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Wie denken wir in 2008 über analoges HDTV aus 1988 bis 1993 ?

Eine von der Redaktion kommentierte Zusammenfassung eines Artikels von Dieter Höhler.

1996 - Eine Zusammenfassung und ein Rückblick auf analoges 1250 HDTV in Europa in den frühen 90ern.

Am Ende der 80er wurde in Europa das Eureka 95 Projekt von der EU, den Sendern und einigen wichtigen Herstellern wie BTS und Thomson gestarted, ein europäisches HDTV System auf die Beine zustellen.

Die Initiative basierte auf:

  • a) analogen Übertragungsstandards (HD-MAC for HD-TV, D2-MAC for SD-TV standard definition),
  • b) Test-Produktionen & Testsendungen während der Olympischen Spiele 1992 in Albertville und Barcelona und
  • c) zahllosen Produktionen in Eu­ropa, organisiert von dem European Consortium "VISION 1250", wobei die Geräte und Einrichtungen überwiegend von Thom­son und der BTS geliefert werden sollten.

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Anmerkung: In dem Artikel wurden die 500 Millionen Mark Fördergelder der EU nicht erwähnt - warum nicht ? Bezahlt wurde das Forschungs-Projekt nämlich aus üppigen EU Steuergeldern, nicht alleine von den Herstellern oder den Runfunkanstalten oder den Sendern. Und den jeweiligen 50% Eigen-Anteil der Industrie konnte man über großzügigste Kalkulation der Gemeinkosten weit ausdehnen und schon stimmte die Rechnung wieder.

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The Olympic Winter Games at Albertville, France in 1992, was the first big sports event in Europe that was produced and transmit­ted in HDTV-in parallel to the standard co­verage in PAL and NTSC.

The European Consortium VISION 1250 was responsible for the production and di­stribution of the HDTV programs produced at the Olympic venues in France. Transmis­sion of the signals at the time were provided via Satellite using the analogue HDMAC-transmission standard, reception was provi­ded at about 150 special viewing sites throughout Europe.

European production te­ams from France (SFP), Italy (RAI), England (BBC), Sweden (SVT), Spain (RTVE) and Por­tugal (RTP) produced the individual events. BTS (Broadcast Television Systems GmbH) from Germany - at that time a joint venture company of Bosch and Philips - and Thom­son Broadcast from France provided the production infrastructure.

Thomson later took over BTS and is today a major supplier of broadcast equipment under the brand na­me Thomson Grass Valley.

In the beginning of the 1990s both com­panies manufactured HDTV OB Vans and fa­cilities to provide editing and master control capabilities to provide the broadcast infra­structure for the Winter Olympics 1992 in Al­bertville, France and the Summer Olympics 1992 in Barcelona, Spain.

The BTS production infrastructure

Die BTS Productions Einrichtungen enthielten :

- zwei HD Ü-Wagen mit 6 Kameras (Satelzüge), each equipped with
• 6 x KCH 1000 HDTV Cameras, triax con­nection
• Vision Mixer RMH 1000
• 3 x BCH 1000 HDTV Videorecorder

- ein HD Ü-Wagen mit 4 Kameras, equipped with
• 4x KCH 1000 HDTV Cameras, triax con­nection
• Vision Mixer RMH 1000
• 2 x BCH 1000 HDTV Videorecorder

- zwei HD Ü-Wagen mit 2 Kameras, each equip­ped with
• 2 x LDK 9000 HDTV CCD Cameras, fiber connection
• Vision Mixer RMH 1000
• 3 x BCH 1000 HDTV Videorecorder

- One Edit-Van, equipped with
• 3 x BCH 1000 HDTV Videorecorder für Post Pro­duction
• linked with

- Two Slow Motion Units, equipped with
• HDDR 8000 (High Definition Disk Re­corder),
• Capable of recording up to 103 seconds of digital, full resolution HDTV material

- One Master Control Unit (MCU), equip­ped with
• 2x Vision Mixer RMH 1000
• 2x character generators
• for program creation from all venues (directly connected or tape-based)
• 6-channel audio to generate stereo sound plus 4 multi-language commen­tary channels

- One 2-Camera Studio with adjacent commentary facilities, equipped with
• 2x KCH 1000 HDTV Cameras, triax con­nection
• 2 x BCH 1000 HDTV Videorecorder
• Vision Mixer RMH 1000
• 3 x BCH 1000 HDTV Videorecorder Pool for recor­ding
• Commentary facilities with HDTV mo­nitors

All systems were using analo­gue component technology

The 6-Camera HD OB Vans were used to produce the major events in Albertville such as the opening ceremony, speed skating, figure skating, ice hockey and the closing ce­remony.

The 2-Camera vans were used together with the 6-Camera vans in Albertville but al­so for events in other Olympic venues such as Biathlon, Ski Jumping, free style skiing, and alpine ski events.
The Edit facility and the MCU were posi­tioned at the HDTV IBC at Albertville.

The Thomson (EX CAMERA) production infrastructure

Thomson Broadcast, through its facility company EX CAMERA provided also a simi­lar number of OB Vans and edit facilities:

- Two 6-Camera H DOB Vans, each equip­ped with
• 6xTTV-Series HDTV Cameras
• Vision Mixer Synonyme-family
• Recording with Dual-DiVTR's

- One i-Camera HD OB Van, equipped with
• TTV-Series HDTV Camera
• Vision Mixer Synonyme-family
• Recording with Dual-DiVTR's

- One Edit Van, equipped with
• Dual-DiVTR's

- One HD-MAC encoding van

These facilities were also used during the Summer Olympics 1992 at Barcelona to cover the sport events in a similar fashion. In addition to the Olympic Games the mobi­le production units of both companies were used to produce numerous HDTV programs all over Europe, later managed by the Euro­pean Consortium VISION 1250, including events such as

  • - The celebrations for the 200-year anni­versary of the French Revolution in Pa­ris, 1989
  • - Circus Knie, Switzerland
  • - The visit of president Gorbatschov in Germany
  • - BTS promotional production "People"
  • - The Winter Olympics 1994 in Lillehammer
  • - The Summer Olympics 1996 in Atlanta

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Insgesamt wurden nur ca. 50 Produktionen in HDTV gefahren

All together some 50 productions were ac­complished until 1996.

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After 1996 the EURE­KA project was stopped, . . .

. . . . because the 1250 sy­stem failed to get market acceptance due to the following reasons:

  • a) Picture quality of the analogue transmission was not good enough,
  • b) insufficient resolution of the re­ceiver displays,
  • c) the 16:9 aspect ratio still was conceived as "exotic" and
  • d) large di­splays were too expensive and too heavy (only CRTs were available).


Nevertheless it was the start of the emer­ging drive for the 16:9 aspect ratio TV di­splays which today are dominating our living rooms.

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