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TV History

Equipment for sale

Projects: North 3 London 23

Links and information

'Vintage' is a relative term, and television technology has changed so quickly that some equipment is obsolete within a few years. At 'On The Air' there is a special interest in TV history and production equipment such as cameras, vision mixers, recorders etc. For this reason we have a complete section dedicated to this area, covering a wide range of topics from historic photos to articles and information on using and repairing professional equipment.

Television has seen enormous changes in the last few years, in both the technology and production methods. Since the 1950s, for instance, videotape changed how programmes were made, and editing methods became more sophisticated until production became largely digital and videotape is now obsolescent.

We are interested in preserving the history and development of television technology, by actually using the equipment. In time there may be few people working in the industry who know what PAL colour bars should look like on a vectorscope or how to clean the heads on a VTR. Let's keep the technology alive!

There are overlaps here with the other areas- some studio equipment is of interest to collectors, while other items are mainly for practical use.

We have a large quantity of ex-broadcast studio equipment available for sale, and much of this is listed within the For Sale section. We are always looking to buy or exchange items for our own projects. Professional audio equipment used in a TV context may also feature in the Audio equipment For Sale section. Professional TV equipment was historically made to the highest possible specification with little regard for cost or size, so in practical terms it can be difficult to transport and house. Early VTRs for instance may weigh up to half a ton and require dismantling or several people to move them.