This is an archived website which has not been updated since 2002.
Some information may be inaccurate or out of date.
Instead you will find an engaging rag-bag of old television facts and features, embracing technostalgia, technicalities, some classic programming, television-era culture, TV trivia, music, test cards, how to enjoy old television today, where to find further information and how to meet other crazy people. The emphasis is on British 405-line television but not to the exclusion of other countries television lore and additional interesting features.
Choose where you want to go from the list below:
What is 405 Alive?
Perhaps you thought that 405-line television died out in 1985? Not at all! But read on...
Remember that piercing but reassuring line whistle on 405 sets. Now think back to all those great programmes you used to watch in restful black and white in a cozy armchair, the room in subdued lighting to help improve the picture.
Those were the days, too, of ad mags and regular Trade Test Transmissions, when there was an epilogue followed by The Queen, when every TV had a separate Contrast and Brightness control, and when every summer we were plagued with foreign interference on our screens (Please do not adjust your set!).
Still, it was high-definition television, at least it was when it came out in 1936, and the system served us faithfully until 1985. A number of people (not all mad) still enjoy collecting, restoring and watching 405-line television: well maintained sets are capable of exceedingly good results. Programme material recorded on VHS tape gives very satisfactory viewing, too. Other enthusiasts are more interested in just reading about old television programming and technology, while others collect old TV programmes and commercials on film or video tape. A few are involved professionally in television but this is our hobby so we all tend to be fairly well motivated.
405 Alive was incorporated into the British Vintage Wireless Society (BVWS) in 2002. The quarterly bulletins published by the BVWS now contain the types of articles that were previously published in 405 Alive. This 405 Alive website was originally written and designed by Andy Emmerson, and is now hosted and maintained by the BVWS.
text, articles and images on this website are Copyright © Andy Emmerson and the British Vintage Wireless Society unless
This website compilation and presentation is Copyright © 2002 British Vintage Wireless Society.
No part of this website may be copied or reproduced in any form other than for personal reference without prior written permission from the copyright holders.
information on this website is given in good faith and is believed to be accurate.
However no liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions, or for the outcome of any transactions with listed suppliers.