Anniversary of first television transmission from Alexandra Palace

This week marked the anniversary of the world’s first regular high definition television broadcast by the BBC from Alexandra Palace. High definition was defined by the BBC as 240 lines or higher, as opposed to the 180 line pictures that had been broadcast in Germany in 1935.

Transmission began at 3pm on the afternoon of 2nd November 1936. While there are no surviving recordings from the day itself, the BBC Newsreel cameras were there to record events for posterity. Together with extensive filming of the building work and preparation of the new studios. This footage was made into a short film which you can see here.  

The BBC website’s History of the BBC contains a detailed account and interviews with those involved . They are held as part of the BBC Oral History Collection.

Image credits

Image of Alexandra Palace – Deirdre Dean

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