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BBC marks 75 years of television

Tuesday 01 Nov 2011
It’s been 75 years since the BBC’s first regular “high-definition” television broadcast was made from Alexandra Palace in north London on 2 November, 1936.

BBC Alexandra Palace

The term “high-definition” was used in the 1930s to compare with earlier systems that were based on mechanical systems of as few as 30 lines of resolution.

It has once again been adopted since the 1990s to describe a new generation of televisions that have resolution substantially higher than that of standard-definition television.

Alexandra Palace became the BBC’s primary base for television broadcasts until the 1950s. To mark the occasion, the BBC is opening the studios for public visits.

Alexandra Park & Palace Trust chairman Matt Cooke said: “The BBC’s place in the history of Alexandra Palace was sealed when the first public service broadcast in the world was made from the building in 1936.”

Head of BBC History, Robert Seatter, said: “On this momentous 75th anniversary, we are delighted to be working with Alexandra Palace to open up these unique studios where television really began.”

London Mayor Boris Johnson said: “The 75th anniversary of the world’s first television broadcast service by the BBC from Alexandra Palace is a fantastic opportunity to reflect on London’s role as a pioneer and innovator.”