This section contains some samples from our “Golden Age of Television” library. We apologize for the relatively low quality and the annoying “watermark” but it is very expensive to digitally master and upgrade the kinescopes on which these programs are preserved, and we only go through the process when we plan to release a program on video, or have a revenue-generating clip license. For those of you who aren’t familiar with what a “kinescope” is, it is in substance a 16mm movie of a studio monitor; even though our programs were broadcast in compatible color, due to limitations of Technicolor film at that time, the “kines” are in black and white. We have many of the original budgets for these programs; they ranged up to $1,000,000, and the programs in this section averaged $500,000 each; the budgets for the kines, averaged $150. Clearly, the kines were not thought to have ongoing commercial or even archival potential!
Most of the video samples in this section, were made from primitive 3/4″ video masters made from the kines, which were made by NBC ; our modern digital restoration masters are far better. However, we wanted to give visitors to our site an idea of what the programs look like, without making it easy for them to be copied without permission from us. It should also be noted that while the programs are now “good copyright” for 120 years from the dates of the first live broadcasts, the kinescopes did not have copyright notices on them, and were for the most part not registered for copyright with the Copyright Office; many unauthorized copiers — “pirates” in trade parlance — seize on these to justify their sale of video copies without first obtaining a license from us. Such copies are generally of very poor quality, and the infringements can subject the infringors to damages. However, on the theory that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” we prefer not to make it easy for them; hence, the relatively poor technical quality of the video samples, and the annoying watermark. We hope you understand.
Please wait for all of the videos to download before playing one; you will know when the download is complete when the bars under all of the videos have stopped moving. When you start a video, either wait for it to finish before playing another, or “pause” it before you play another; if you don’t, they will play simultaneously.