Baird rebalanced

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Dr G M Clarke is rather harsh on John Logie Baird (Letters, 19 August). A lone inventor whose limited resources forced a “Heath Robinson” approach, he nonetheless publicly demonstrated in 1926, and broadcast in 1929 (from the BBC sound transmitter on the roof of Selfridges store), the world’s first television pictures.

He demonstrated an experimental colour TV system in 1928, and investigated recording of TV pictures.

This was an era dominated by the rapid advance of electronics, and it is hardly surprising that the BBC – from the start sceptical about TV, and maybe resentful that the Postmaster General had authorised Baird to use its transmitters – chose in 1935 the all-electronic 405-line system developed by a big team of workers at EMI led by Isaac Shoenberg, a schoolfellow of Zworykin.

Baird was the first to show that practical TV could only be realised through line-by-line scanning – a system still used today, despite a 36-fold increase in lines.

Chilton Inglis

Wilton Street

Glasgow