Friday, October 8, 2010

Broadcast Technology

Today I was lucky enough to visit our Central Technology Area at of our office in Manchester. CTA take care of a good deal of what is broadcast from Manchester to the region and they have a staggering amount of technology old and new which they look after.

I didn't have a great deal of time to nose about but here are a couple of gems I spotted.

A reel-to-reel deck and a machine that I'm guessing has something to do with time signals or the Pips - not really sure.

This is a bit of nostalgia for me, it's an NTL 2212 IRD which was one of the first generation MPEG receiver/decoders. I used to work on these back in 1995.  I suspect this one has now been retired to be replaced by one of the Tandberg units. (Tandberg took over the NTL Advanced Products Division)

If you thought the IRD was large by todays standards (most are 1u now) the NTL Series 2000 encoders were 12u!  But very pleasant to work on. (No BGA chips and few SMD's)

I also spotted a Tektronix vm700a lurking in the racks. I remember those things cost as much as my first house.

We also found some old microwave links in the basement. Apparently these were used at Holme Moss in the Peak District.

These things date back to the 70's. We haven't dared turn them on - yet!