A very kine Christmas


While watching Christmas specials from the 1960s on GetTV, it struck me that, while they would originally have been videotaped, the versions bring shown looked to be from a really bad film transfer process. I assumed it was some favor of kinescope (the process that allowed live black and white shows to be recorded on film for later rebroadcast in the 1950s, before videotape).

I knew videotape was still quite pricey even in the 1960s and was reused often, which is why so much TV from that era (particularly game shows, soap operas, and talk shows) just doesn’t exist anymore. But when I dived into the interwebz looking for stuff on “color kinescope” I was surprised to discover how common it had been to preserve videotaped shows this way, even in the 1960s and beyond.

None of this probably matters much to most of you, but after an hour or so passed, it occurred to me that this is why I never seem to get anything much done on Sunday afternoons.

Along with my habit of never finishing and old movie or TV show because I’m too busy trying to decipher where the location shots were done and finding contemporary views on Google Street View, this is probably why I will die alone and unloved. And I’m pretty much OK with that.

One thought on “A very kine Christmas

  1. HDTVs have a couple of picture adjustments that can render a picture as you describe. Look in the Vizio menu for Picture, then Sharpness. Sharpness is usually set way high by default. Reduce it to 10% or so.

    Next go to Advanced Video in the Picture menu and select DNR. Choose off.

    With these adjustments I think you will find even color kinescopes to be closer to what you remember.

    By the way, film in those days was cheaper than videotape stock and had a longer shelf life, thus the color kinescopes.

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