Kinescopes

Until 1956 when video tape was invented, television shows were either broadcast live, or filmed like a movie, and the film shown with a television camera aimed at the movie screen. It was impossible to preserve a live television show until the kinescope process was invented, which basically reversed the process of television shows recorded on film then shown on television.

While the show was being performed and broadcast live in a studio, backstage in a corner of the television studio they would place a large television set, and aim a traditional Hollywood movie camera at the television set that was showing the live broadcast, thus recording the episode. Although movie films were being produced regularly since the late 1800's, the concept of kinescoping, filming live television shows was not done much until 1947 and later. In September of 1947, the Kodak Company, along with the DuMont research labs and the National Broadcast Compay created and used the Eastman Television Recording Camera, that was usually bolted in place and aimed at a stationary television set. CBS, NBC and DuMont television set up Kinescope studios in New York City, and ABC did their master recording in Chicago. They recorded many live shows, and then sent kinescope copies to their network stations to show locally, and by 1954 television networks were using more movie film than Hollywood.