On the old Restoration Team forum a color chart was printed out for each episode of the areas of good color appeared on the off-air recordings, does someone have a similar illustration. All I've really got as a reference is copies of the first 10 minutes of each off-air episode from YouTube over a decade ago to go by. (Since pulled down ages ago)
PS, I would love to see the Betamax tapes in full (or have my own copies wish me luck - chances zilch) but I doubt both scenarios will ever happen in my lifetime as the seem to be ultra-scarce and the only time I've ever seen parts of them was from that youtube posting.
I have had copies of those Betamax tapes since 1981, believe me you are missing nothing if you don't have them. Your better off with the BBC VHS or the BBC DVD. Basically episodes 1 and 5 were in very good condition color wise, episode 2 had large portions of good usable color, episode's 3 and 4 were a train wreck color wise and episode 6 and 7 each had portions that were in good condition color wise but had poor reception that interfered with it,
Yeah I've been around a long time so I know what's expected but it seems like you need to be in the circle to maybe get a chance of seeing the raw tapes, don't worry I've seen worse taping even my own and can easily tolerate the worst signal. You should count the many times over the years I've searched the net for any copies.
For what its worth the biggest thing I got out of them (after later seeing the black and white syndicated tele recordings was how much better the sound quality was). I got into the circle as you call it at the tender young age of 17 and one thing led to another being a Pertwee fan from the 1970's. But the tapes are so old now (I would have gotten my copies 40 years ago and Betamax VHS tape quality has come a long way since then.
I can tell you this when the color flickered out on episodes 2, 6 and 7 the black and white video tape picture was fairly viewable for the most part. How ever on episode's 3 and 4 the picture off lock was so bad that it was like trying to watch a scrambled broadcast. So episodes 3 and 4 on my copies bar the color sections were basically unviewable.
Oh well my search will continue, at least I've got 60 mins worth.
I suppose another way of looking at what Tom Lundy thought of the tapings I mean he could have easily wiped the tapes and yet on the other hand he taped The Mind Of Evil which could have been clean copies yet he only retained the the first portion of Episode 6 because he needed the tapes for other things.
I get what all you guys are saying but it be nice to see the whole taping, chasing formula 1 off-airs is hard enough and can be abysmal quality but at least they're a watchable and that's before their heavily blocked by FOA.
The tapes from the Ambassadors of Death came from a different source they were recorded in Buffalo New York from WNED 17. Tom Lundy recorded his shows in Chicago of of WTTV 11. I have copies of them right off the original tape (that and the Daemons from KCET 28 in Los Angeles).
But both of these tapes I have had since 1982 and they are now degraded threw the passage of time. Now if you have seen the BBC DVDs of these story's you have seen them restored and properly cleaned up. There were no continuity announcements on the closing credits for either The Ambassadors of Death or Terror of the Autons, they simply had a static station ID sign at the beginning before the opening credits. KCET also had a logo at the beginning of the broadcast. But that is all.
It's really not worth it. There are better ways to recover the color signal now. Chroma dot is one. The remastered restored color version is by far superior.
As Robert states, the off-locks on the off air are horrible.
I have a VHS copy of James Burke's "The Real Thing", from back when that sufferers the same problem.
Colour signal transplant, from a good domestic format, is probably still better than chroma dot, which depends on the film quality. This is what I understood from the experts in the past.
Of course, you still need to find that first...
It really does depend on the source. The WNED-17 recording is useless for episodes 3 and 4 as example. Episode 5 was a great success etc...
Here is a screengrab of my "The Real Thing" VHS copy.
The first is raw output, and the second is with advanced color correction applied. As you see it's a real improvement, and if the color banding remained a constant, this would work. However the color banding "ripples" and constantly changes hue, so you would have to color correct each frame/field separately. Easier to colorize the episode from a black and white source.
Now the superb job they did with The Time Monster, episode 5, using the NTSC Quad, to color the black and white PAL source, shows what you can do with good source material.
Didn't the old restoration team site say that some of these recordings were made in a location with a large body of water between the transmitter and the receiver that could provide a reflected signal including phase changes that NTSC color system couldn't cope with (multipath reception),a hence the changes and loss of colour.
Just to add for people who might not know and may want to know . . .
Multipath reception can be two or more reflected signals being received by a receiver. In analog terms the reflected signals double, triple, quadruple, the image being viewed. This can cause ghosting, and color distortion. The amount of multipath reception depends on why it's being reflected. A mountain may bounce the signal once. In this scenario your receiver, receives, the direct signal from the transmitter first. Then the reflected signal from the mountain a few milliseconds later.
With respect to the WNED 17 tape as example . . . On a clear day, with the body of water being calm, this allows the signal to travel farther than intended, with good results. People in the Citizen's Band or Amature two way radio world, would call it a form of skip communications. Like a stone being skipped across the water, so does the signal of the station transmitting. * On a stormy day with choppy water, imagine 1000's of reflected signals, each being received a millisecond apart. A horrible mess.
Multipath reception is still a problem today, even in the Digital Age. One reason why some people experience digital breakup. The receiver has problems locking on to one digital signal, and when it swaps to the reflected signal; breakup occurs. A directional antenna can solve multipath issues, even with digital signals.
* (There are more forms of skip communications than just water, atmospheric is another, but trying to keep things on topic...)