Norman Green offered a personal tour through the history of broadcast TV tech in an illuminating RTS London film released in early September.
ITV Network’s first head of technology discussed the big developments in television or what he referred to as “the fun factory”, from the early 1960s when he worked in ABC TV’s engineering research department at Teddington Studios to ITV in the 1990s.
At ABC he worked on the problems of using colour film in television and, in particular, on The Avengers. He went on to develop the first computer-controlled presentation switcher in Europe.
In 1972, he went to the IBA as the principal engineer in the Quality Control and Code of Practice group. “By the end of the first day, I knew I’d made a mistake – this wasn’t television; it was the Civil Service. And, as I was neither civil nor a servant, I decided I must leave as soon as possible!” he recalled.
The following year, he moved to the Independent Television Companies Association as its first co-ordinating engineer working on, among many projects, Teletext, digital video and high-definition TV. The latter, led to him meeting President Mitterrand during a demonstration of the new technology at the Elysée Palace.
‘And They Say Engineers Are Boring!’, introduced by former BBC chief technical coordinator Paul Mason, was produced for RTS London by Philip Barnes. It can be viewed here