Camera Line-up

“Lining up” electronic broadcast cameras

The videos highlighted on this page are just a fraction of the hours of footage produced by the ADAPT project, and available to search, view and download on Figshare.
The videos highlighted on this page are just a fraction of the hours of footage produced by the ADAPT project, and available to search, view and download on Figshare.

Television cameras like the EMI 2001 worked by first splitting light into red, green, and blue wavelengths, and then capturing each of these light signals on a separate image sensitive electronic tube. A fourth, monochrome, tube picked up further light signals which helped to improve the overall quality of the image.

In order to display a colour picture on a set at home, the signals from each of these four tubes had to be recombined by electronic circuitry housed within the outside broadcast truck. For the picture to be clear and useful, the signal from each of the tubes would have to be sychronised.

Each time a camera was moved or switched on, it was put through a lengthy process of ‘lining up’. This involved warming the camera up and then making adjustments to the signals coming from the picture tubes, until a satisfactory image could be seen on the monitors.

The line-up process

In this video, camera operator Robin Sutherland focuses the EMI2001 camera on a calibration chart in the studio. Meanwhile, in the outside broadcast truck vision supervisor Roger Neal, vision engineers Peter Foster, John Coupe, and Bill Baldock monitor and adjust the incoming signals.

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Bitesize: camera line-up

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The outside broadcast crew rehearses the darts contest in order to ensure that cameras, lights, and microphones are positioned correctly.