The Outline: The television canon is based on what we bothered to preserve

Open, general discussion of old-time radio and early television
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silentfilm
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The Outline: The television canon is based on what we bothered to preserve

Unread post by silentfilm » Wed Aug 15, 2018 11:29 am

https://theoutline.com/post/5741/tv-sho ... i=goijkwm3

This is a great article on why so many early and even 1970s and 1980s television shows are unavailable.

Daniel Eagan
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Re: The Outline: The television canon is based on what we bothered to preserve

Unread post by Daniel Eagan » Wed Aug 15, 2018 2:15 pm

Beware the author's technical mistakes, pointed out on the AMIA board.

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Harold Aherne
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Re: The Outline: The television canon is based on what we bothered to preserve

Unread post by Harold Aherne » Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:32 pm

The AMIA discussion mentioned the incorrect date of 1951 for the introduction of videotape, and other statements in that section are also problematic.

Kinescopes may have been cost-prohibitive for local stations' productions, but they were the standard method of time-delaying live network programming from 1948 until the adoption of videotape in 1956-57. The article makes it sound like kinescoping was a rare and costly process, but actually, Billboard noted (8 May 1954, page 5) that about 160 million feet of 16mm kinescope film was being processed annually by NYC labs.

Videotape meant "easier preservation" only in the sense that it was now possible to preserve the original appearance of electronic programming; retention was a very different matter. Videotape stock was in extremely limited supply in 1956-57, so its heavy reuse during that time is little surprise. The consequence is that there are no known surviving tapes from 1956 and, so far as I know, only "The Edsel Show" from 1957.

The following article gives a much better, more accurate overview of the introduction of the VTR:
https://www.nyu.edu/tisch/preservation/ ... tin_a3.pdf

--HA

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