HC Deb 17 July 1962 vol 663 cc28-9W
41. Mr. W. R. Williams

asked the Postmaster-General if he is aware that the quality of the reception at Goonhilly Downs of the first pictures from Telstar was inferior to that obtained by tracking stations in France; and what was the reason for this inferiority.

Mr. Bevins

The poor reception at Goonhilly Down of the first television signals from Telstar was due to the reversal of a small component in the aerial feed which determines the rotation of the radio waves received and transmitted by the aerial. This reversal was corrected on 11th July, and the excellent quality of reception and transmission since then has been acclaimed on both sides of the Atlantic.

The equipment being used at Goon hilly Down for the Telstar tests is of British design and manufacture, and I take this opportunity to pay tribute to this striking new demonstration of the technical skills of the Post Office and British industry.

44. Mr. Wainwright

asked the Postmaster-General, in view of the technical facilities made available by his Department, what agreement has been made with the French television authorities regarding live transmissions across the Atlantic through the medium of Telstar; and if he wild make a statement.

Mr. Bevins

A Transatlantic exchange of television programmes via Telstar has been arranged for 23rd July. The exchange will be between the European Broadcasting Union on the European side and a consortium of the American television networks on the United States side. There is an agreement that, prior to this exchange, the only television pictures transmitted should be in the nature of test material.

Mr. Ness Edwards

asked the Postmaster-General whether, in view of the success of the United States of America Telstar, instead of adopting the 10-year-old European system of 625 lines 50 cycles, he will consider the adoption of the system of 525 lines 60 cycles, which would give a better picture, capable of direct reception from Telstar; and if he will refer the question to his Television Advisory Committee in the light of the new development.

Mr. Bevins

I have considered this suggestion and I am satisfied that the European 625-line standard, which was developed much later than the American 525-line standard, will make the best use of the 8 Mc/s channels which all European countries have agreed to use in Bands IV and V.