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TV4, la télé-visionnaire !

PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 1:24 pm
by Lowtone
Hello everybody,

A few years ago we talked about making programms for NBTV, but this never occured. It's nice to save, repair, and make work old patrimonial unique pieces of technology, but only to display a testcard, or cropped 4/3, i was kinda disappointed and lost interest for a while.
But i was not very far; i was just in the next room, playing with analog electronic television :D


More years ago, around 2009, with some friends, we made a web-tv, whose action was set in the past. We filmed in black and white etc… but we did not have real gear of that time. In early 2014 we decided to start this project like new.
We spent time to seek for old VCR and cameras, import them, restaure them, repair everything, and also learn how they work.
We also made programs. We value the programs because it's the only way to touch more people, and this gives a purpose to our stuff.

Le télétexte, break through technology !

So, we are going to use, CCD and Trinitron™ ( tube ) cameras, 8mm and SvhsC camcorders ( for the outsides ), Svhs U-matic ( yes ) and maybe Video 2000 tapes for the VCRs; and almost everything we use are from this era.
( yes i know Svhs existed later but it's hard to get everything from that era )

an U-matic that still works and will be used

Our web-tv first program is next week, but i have to warn you that this is not aimed at an international audience. Almost everything will be in standard French language, with no translation at all. So if you know French, good for you, but if you don't know, you can still appreciate the visual quality of analog tapes. Hence you are all interested in analog video i wanted to share this with you.
This will be Friday the 30th, in the evening at 9:30 PM Paris timezone ( CET ).


For those who will watch the event, i will give you a bit of context.
As you know, in the mid 70's in Italy, there was a lot of small local tv stations. There was a huge freedom.
But in France this was not the case. Only a very very few pirate stations. All was very centralised and state owned. There was only 3 tv channels and not many radios. In 1981, there was a new left-wing government, wich allowed the pirate radios to be legalized. There was weird radios stations everywhere. But they never changed the law, and there was only 3 channels on tv until 1984.


Our story is set in 1981, in a parallel universe, where the government allowed private channels.
An excentric italian investor, who got rich in household market and porn videotapes, get the right to create the 4th channel.
TV4 is born, and it's only goal is to make him richer while broadcasting the most stupid programs.

He also hired a crew of local journalists and made local stations.


Everything is now ready for the first transmission, be there !
Let's watch analog video in action !

Lowtone, aka Débranché, local journalist from rural area

:arrow: The official website

:arrow: Facebook

:arrow: Twitter

:arrow: Youtube ( live, Friday the 30th of october 2015, 9:30PM CET) :P

and a last more technical video

:arrow: Présentation de la régie

Re: TV4, la télé-visionnaire !

PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2015 12:04 am
by DrZarkov
This is a great idea, I can't wait to see you channel! :)

Re: TV4, la télé-visionnaire !

PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2015 9:35 pm
by Lowtone
hello, thanks for your comment

here are a few more videos before the live tonight at 9:30pm
yes it's a parody of top gear :mrgreen:

livestream here
or here,
i will go by the name Débranché Lowtone on the chatroom

Re: TV4, la télé-visionnaire !

PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2015 1:08 am
by DrZarkov
The livestream does not work in Germany, I will have to use Proxytube...

Re: TV4, la télé-visionnaire !

PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2015 2:43 am
by Lowtone
ah yes we had some reports from Germany, everything seems blocked there, so proxy is the only way

Re: TV4, la télé-visionnaire !

PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2015 6:47 pm
by DrZarkov
I saw the programme, congratulations! The stream stopped about 3 or 4 times, and I had to restart it, but the Youtube Unblocker did a good job. My French is not that good to understand everything, so your show reminded me from time to time to "Channel 9" from "The Fast Show": ... EB908FAC89 :wink:
The programme itself was not that different from for example the start of RTL Plus here in Germany, they also started with a budget of 30 million DM in 1984, so it was indeed realistic to the start of private TV in central Europe as I can remember it.

I'm waiting for your next programme! Maybe you'll find some old tapes from Télé Gorgogne?

Re: TV4, la télé-visionnaire !

PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2015 5:07 am
by Lowtone
Thanks a lot :P
As for Gorgogne, seems that we lost the 2008 archives, but still have the 2009 ones; but i think they really need some remastering. Someone else was asking for them too. But there were lot of anachronisms in Gorgogne, and production was very very low budget. TV Quatre is way better for that matters.
I'm surpised, we got an article in German
very nice surprise :P

If you like to watch again the programm, we will upload this here, but sequence by sequence, from the VHS copy, so the quality will be less compressed compared to the Youtube copy

I don't know yet at wich rate we will do programs, but probably every 2 or 3 months

Re: TV4, la télé-visionnaire !

PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2015 7:02 am
by DrZarkov
Maybe it's not so surprising, because I wrote to, a sister-site of :wink:

Re: TV4, la télé-visionnaire !

PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2015 7:57 pm
by Lowtone
Thanks a lot :P
seems we had viewers from Germany and even Switzerland, nice to know they liked the idea too

Re: TV4, la télé-visionnaire !

PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:37 am
by Lowtone
TV 4, is back, the 29th of July, at 21:30 CET

:arrow: Live YouTube


A whole event made with old style technology of the 80's : Trinicon video cameras, Umatic and VHS VCRs, analog mixboards, teletext, and more !

If you like analog video, you may like this program.

[disclaimer : almost everything would be in standard french language, no translation is provided. ]

Saturday night ! Be there :P

Re: TV4, la télé-visionnaire !

PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 3:03 am
by Lowtone
Don't forget, in a few hours, 21:30 CET

:arrow: Live YouTube

back to 1982 technology

Re: TV4, la télé-visionnaire !

PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2019 12:43 pm
by Lowtone
Next week TV4 will be back ( despite being still stuck in 1982 )
Get your VHS tapes and CRT tv and let's go back in time !

I know here you would have prefer to go back in 1930 and spin some discs, but TV4 story is set in 1982.
This is a sort of parody of what television was, but mind that everything is made with old gear from the 80's.

CRT tv, U-matic tapes, analog mixboards, analyzing tube cameras, microphones, etc even accessories and locations.

First this is how looks the mixing room
All of this is still in perfect working condition, why not use it again and recreate tv like it was in the past?

Next week : let's go back in time ! 8)

TV4 Live on Youtube, saturday 26 at 21:30 ( CET )

On Youtube chanel «TV Quatre» or on the wbesite :arrow:


( To watch please use Chrome, Chromium or Firefox, but not Internet Explorer wich lacks some codecs )

If you have an old CRT tv you can try to plug your computer output or Rasberry pi to display it and recreate television like it was in the past.

In the meantime you can still watch our old programs here :wink: ... _polymer=1

This project was not initially targeted for an international audience. There will be no translations, voice over, captions etc… Everything will be in standard French language ( and some 80's slang) so sorry if you don't speak it, but i though TV4 can still be interesting since you all like old style television and technical things

Re: TV4, la télé-visionnaire !

PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2019 10:28 pm
by Klaas Robers
In my memory the picture quality was much better in 1980. Not the quality of VHS, which was really poor, but the professional quality of broadcast TV was much better than what we see here.

Also the mixture of 16:9 and 4:3 aspect ratio is confusing. In the 80's there was no 16:9 at all. Everything was on 4:3.

What is the aim of coloured flashes on the picture on scene changes? I never have seen that. Is that an artifact of SECAM? Possibly. Although SECAM was only a means of transmision. The whole TV-system in France was PAL, from camera to terrestrial transmitters. There the signal was converted to SECAM, because all french TV-sets expected that type of signal. So all professional TV production was done in PAL, just as in the rest of Europe, even in the UK. And PAL lacks this type of artifacts.

I know very few people were aware of this. But if you want to give an impression of how TV was in the 80's, you should not make it worse than it was.

Re: TV4, la télé-visionnaire !

PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2019 3:59 am
by Lowtone
Hello, ah maybe there was some confusion. The first video is really something else.
The first video is a modern report/interview shot in 16:9 to show the backstage of TV4, then everything else in 4:3 is our programs.
So forget the flashes on the scene changes of the first video. Those were artistically added by the interviewer; not by TV4.
I thought it would have been understood that the 16:9 was not a part of the project but some report about it.

Short videos on youtube comes from VHS SÉCAM copies, so they are VHS quality.
Also for the live transmission next week, there will be parts shot live with Trinicon cameras, and pre-recorded programs comes mostly from U-matic tapes.
Everything is shot in PAL, the only part that involves digital is the montage. It is done with lossless codecs. Then everything gets back to tape in PAL 4:3 mono.
Then this is processed through the mixboards in analog, then at the very end of the chain there is a PAL⇨SÉCAM transcoder with multiple outputs.
One to get a copy on VHS, another to get a copy on a computer HDD, and the last one is going live on Youtube.

So if you like to get the full quality of analog, then it will be Saturday the 26th at 21:30 CET; for about two hours of program.

Re: TV4, la télé-visionnaire !

PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2019 3:07 am
by DrZarkov
I stay tuned :)