all of the content that they have was released first as VHS, and 
now on DVD.   The DVDs all have SDH (Subtitles for Deaf/Hard-of-hearing) 
available.   To complete my collection of the released ones, I had to buy 
quite a few through ebay.co.uk .   ANYDVD and Handbrake worked 
surprisingly smoothly.

So, yes, if I had any of those 2" videotapes, 16mm films, or even off-air 
tapes of missing episodes, I would contact BBC.

Grumpy Ol' Fred     		cisin at xenosoft.com

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