What do you do at a television outside broadcast (OB) when you’re miles from the nearest mains supply? Or you have mains but nowhere near enough current for the heavy demands of an OB? The answer is a mobile generator.
By Dan Cranefield, Senior Engineering Manager, BBC Tel OBs
After the war BBC Television Outside Broadcasts (Tel OBs) operated from their base at the Palace of Arts in Wembley, one of the substantial buildings which were built there specially for the British Empire Exhibition in 1924. Some of these buildings were put to other uses later on.
All outside broadcast (OB) units need electric power but supplying it lacks the interest of the OB trucks themselves. At BECG our thoughts turned to this vital subject with our acquisition of a 1953 BBC generator truck. In this article, we survey the various ways in which power was provided for BBC OB trucks and look in particular at the 10 generator trucks that the BBC operated.
TV in London is 65 years old in 2020, remaining vital throughout a period of external pressures as well as the changing viewing habits of the population. In this article, I look at the birth and evolution of London Weekend Television, and at the role that technology played in developing its sport and drama output.