The May 1962 "Broadcast News" feature story about KSTP-TV, Minneapolis-St. Paul, continues....

Two 35-foot remote Color Cruisers, equipped for color and monochrome, furnish TV facilities away from the studios.

Studio 1 is equipped with two TK-11 monochrome cameras and is frequently used for sports and taping of black and white programs. Studio 2 is 51x60', and is equipped with two TK-11 Cameras and two TK 41C Color Cameras. The new studio, Studio 3 is 40x60' and is especially designed for stage shows, audience participations, and large musicals. It has excellent facilities for color lighting and acoustics. It has a terrazzo floor, so super-smooth that live cameras can be dollied with no noticeable adverse effect on a telephoto lens. Studio 4 is 24x46' and is a floating-studio designed for special musical productions and serves in an emergency for other shows and commercial presentations.

Pantagraph mounted 5-kw Sky Pan, showing Joe Reznick inserting a color gelatin filter.

Stage section of Studio 3. Overhead are motor driven lighting battens. Also rails for flying of scenery and props.

KSTP has a sizeable TV Tape operation. All the local specials are put on tape in advance of show date. Both color and monochrome shows are taped, as well almost all of the local commercials. As a result, KSTP has installed three TRT-1B TV Tape recorders. Since KSTP's emphasis is on color, all machines are equipped for color operation.

A great deal of editing and splicing is done. It's not unusual to run 20 splices in a half hour show. The Christmas color special, for example, included 50 splices. All of these are made with the regular RCA TV Tape splicer but with a KSTP-designed mounting bracket for "sit-down" use.

KSTP has proved the efficiency of installing more than one machine, since with two, one can run tape shows back-to-back. They can also insert commercials and other small pieces into programs without having to edit the master tape. It has been found very convenient as well as economical to use separate small reels for individual commercials and announcements rather than edit them in and out of show tapes.

(Webmaster note: RCA's rival, Ampex, claimed the rights to the name "Video Tape," hence RCA's use of the name "TV Tape." However RCA used the Ampex 2" quadruplex recording format and the recordings from both manufacturers were compatible).

In foreground is the Color TV film island. Three model TRT-1B Color TV Tape Recorders are shown in U-shape background.

Dick Elliot at the "sit down" splicer position designed by KSTP staff. This features a special mounting bracket that makes splicing easier.

(Webmaster's note: before the advent of electronic editing, early videotape was literally spliced, but since the video image is not visible on the strip of tape, a cumbersome process of finding the electronic frame line using a special magnetic fluid and viewing and cutting under a microscope was used.
For more on the "Smith Splicer," see the explanation on my KARD-TV page.

KSTP has three TRT-1B Color TV Tape Recorders. Note exhaust ducts at top.

(Webmaster's note...the TRT-1B requires 3 racks: 1 for the tape transport, and 2 additional racks for video and waveform monitors and Recorder tubes and electronics.

The news operation is equipped for color operation, a rarity in these days. Motion picture cameras are loaded with high speed 16mm color film. Exposed film is rushed back to the station for fast processing. KSTP has its own complete color processing facilities so that color shots can be aired soon after shooting.

Two complete film islands are installed at KSTP. One is completely monochrome, while the other can be both color and monochrome. Each is equipped with two 16mm sound-on-fim (S.O.F.) projectors and 2 by 2 slide projectors.

Don Kline, projectionist at Film Island No. 1 which includes 2 TP-6 16mm projectors, a TP-7 slide projector, a TP-15 multiplexer, and TK-26 vidicon Color Film Camera and TK-21 monochrome Film Camera.

TV master control. At left in console 1 are two RCA cartridge tape recorders. Console 2 houses the antenna and transmitter switching panel, Conelrad monitor, and weather radar controls. Console 4 houses TM-6 transmitter monitor. Consoles 5 and 6 contain stabilizing amplifiers, sync generator remote switching, and automation readout and control. Console 7 houses the preview monitor and master control video switcher. Console 8 houses RCA-designed master control audio switching. Console 9 provides remote control for the two film islands and three TV Tape Recorders. Console 10 and 11 house the controls and waveform monitors for two TK-21 monochrome film cameras.

Camera control positions for all cameras. At left are controls for 13 black and white cameras, and to Don Nordstrom's right and controls for the four TK-41C color studio cameras.

The engineering brain trust of KSTP. Left to right: George Merrill (holding instruction manual), Kess Pool (holding audio amplifier), Dick Elliot (reel of TV Tape), John Reinke (transmitting tube), Hugh Mulhollam (image orthicon tube from TK 41 color camera), Fred Debeaubien (holding catalog), and Director of Engineering Operations Fred Street (extreme right).

The KSTP photo-news staff of 33 photographers, writers, editors, and technicians.

The RCA TT-25CL 25-kw main TV transmitter

KSTP's kinescope setup, used mostly before the advent of TV Tape Recording. Here is an Auricon Pro fitted with Mitchell 1200 ft. magazine is mounted in front of a TM-6 master monitor.
(Webmaster's note: In KSTP's simple kinescope film recording setup, the video monitor being filmed is not underscanned, virtually assuring that vital picture area is being cropped out to avoid seeing the physical edges of the televison screen. This practice was unfortunately quite common in the days before TV Tape, when the only way to preserve a television image was to film it off a TV screen. Kinescope recordings are vastly inferior to TV Tape which revolutionized TV broadcasting. Unfortunately, the "convenience" of re-recording virtually destroyed many now-historic television broadcasts when tapes were "degaussed" and reused. Non-eraseable film kinescopes are the only surviving recordings of many late 1940's-1960's television broadcasts.

Kinescope film recordings improved in the 1960's, but since TV Tape (or Video Tape) was becoming increasingly more popular, knescope film recording was destined to be obsolete. RCA was still innovating improvements in kinescope recording in the early 1960's. See the RCA's TFR-1 Film Recorder introduced at the 1962 National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) convention.

Stan Hubbard - owner of KSTP (left, holding RCA TV Tape Recorder headwheel panel) and Walt Varnum of RCA. Mr. Varnum made a system study of requirements with the KSTP engineering staff that led to the design of the new unique KSTP studio building and master control equipment area.
KSTP-TV's complete color facilities for live, tape, and film telecasts are among the finest of any station in the nation. In all ways KSTP is endeavoring to fulfill its pledge to serve the public interest. This mark of pioneering spirit is further evident in the switch to color, making KSTP-TV the first station in its Northwest area to offer the finest in television fare to its advertisers and its its advertisers and its audiences.

See photos of my antique KSTP-TV color television camera as seen in this article

comments? send me an email

Visit my Color Television Home Page

Learn more about the Color Television Revolution

See videos of the original NBC peacocks and ABC and CBS color presentation logos

See photos from my boyhood tour of KARD-TV in 1964

See photos of NBC Color City Studios in Burbank, California in 1955

See an RCA 2" Color Television Tape Recorder

Watch the oldest surviving color videotape...the dedication of NBC's Washington, DC color studios in 1958

Watch An Evening With Fred Astaire the oldest surviving color videotape entertainment program - November 1958

Watch the oldest surviving videotape recording The Edsel Show - October 1957

Want to read more about early color television? Check out these links:

Read NPR's coverage of color TV's 50th anniversary

visit the late Ed Reitan's website - a very informative site about early color TV

visit Bobby Ellerbee's fascinating and compreshensive television history website Eyes Of A Generation

visit Chuck Pharis's site to see his collection of antique TV cameras and other early broadcast equipment

visit Barry Mishkind's website to see the RCA Television Equipment Archive

visit Steve Dichter's CT-100 website to see Steve's vintage color television page

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