Birth of British TV
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A coin toss, a converted palace and 400 'lookers in' - how the BBC launched TV

Eighty years ago today, on 2 November 1936, the BBC began regular TV broadcasts.

Initially, two different broadcasting systems were tested on alternate weeks. John Logie Baird's 240-line mechanical system was deemed inferior and was dropped after just 3 months, leaving the 405-line Marconi-EMI format as the permanent system.

The opening day's festivities were restricted to just two hours which included a variety show featuring Adele Dixon. There was also the debut of the BBC Television Orchestra.

More details:

100 Voices that made the BBC

BBC Genome listings, 2 November 1926

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  • 02 Nov 2016
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