Better results from your receiver


How to receive Alpha programmes for the best view of the Midlands

From reading this website you will see that a lot of people take a great deal of trouble to see that the picture and sound impulses reaching your aerial are as good as possible. You may feel that the results you are getting are not doing justice to these efforts. We hope you will find the following hints will help you toward the better enjoyment of our programmes.

Picture Shape

Does everyone look tall and thin? Or short and fat? Adjustment of the ‘Height’ and ‘Width’ controls can usually correct this sort of trouble. This is most easily carried out just before the start of the day’s programmes when the test card is transmitted, the aim being to get the circle as round as possible while still retaining the chequered border.

Note: ‘Height’ is sometimes called Vertical Amplitude or Vert. Amp., and ‘Width’ is often Horizontal Amplitude or Hor. Amp.

If the circle persists in being egg-shaped it will be necessary to adjust the linearity (or form) controls, as well as the height and width.

Picture Contrast

The aim here should be to obtain pictures in which all the tones from black (shadow details, folds in clothing, etc.,) to white (shirts, highlights in the hair) are well reproduced. The harsh ‘soot and whitewash’ pictures one often sees can lose just as much detail as the thin, grey, grainy variety. Try to keep in your mind’s eye the last good film you saw, or that photograph which impressed you so much. It should be possible to get that sort of quality by careful adjustment of the brightness and contrast controls, the former for the dark tones and the latter for the face tones and highlights.

The clarity of the picture can also be improved by the setting of the focus control (it is surprising how many blurred pictures one sees!)


Your receiver is capable of a high standard of sound reproduction. The fine tuning control associated with the station or channel selector should be set for best sound consistent with the sort of pictures discussed above. A wrong setting can produce effects on the screen such as wobbling or vibration, and at the other extreme a loud, harsh buzz in the loudspeaker. Select a compromise setting.

About this author

'Behind the Scenes' is a booklet produced by Alpha Television Services in 1963 to mark the enlargement of the studio site in Aston, Birmingham

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