Museum of the Broadcast Television Camera

Pye experimental colour camera

Pye experimental colour camera c.1953

I have little information about this camera, however:-

It is based on the Pye Mk3 84 2014 camera but with modifications to have a "colour wheel" fitted. The taking lens is bottom left and the tri coloured wheel must be just behind the lens driven by a motor in the top housing. It is thought that this disk may have, conveniently, replaced the normal N.D. filter wheel.


The rotation of this wheel was synchronised to the field period of the camera so that, red, green & blue images were presented in succession to the tube which would have been a standard 3 inch Image Orthicon type. The field frequency would have been 150cps*. In it's simplest form a corresponding coloured wheel would have rotated in front of the viewing monitor.

As far as I know the pictures were never transmitted, the camera being an experimental model to gain experience of the use of the colour systems. However it was used as a closed circuit camera to show the pictures of the Queen's Coronation Procession in Whitehall, London. These pictures were seen by ‘politicians’ and also the children at Great  Ormond Street hospital.


* As this is a 1950's camera, cps. would have been used, cycles per second or Hz. today.




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