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Old 06-08-2007, 17:15
lala
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Here's the main evening news from Cuban TV recorded just over a month ago. Note the US influences, especially when compared to other communist TV services.

And here's an equally recent commercial break from Cuban TV. The advertising block opens with an anti-American cartoon, and, ironically, promos for programs taken right off of American pay-TV channels. A Disney movie follows the break.
It's funny how enviromentally aware the Cuban adverts are.... Telling peole to turn off their PC if they are not using them and to use energy saving light bulbs. You'll never get the American TV stations to do that!...... The Oil companies will be on their back!

So called free country..... Bah. I know Cuba is not whiter then white....... But at least they have a better health system then the US, who can't even look after the 9/11 rescue workers properly.

Cuba and China are basically Communist lite. Now Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia....... These are the countries that are a true threat.
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Old 06-08-2007, 17:36
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It's funny how enviromentally aware the Cuban adverts are.... Telling peole to turn off their PC if they are not using them and to use energy saving light bulbs. You'll never get the American TV stations to do that!...... The Oil companies will be on their back!
This isn't an example of environmental awarness. Cuba has been experiencing a severe energy crisis for years.
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Old 06-08-2007, 17:40
lala
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This isn't an example of environmental awarness. Cuba has been experiencing a severe energy crisis for years.
Well still they are doing something right?

Unless like a certain super power........ COUGH.
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Old 06-08-2007, 18:00
Paul Evans
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Well still they are doing something right?

Unless like a certain super power........ COUGH.
Take your politics elsewhere and stop dragging this thread off topic.
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Old 06-08-2007, 19:06
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This thread has prompted we to dig out my copy of the 1973 edition of the World Radio and TV Handbook to look at the state of Eastern Bloc TV in that year. It's a mixed bag, the larger countries mostly had two channels with the second one usually carrying experimental colour transmissions. Apart form Yugoslavia (which used PAL) all the countries were using SECAM.

The one exception is Albania which was only carrying experimental broadcasts for four hours, three times a week from one low power (0.05kW) transmitter. That was it, no other TV broadcasts at all. The total number of sets in that country was just 3,000. Other counties had a higher proportion of sets. For instance in Poland there were 4 million receivers for a population of about 40 million. This contrasts with the UK which had nearly 15 million sets in 1973.

The DDR had 4.5 million sets, including 10,000 colour sets . I wonder if many of these were used to view broadcasts from the west ?
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Old 06-08-2007, 19:27
Darren Lethem
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This thread has prompted we to dig out my copy of the 1973 edition of the World Radio and TV Handbook to look at the state of Eastern Bloc TV in that year. It's a mixed bag, the larger countries mostly had two channels with the second one usually carrying experimental colour transmissions. Apart form Yugoslavia (which used PAL) all the countries were using SECAM.

The one exception is Albania which was only carrying experimental broadcasts for four hours, three times a week from one low power (0.05kW) transmitter. That was it, no other TV broadcasts at all. The total number of sets in that country was just 3,000. Other counties had a higher proportion of sets. For instance in Poland there were 4 million receivers for a population of about 40 million. This contrasts with the UK which had nearly 15 million sets in 1973.

The DDR had 4.5 million sets, including 10,000 colour sets . I wonder if many of these were used to view broadcasts from the west ?
I must admit that is something that I did wonder when seeing the clips on page 1. Would the people in East Berlin have been able to receive ZDF and ARD ?
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Old 06-08-2007, 19:39
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I must admit that is something that I did wonder when seeing the clips on page 1. Would the people in East Berlin have been able to receive ZDF and ARD ?
I think the West German transmitters did crank up their power so that they could be received in the east. And don't forget it wasn't just East Berlin, anyone in the DDR living near the hundreds of miles of border (which stretched from the Baltic to Czechoslovakia would have been able to receive the broadcasts, especially as the DDR (unlike the other Eastern Bloc countries) used the same system B that was used in the west.
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Old 06-08-2007, 20:08
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I think the West German transmitters did crank up their power so that they could be received in the east. And don't forget it wasn't just East Berlin, anyone in the DDR living near the hundreds of miles of border (which stretched from the Baltic to Czechoslovakia would have been able to receive the broadcasts, especially as the DDR (unlike the other Eastern Bloc countries) used the same system B that was used in the west.
Yes, most of GDR residents could receive West German television. People living in areas where Western television could not be picked up were considered especially clueless since West German television was one of the few windows to the world available to East Germans.

Before the early 1970s, it was actually illegal for East Germans to watch West German television. Young party activists frequently tore down antennas pointed toward the western transmitters. According to one book I've read, schoolchildren were sometimes asked to draw the logos of the channels they watched at home -- an easy way of finding out which parents were breaking the law.

In the early 1970s, watching Western television in private homes was legalized (but still considered undesirable for the party faithful). Apparently, more East German watched TV news from West Germany than from their own TV service.

Austrian television was widely watched in other countries behind the Iron Curtain, such as Czechoslovakia and Hungary, where many people could understand German.

Once again, Yugoslavia was a lot more liberal: Not only was watching Western television universally accepted there, but newspapers and TV magazines even printed full program listings for Austrian and Italian channels.
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Old 07-08-2007, 23:49
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HERE's a short clip from a documentary about how propaganda was used to create a personality cult around Romania's Nicolae Ceauşescu.
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Old 08-08-2007, 06:34
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On product of communist era TV we saw here in the UK were the many excellent cartoon series. They made a change from the American ones such as Tom and Jerry and the Flintstones. But it's been so long I cannot remember any of the titles. Can anyone else ?
I'll not add any videos. I'm on dial-up and TBH I'm having big trouble getting even these forum pages to load.

There was "The little mole" from Czechoslovakia, for instance. I am reminded of the spoof Python travelogue showing Bohemian peasants in their colourful dress, as featured on cornflakes packets, with the commentary something like "you'd never guess each and every one of them was plotting to invade the West, would you!"

The mother of a "Czech mate" of mine was a skilled cartoonist who backed the liberal Prague Spring and never worked in Czech cartoons again. Whenever I see those attractive "Mole" cartoons, I think of my mate hidden in a car crossing to Austria as a kid with his mum ...

Then there was the amazing Professor Balthasar! http://www.croatianhistory.net/gif/balt3.gif Bal..balthasar, Bal..balthasar etc. Apart from long black dresses on Eurovision that rip off to reveal white miniskirts, Croatia's main artistic export?

What is really worrying is that some people remember only the good bits about living in a state where you couldn't say what you thought and where all individualism was not only frowned upon, but deadly dangerous.

To me, the real interest in Communist-era European TV (given they always airbrushed - well, Artexed - over the State terror and systematic spying on their own citizens) is the way the sets show such a very different taste to the current Western one. Anyone who has seen Good Bye Lenin will know the difficulty the devoted son has in rebuilding a GDR flat's interior with authentic materials even in 1990! The central role played by the "look" in Good Bye Lenin is underlined by its website address (79 sq m of GDR - that's one of the large family flats built in the huge blocks)...
http://www.79qmddr.de/index2.php ...and I love watching pre-1990 "Polizeiruf 110" on MDR or RBB, not only to see car chases of Skoda vs Trabant and helicopter pursuit in an Ilyushin, but also to see chairs upholstered in brown-and-yellow polyester and groups of three wooden giraffe's-head decorations on the walls...
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Old 08-08-2007, 08:30
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I'll not add any videos. I'm on dial-up and TBH I'm having big trouble getting even these forum pages to load.
I, on the other hand, can't resist YouTube clips, so here are the two cartoons you mentioned:

Profesor Baltazar / Professor Balthasar (one of the keywords next to this clip says "Czech", but the cartoon is, as you've correctly pointed out, Croatian)

Krtek / The Mole

BTW, I grew up with these cartoons (and many other EE ones) in Slovenia, but I've refrained from commenting on them so far because I hove no idea which ones were shown in the UK.

To me, the real interest in Communist-era European TV (given they always airbrushed - well, Artexed - over the State terror and systematic spying on their own citizens) is the way the sets show such a very different taste to the current Western one. Anyone who has seen Good Bye Lenin will know the difficulty the devoted son has in rebuilding a GDR flat's interior with authentic materials even in 1990!
I would argue that it was not really different taste in most cases, but rather a case of everything being stuck in the 1960s. In the West, new fashions came and went, but the East had no incentive to keep up with the trends; it was cheaper for factories, which faced no competition, to keep churning out the same old stuff for years and years. It was the same with cars, where basic designs from the 1960s and early 1970s (when they were actually similar to inexpensive Western cars of the time) were kept alive well into the late 1980s.

Some of the East German "style" in Good Bye Lenin would not have been out of place in a modest West German apartment -- some quarter of a century earlier.
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Old 08-08-2007, 08:48
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On the subject of Mr. Mole, I work in an Oxfam bookshop and a few weeks ago somebody donated an "Adventures of Mr. Mole" book, published in Czechoslovakia in the 1970's. It turned out to be worth 35, we put it on the Internet and sold it in a week. One of our volunteers at the time was a Polish guy in his 20's who well remembered the character from his childhood.
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Old 08-08-2007, 10:23
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...BTW, I grew up with these cartoons (and many other EE ones) in Slovenia, but I've refrained from commenting on them so far because I hove no idea which ones were shown in the UK.

I would argue that it was not really different taste in most cases, but rather a case of everything being stuck in the 1960s. ...

Some of the East German "style" in Good Bye Lenin would not have been out of place in a modest West German apartment -- some quarter of a century earlier.
Thanks DF. This was my third attempt to load the forum page so I couldn't have done it without you.

It was strange to me, on first visiting the former GDR, to find how many things were common between the two "halves" of Germany...heavy metal front doors, and porch door covers which are the shape of a hollowed-out Brie cheese and taper down to the ground, for instance...

and it's not just only having certain materials, either. The wooden Africana was also a 50s/60s thing in the West, but other trends like (in the UK) lava lamps appear also.

As for the cars, I remember buying a GDR car magazine in an Intershop in the 1980s - profiling the new Trabant 601S - with "inertia reel seat belts" (which it had to explain - the ones on the test car broke anyway) and a new luxury feature - "Fed up of all those tiresome calculations of how far you've driven and how much 2-stroke you put in? Here's an innovation - it's like a little clock that tells you how much mixture is left in the tank".

Of course, before the first of these could be delivered to the head of the 10-year waiting list, it was Golfs all round...

As for the clothes, the wonderful "My first T-shirt" (Jakob Hain IIRC) tells a story of what the Wall coming down meant to a teenager in East Berlin...

and another book I have, written by a Westerner, talks about visiting an aunt in East Berlin and shouting down to her from the balcony "Auntie! It's time for Tagesschau*! You'll miss it!"

(*the forbidden Western news...)

only Dresden was called "the valley of the clueless" because its position meant you couldn't get Western transmissions...

unimaginable nowadays. My sister is off to Weimar this weekend, just like that. The Berlin-Friedrichstrasse crossing point - the Palace of Tears - is a comedy venue.

So we can see what it looked like, not what it was like on TV...how lucky we all are to be able to swap our memories across Europe and the world...
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Old 08-08-2007, 15:23
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Great memories there, Patpending!

Some more video clips:

The first 9 minutes of the 1990 Eurovision Song Contest from Zagreb, Croatia, Yugoslavia (w/ the BBC's commentary), just after the end of communism. Contrary to pupular belief, JRT, whose Eurovision logo you can see here, was not a broadcaster, but merely the coordinating body of Yugoslavia's eight regional broadcasters.

More anti-American cartoons from Cuban television (poor picture quality).

And an anti-Bush cartoon, also from Cuba.

Here's a 1986 commercial that still makes me emotional: This Slovenian spot was designed to promote the importance of tourism, but it became a symbol of Slovenia's aspirations towards more independence within Yugoslavia.

This 40-minute clip from the BBC's Death of Yugoslavia shows how Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic used the communist media in his republic to attain and consolidate his power.
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Old 16-08-2007, 16:22
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Still more communist-era clips:

From the Soviet Union, here's an Estonian commercial for the Ukranian Zaporozhets car.

Here's a Slovenian baby food commercial from the mid-1980s.

Here's the intro to Hungarian TV's evening news from 1959.

This one needs some explaining:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-oQJNFrHBlU

^^^In the 1980s, when Yugoslavia still existed, a popular Slovenian brand of mineral water called Radenska (still around as one of Slovenia's most well-known brands) launched a classic commercial that featured various nationalities from Yugoslavia singing in their traditional styles and languages with some silly stereotypes thrown in.

So here are the various nations you see in the commercial (in order of appearance):

1. A couple hiking in the Alps: Slovenians
2. A group of fishermen drinking: Croatians
3. A group of people having a meal in an Ottoman-style house: Bosnians
4. A man on his bike: Hungarian
5. A wedding party with a roast pig: Serbs
6. Ice cream men: Albanians (Ice cream shops in the former Yugoslavia were usually owned by Albanians, just as, say, the Chinese are associated with laundries in the US)
7. Tall men singing on a mountain: Montenegrins (Montenegrins are among the tallest people in the world)
8. Women with tobacco leaves: Macedonians (Macedonia is known for its tobacco crop)
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Old 09-09-2007, 20:08
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I've been trying to find some videos on YouTube for communist-era TV in Yugoslavia but haven't come up with anything.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBbXRFzn1mo
Here's another link; this one has still of various graphics used in Slovenia between the 1960s and the 1990s (images 1 through 87):

http://www.geocities.com/alesoooo/sliketv.htm
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Old 09-09-2007, 20:25
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Here's another link; this one has still of various graphics used in Slovenia between the 1960s and the 1990s (images 1 through 87):

http://www.geocities.com/alesoooo/sliketv.htm
I think no. 46 would trigger a migraine!
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Old 09-09-2007, 20:35
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I think no. 46 would trigger a migraine!
I think it might! Actually, that one is a classic; it's even included in a book about Slovenian design!

It reminds me of THIS Harlech (later HTV) ident in the UK.
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Old 14-09-2007, 19:19
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Slight Varation of the Thread but I just saw this via the BBC Press Office page, and may be of Interest to some of you.

Originally Posted by BBC Press Office
STORYVILLE: BELGRADE'S RADIO WARIORS In 1989, a youth radio station, B-92, started up in Belgrade. It almost immediately became a symbol of the resistance to Serbian Nationalism and all that Slobodan Milosevic decreed. In eloquent, laconic testimony and with startling archive and music, the young radio workers give a candid account of life in Belgrade throughout the years of war and of the Nato "token bombing" until the eventual "resignation" of Milosevic. They also describe their own heroic contribution, despite all the authorities' efforts to suppress them, to the liberation of their city and their country.

This episode of Storyville is part of BBC Four's Radio Week.

Last edited by Ian Cleverly : 14-09-2007 at 19:21. Reason: Ading Press Office URL
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Old 25-09-2007, 21:04
Paul Evans
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Morning exercise TV - Soviet style!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVUaYVjhcTQ

and this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cbc1O...elated&search=

(Trippy!)

I remember seeing this sort of thing on TV-am

PS - Ian Cleverly, thanks for the heads up on Storyville - I've set a Digiguide reminder for it!
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Old 26-09-2007, 15:32
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Morning exercise TV - Soviet style!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVUaYVjhcTQ

and this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cbc1O...elated&search=

(Trippy!)

I remember seeing this sort of thing on TV-am

PS - Ian Cleverly, thanks for the heads up on Storyville - I've set a Digiguide reminder for it!
I guess "1984" was a hit over there, so much so they re-enacted the exercises that were done on the Telescreens!
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Old 28-10-2007, 18:48
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Slovenian TV news from 1989; the clip includes a commercial for an insurance company:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42RvuoLw9IM
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Old 28-10-2007, 20:01
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It happened on Christmas day, but wasn't shown live.

The trial, lead-up and the immediate aftermath of the execution on the Christmas Day news bulletins here. However according to Wikipedia, Romanian TV showed the footage a few days later.

I can't remember if the actual moment of execution has ever been shown, I certainly don't think the TV news would have shown it here.
I was in Bucharest at the time. He was executed at an army barracks on the outskirts of Bucharest. The video was driven to the TV station but because there was heavy fighting going on around it, the cameraman couldn't get the tape in for several hours. It was eventually shown in the early hours of the following day.The actual execution - by firing squad - was not shown but you saw the bodies of him and his wife immediately afterwards.The whole point of showing it was to convince the Romanian viewers he was actually dead and his reign of terror was over. The faces of the army officers interrogating him were not shown.Shortly after his death Romanian TV showed the Chaplin film ''The Great Dictator'' which they coveniently had on VT.
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Old 29-10-2007, 16:56
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Not Communist TV, but here are some clips of Nazi TV from the 1930s:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEYfl-X2Jcc
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Old 29-10-2007, 18:51
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Unlike the British TV service, German television carried on broadcasting during the war. I seem to recall that the system relied on a form of cable transmission to distribute the programmes the very few select locations it served, and not on "over the air" radio transmissions. The service only operated in Berlin.
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