|In the late 1960s the Electronic Engineering Company of California (EECO), a major supplier of Time Code Generators and Timing Systems for government and scientific purposes in the United States, adapted that technology to time code for Television. It took a bit longer to reach the UK, and it was not until 1972 that the first 'edit suite' was built in the VT 15 & 16 area controlling VR2000Bs. This was pretty revolutionary as the system actually synchronised the machines during runup so that edits became repeatable.|
The picture above shows a typical EECO installation - the lower panel for entering the edit points and adjusting cues, the middle panel the timecode displays which were nixie tubes which displayed the numbers on cathodes in a neon atmosphere. Their disadvantage was that, because of the cathodes being at different levels inside the tube, the numbers appeared to visually move toward and away from the editor - very tiring when displaying frames.
|The VT15/16 installation also contained a vision mixer. This had quadrant faders and was not triggered by the EECO controller. The first series edited in here as "War & Peace" (1972), editor Roger Harvey with Mick Goodenough as assistant.|
Next came Edit Suite 2, in area 2, with VTs, 36, 37 & 38. This was late in service due to 'industrial action' over grading. It was a truly multi function suite, with Sypher capabilities as well as recording and playback. The control interface and the BBC vision mixer did cause some early problems. This photograph shows the later Cox 850 mixer.
|Edit Suite 2 was followed by Suite A on the 4th Floor in the Spur. This was in service in 1976 and was a self contained edit suite with no outside lines. It was, like Suite 2, equipped with RCA TR70C machines.|
|You will notice the paper covering up the nixie displays on the editor's panel in this picture taken during the edit stage of Sports Review.||The other 'feature' in this photo was the printer (reel of paper trailing on the desk). Originally, the only way of logging edits was to write down the numbers in all the stores for each edit - the responsibility of the play-in man. The printer did this automatically when the record button was pressed - interpreting the printout was a somewhat skilled art!|
|It is not possible to finish this section about EECO without including a clip from the 1979 VT Christmas Tape, shot on location in Edit Suite 2. Click the camera icon to see "Rip, Scratch...."|