Richard Wirth had barely learned to read when his parents brought the glowing box into the living room. By the time he finished elementary school he had read all the books about television in his community’s small public library. The more he read (and of course watched), the more he dreamed of one day becoming a part of the world of television production. Stops on his life timeline include a few local radio and television stations, several mid-western production companies, the American Forces Television Network during his time in the Army and the Motion Picture Association. Along the way, his path lead him to NBC’s beautiful downtown Burbank and later, NBC News. Always looking for new toys to play with, he launched a venture that became The Network Group, a production and transmission services company specializing in planning and providing production services for scheduled or ad-hoc live broadcasts for the networks and corporate television. Along the way, he added consulting and teaching to his resume. Recently he retired from the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California where he served as Manager of Post Production for fourteen years.

Television in Transition – The 1950’s Version

Television in Transition – The 1950’s Version

“An Evening with Fred Astaire” shines to this day as an example of excellence in early television.  The program was produced in the midst of the turbulence over television&#8217…

Cameras in the Sky

Cameras in the Sky

“Man must rise above the Earth—to the top of the atmosphere and beyond—for only thus will he fully understand the world in which he lives.” — Socrates…

SMPTE Time Code – Virtually Unchanged After Almost 50 Years

SMPTE Time Code – Virtually Unchanged After Almost 50 Years

The more things change, the more they stay the same.  So goes the old proverb. SMPTE Time Code is like that.  While the entire production and post world…

From Kinescopes to Digital Cinema

From Kinescopes to Digital Cinema

Last time, we charted early efforts to project TV signals on theater screens.  This time, we look at the camera side – electronic acquisition. In the end, digital firsts in BOTH…

Theatrical Television

Theatrical Television

Television has been trying to grow up and be a projection medium since its inception.  With the advent of digital, the little box of light and shadows has finally…

A Recipe for Analog to Digital Video Transfer:  Baking

A Recipe for Analog to Digital Video Transfer: Baking

We had a project come to us recently that required the transfer of ¾ inch videotape to digital files. To those for whom analog videotapes have become a mysterious relic…

The Demise of NBC Burbank Part 2

The Demise of NBC Burbank Part 2

Recently, I wrote about the beginnings of NBC’s historic lot in Burbank as the Peacock network completed its move to nearby Universal Studios.  The look back on NBC…

A Requiem for NBC Burbank

A Requiem for NBC Burbank

In 1982, I began what was to become one of the most favorite periods of my life.  I was hired at NBC in Burbank, California.  It wasn’t the most…

Cable Television

Cable Television

As cable television’s customer base shrinks due to the rise in Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) delivery and driven by the use of mobile devices, it’s appropriate to look…

Mechanical Television

Mechanical Television

Mechanical television.  Does that mean motors, pulleys, gears and other moving parts?  Why, yes.  It does.  Long before television as we know it today, even before…