Thursday, 18 October 2012


With the arrival of digital TV for everyone on October 24th 2012 perhaps we will take a moment to connect it past broadcasting advances in Ireland. In the late 1800’s and early part of the 20th century, Marconi, son of an Irishwoman Annie Jameson was the main motivator for the globalisation of radio broadcasting. Marconi’s invention of wireless telegraphy revolutionised global communications with many of the experiments conducted from the edge of Europe in Galway and Kerry. The basic elements of a telecommunication system are:
A transmitter (information source) that takes information and converts it to a signal for transmission - A transmission medium over which the signal is transmitted - A receiver (information sink) that receives and converts the signal back into required information
For example, consider a radio broadcast. In this case the broadcast tower is the transmitter, the radio is the receiver and the transmission medium is free space. Often telecommunication systems are two-way and devices act as both a transmitter and receiver or transceiver. For example, a mobile phone is a transceiver. Telecommunication over a phone line is called point-to-point communication because it is between one transmitter and one receiver, telecommunication through radio broadcasts is called broadcast communication because it is between one powerful transmitter and numerous receivers. Marconi’s means of communications over his wireless telegraph system was by Morse code, a series of dots and dashes created by American Samuel Morse. There were two variants, a dot or a dash and digital television is based on the same principle 1’s and 0’s as in the binary code. Television signals can either be analogue or digital. In an analogue signal, the signal is varied continuously with respect to the information. In a digital signal, the information is encoded as a set of discrete values, the binary code.
The three examples is how we identify the transmission of the word 'HELLO'.
The difference between a digital signal (top) and a analogue signal(bottom) with the advantage being that a digital signal can be repaired whereas an analogue signal can not.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

The Irish Broadcasting: BRIAN FARRELL

The Irish Broadcasting: BRIAN FARRELL: Brian was born in the Manchester, UK in January 1929 but moved to Ireland in 1939 where he was enrolled in Colaiste Mhuire in Dublin. Af...


Brian was born in the Manchester, UK in January 1929 but moved to Ireland in 1939 where he was enrolled in Colaiste Mhuire in Dublin. After leaving school he initially studied to join the priesthood but quickly discovered this was not the life for him and left to become a commercial traveller. In 1955 he enrolled in UCD and later graduated. While attending Harvard University in the United States on a scholarship grant he met Marie Therese whom he married in April 1955.
Paralleled with an academic career he was writing for the Irish Press newspaper and commentating on events of the day on Radio Eireann. He joined the television service when it opened in 1962 and remained an integral part of the stations current affair output until his retirement on 2004. He presented many news and analysis programmes including Broadsheet, '7 Days', 'Frontline' and 'Primetime'. He was the main anchor for the stations election and budgets coverage and was lead commentator on many of the State events including funerals and heads of state visits. He covered 10 general election campaigns and counts for RTE TV.
On RTE TV’s first full day of transmission January 1st 1962, Brian Farrell appeared as a presenter of the current affairs programme ‘Broadsheet’. In 1966 he began lecturing in UCDs Department of Politics but also in that year he along with Brian Cleeve and John O’Donoghue began presenting the current affairs programme ‘7 Days’ on RTE Television. The show continued until 1976. In October 1980 ‘Today Tonight’ began with Farrell as the main presenter. Today Tonight stayed on air until August 1992 when a number of separate programmes replaced that main current affairs output. In 1993 and 1994 he began hosting a half hour interview show broadcast on Sunday evenings at 6.30pm titled ‘Farrell’. In 1992 RTE again began providing one main current affairs programme titled 'Primetime'. Brian did not join 'Primetime' until 1997 and then stayed with the show until his retirement in 2004.
In 1968 Brian won the first of two Jacobs Award for his hosting of the 7 Days programme while a second arrived for his coverage of the 1977 General Election results programme. In 1979 he was RTE’s main anchor for their extensive live coverage of Pope John Paul II’s three day visit to Ireland.
In 1983 one of his many book published was a biography of former Fianna Fail Taoiseach Sean Lemass.
In 1994 Brian announced that he was leaving his post of Professor in the Politics Department of UCD to take up the post of Director General of the Institute of European Affairs.
He served as chairman for a number of years until 2000 as Chairman of the Arts Council.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012


Born in Dublin in October 1913, Paddy will always be associated with 'School Around The Corner' when his radio programme and later a television series visited schools around the country interviewing the pupils of the school whose answers were the life blood of the show. He was educated at St. Paul's Christian Brothers School on Dublin's Brunswick Street, a school affectionately known as 'Th Brunner'. He then went to St Patricks Training College and UCD where he graduated as a teacher. He began teaching in his old school 'The Brunner' in 1934 achieving the role of headmaster before retiring from the teaching profession in 1978.
Having got his break by writing scripts for the likes of Noel Purcell at the Theatre Royal, he joined Radio Eireann in the 1950's and his newly created show began in 1953 with his old CBS school on Brunswick Street being the first to be featured. His creation 'The School Around the Corner' (the original SATC 'Sex and the City')stayed on radio until 1966 while on television it began on January 2nd 1962, the second day of broadcasting for the new station. The premise of the school was that the host would visit local schools and interview students on a wide range of topics often leading to some hilarious exchanges.
Apart from SATC, Paddy hosted 'Back To School' and 'Tug O'Words' which was billed as a battle of wits between boys and girls on RTE TV. He was a regular guest on Gay Byrne's RTE chat show 'The Late Late Show'. He traveled the country with his SATC show creating a variety show around the main content.
He presented the show until 1973 and it has been recreated by Ulster Television and RTE with Gerry Ryan as host on RTE from 90-94 and Frank Michell in Northern Ireland from 1995 - 2005. Paddy passed away suddenly in September 1982 leaving behind a wife Peg and seven children. GERRY RYAN HOSTS SCHOOL AROUND THE CORNER FOR FURTHER READING CHECK OUT THIS EXCELLENT DEDICATION TO PADDY CROSBIE

Friday, 5 October 2012


Known in Europe as the Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles, the original title of Ninja first appeared in 1981 as a comic created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird. In October 1988 the first animated TV series was shown on US television and spawned a number of animated and live action TV series, four films, stage shows, comics, toys and advertising opportunities. The first series was animated in Dublin at the Murakami/Wolf Studios located in Montague Lane, Dublin 2. The studios were operated by American born Jimmy Murakami and Oscar winner Fred Wolf. They were joined by Charles Swenson and they produced many of the iconic animated TV series including the TMHT, James Bond Jnr and Budgie the Helicopter. Animators in Dublin marveled at the detailed artwork required for the TV series in 1987. The animated company was later known as Fred Wolf Films and are now based primarily in Burbank California.