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Former company headquarters in Berlin-Lichterfelde , Goerzallee
Former company headquarters in Darmstadt , Steubenplatz

The television AG was a German high-tech company in the field of communication technology . It was the first company in the world to deal with the practical introduction of electronic television .



On July 3, 1929, Baird Television Ltd. ( London ), Zeiss Ikon ( Dresden ), DS Loewe ( Berlin ) and Robert Bosch GmbH ( Stuttgart ) register the TV AG with an initial capital of 100,000  Reichsmarks in the Berlin commercial register. The purpose of the company was "the manufacture and sale of television sets of all kinds".

The board consisted of Emanuel Goldberg from Zeiss Ikon, Oliver George Hutchinson from Baird, David Ludwig Loewe and Erich Carl Rassbach from Bosch with Paul Goerz as chairman of the board. The company's headquarters were one floor in the Goerzwerk in Berlin-Zehlendorf , Goerzallee 299.

First, mechanical television transmission systems were developed based on the methods of Paul Nipkow and John Logie Baird ; However, when their inadequacies in terms of luminance and resolution became apparent, the company soon switched to fully electronic television technology.

Pioneering phase of electronic television

Following a suggestion by Manfred von Ardenne , receivers were first built in 1934 with a Braun tube with a screen diameter of 40 cm.

For the 1936 Summer Olympics , the Fernseh AG was able to provide the complete television production chain from video mixers , control systems, test image generators , film scanners to broadcast vehicles. The latter worked in the absence of high-intensity image pick-up tubes using the inter -film method .

Parallel to the probe camera according to Philo Farnsworth , in 1935, in competition with Telefunken, the company began developing its own iconoscope , with the aim of achieving greater sensitivity in the visible spectrum and reducing the interference signals caused by the scanning process and the influence of external magnetic and acoustic signals through suitable design measures Reduce fields.

During this work was u. a. used experience and patents of the Reichspostzentralamt around Walter Heimann . But it was not until the radio exhibition in 1937 that the first cameras with self-made iconoscope tubes were completed and were able to pass their practical test with the introduction of the 441-line standard .

From 1936 to 1938, the Fernseh AG installed the technology for most of the television stations that the Reichspost television company had set up in Hamburg , Berlin, Leipzig and Munich . The systems were based on the mechanical image decomposition during recording; the Braun tube was used for playback.

In December 1938, the Fernseh AG processed a large export contract with the EIAR in Rome , which included the iconoscope camera, film scanner and mixer. In the same year, an extensive order from the Deutsche Reichspost to fully equip the television studio in the Deutschlandhaus was completed.

In 1939 the third generation of cameras with an electronic viewfinder was introduced. They were characterized by the use of iconoscope tubes with a pre-image.

During this time, Karl Martell Wild made a decisive contribution to the continued existence of the Fernseh AG .

War economy

Remote control camera barrel , 1943

After Zeiss-Ikon left the consortium in the mid-1930s, Baird and Loewe left the Fernseh AG by 1938 under pressure from the regime and the company was converted into a GmbH.

In mid-1940, a group of experts was shown a complete picture transmission system for 1029 lines for the first time in the history of television technology.

In 1943, most of the company with around 800 employees was relocated to the Reichsgau Sudetenland due to the Allied air raids on Berlin . There were u. a. Supericonoscopes manufactured for installation in future radio controlled weapons.

After the end of the war, the legacies of these enterprises there had a short-term significant influence on the development of television in Czechoslovakia .

New beginning after the Second World War

Film scanner, 1956
Orthicon camera, 1957
TV studio camera, around 1958
MTV stúdió, Budapest

In the post-war turmoil , some equipment from Obertannwald could be rescued to Taufkirchen (Vils) in Lower Bavaria, where the Gasthof Wagnerwirt was rented, while the majority of the equipment was transported to Arnstadt in Thuringia, where the first German post-war television receiver EFu T1 was built until 1947 under Soviet control .

On the other hand, television research was initially prohibited in West Germany because of the provisions of the Control Council , so that Taufkirchen dealt with the repair of tubes and the production of measuring devices for the repair and testing of radio devices:

  • The farvimeter was a universal device for the broadcast service and contained a measuring transmitter, tone generator , tube voltmeter , output meter and a resistance and capacitance measuring bridge ; well over 1000 copies were made.
  • The Farvi tester was a tube tester that could be configured with punched cards made from Pertinax and therefore offered a high level of operational reliability.
  • The Farvigraph was a universal oscillograph that could display two measurement curves at the same time.

By 1948 the workforce had increased again from 14 to 150 people.

As early as 1946, television experts who were friends in the Ettlinger Kreis around Rolf Möller and Rudolf Urtel were working on a new standard proposal that contained essential details such as 625 lines, 25 image changes per second, interline, negative modulation and sync pulse sequence and which already took pan-European conditions into account.

When the ban on operating in the television field was lifted in 1949, a new, more suitable location was found in Darmstadt , mainly because the Central Telecommunications Office of the Federal Post Office and a technical university were located there. In the autumn of 1949, work began with 50 employees in a cleared barracks.

In March 1950 the first film scanner in the flying spot system was delivered to the NWDR ; it already showed the characteristics of all devices built in the following: light splitting by double optics, continuous film advance by means of a precision drive developed from the Bauer B8 projector and photocells with secondary electron amplifier.

At Christmas 1952, with the approval of the Allies, regular television operations could be resumed in the Federal Republic. In the meantime, Fernseh GmbH had specialized entirely in the development and manufacture of recording and studio equipment and had entrusted the construction of receivers to another Bosch subsidiary - Blaupunkt.

In 1953 a new generation of KIA cameras with a trickle iconoscope or KOA with Orthicon was introduced.

In studio circles , the company was soon known colloquially as Fese after its telex code ; In 1954 it moved to the Danat Bank building with 420 employees .

Color television system technology

Quadruplex BCM 40, around 1970
Color television camera KCK-40, 1978

Attempts to introduce color television began in the early 1960s ; The television company supplied the equipment for the color television test laboratory of the WDR under the direction of Franz Josef In der Smitten . At first there was strong competition between the color television systems PAL and SECAM . Finally, despite the technical superiority of the PAL system, SECAM was introduced in France and the Eastern Bloc countries for reasons of industrial policy ; the resulting need for transcoders was met by television.

In 1967 the first color-capable transistorized recording systems of the type BCM 40 could be delivered to the Saarländischer Rundfunk .

The technology required for the production of color television broadcasts in the PAL standard for television studios and broadcast vehicles was mainly developed in Germany by Fernseh GmbH. Helmut Schönfelder's laboratory and its employees were in charge of this. Basic research on color television, the development of corresponding devices and finally the miniaturization of cameras and recording devices into portable reporting units led the company to international significance.

In the first years of color television in Germany, the Fernseh GmbH was working to full capacity with the production of equipment.

The company, renamed Robert Bosch Fernsehanlagen GmbH , employed more than 2000 people in 1972, nearly 500 of them in research and development.

Decline since the 1980s

In view of the increasing competition from overseas, Broadcast Television Systems (BTS) was founded in Breda in 1986 as a merger of Robert Bosch Fernsehanlagen and the studio equipment division of the Dutch company Philips n. V. After the economic situation in the sector had not improved, Bosch sold all shares in Philips in 1993; After numerous departments have been spun off, what is now Philips Broadcast Television Systems GmbH was relocated from its headquarters in Darmstadt's Weststadt to an industrial site in nearby Weiterstadt . At the turn of the millennium, around 70 copies of the world's best digital HDTV digital recorder, the DCH 6024 “Voodoo”, were still being produced, but this was unable to establish itself due to poor marketing. In 2001, Philips also parted with its broadcast division and sold BTS with the remaining 460 employees to the French company Thomson Multimedia . After acquiring the Grass Valley Group in 2002, this dominated the shrinking world market for a short time.

Niche business in the 21st century

DCR-6000 D6 HDTV Digital Recorder, also known as Voodoo , 1999

At the preliminary end of the wave of consolidation, the activities of the former Bosch company were transferred to two successor companies:

Digital Film Technology

Spirit Datacine 4K, 2007

DFT Digital Film Technology is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Prasad Corporation Ltd. It deals with the production of film scanners of the Scanity series and positions itself as a service provider for film archives and the like. a. in the field of film restoration .

In 2016, the Swiss manufacturer of film scanners Sondor , based in Zollikon, was taken over.

Grass Valley Germany

The Grass Valley Germany GmbH is a wholly owned subsidiary of Grass Valley Group. Weiterstadt is still a development location and broadcast support center for the German-speaking area and Eastern Europe; there are also sales offices in the major German media cities.

The DD and XTen mixer series , which are widely used worldwide, are still being developed in Weiterstadt . 2007 of the was on the further development kayaking and ProAV mixer Indigo worked.

In addition, a large part of the Systems group is based in Weiterstadt, which plans and equips OB vans and studios.

During the Soccer World Cup 2006 , Grass Valley implemented the technical production of all international images for Host Broadcast Services with seven HD OB vehicles and almost 200 HD cameras of the types LDK6000 and LDK6200.

The HD OB vans and the slow-motion vans were largely equipped with video mixers, routers, modular and camera equipment from Grass Valley.

The Systems Group installed the master control rooms and video infrastructure of the International Broadcast Center in Munich within two months and provided the complete system service on site during the four weeks of the World Cup.

In February 2020 sold Belden - only since 2014 owner of the Grass Valley Group - the group whose sales had been halved to 350 million dollars, to the personnel with the editing software manufacturer Avid affiliated private equity -Unternehmen Black Dragon Capital.

Company names and employee development

  • 1929–1939: TV company , Berlin-Zehlendorf (3 employees)
  • 1939–1945: TV company , Berlin-Zehlendorf (140 employees)
  • 1943–1945: Farvis-GmbH , Obertannwald / Sudetengau (800 employees )
  • 1945–1949: TV company , Taufkirchen (Vils) (150 employees)
  • 1949–1972: Fernseh-GmbH , Darmstadt (420 employees)
  • 1972–1986: Robert Bosch Fernsehanlagen GmbH , Darmstadt (2000 employees)
  • 1986–1995: BTS Broadcast Television Systems (with Philips ) , Darmstadt
  • 1995–2001: Philips Broadcast Television Systems GmbH , Griesheim (460 employees)
  • 2001–2008: Thomson Broadcast & Media Solutions , Weiterstadt
  • 2008–2012: Precision Mechatronics , Weiterstadt
  • since 2010: Grass Valley Germany , Weiterstadt (300 employees)
  • since 2012: DFT Digital Film Technology , Darmstadt-Arheilgen

Products (selection)

Bosch 1-inch MAZ BCN 51, 1982
  • 1930: Mechanical television receiver television 30
  • 1934: OB van based on the intermediate film process
  • 1935: TV table receiver with a Braunschweig tube for 180 lines
  • 1938: Small receiver DE 7 as a model for the television unit receiver E1
  • 1939: TV receiver DE 8 R
  • 1940–1944: Tonne / Seedorf camera-receiver combination for the Henschel Hs 293
  • 1946–1949: Farvi measuring and testing devices
  • 1953: Orthicon studio camera KOA
  • 1956: Light point scanner FAt / FVs 3
  • 1963: Color slide transfer system DC 21 15 A
  • 1963: BM 20 quadruplex systems equipped with tubes with RCA licenses for ZDF and Süddeutscher Rundfunk .
  • 1963: Color slide transfer system DC 21 15 A
  • 1963: 4.5-inch Superorthikon camera K4 OK 9B
  • 1967–1990: KC color camera series
  • 1972: Equipment of the transmission technology for the 1972 Summer Olympics
  • 1974: 1-inch tape machine BCN 40/50
  • 1979: 1-inch BCR tape machine
  • 1979: FDL-60, the world's first film scanner with a CCD sensor
  • 1986: BTS digital video recorder DCR 500 according to the D-1 standard , the first worldwide standard for digital video recording on magnetic tape
  • 1987: HDTV color camera KCH 1000
  • 1996: Spirit Datacine (joint project with Kodak ).
  • 2006: Master control rooms and video infrastructure of the International Broadcast Center in Munich
  • 2009: Scanity film scanner


  • 10 years of Fernseh AG In: In- house communications from the research and operation of the Fernseh AG . Issue 4/1939 ( digitized version )
  • Gerhart Goebel: Television in Germany until 1945
  • Frithjof Rudert: 50 years of television 1929–1979. In: Bosch Technical Reports. Issue 5-6 / 1979

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ The television-speech connection Berlin - Leipzig . In: Funk - Die Zeitschrift des Funkwesens . Issue 6/1936 ( digitized version )
  2. ^ Johannes Schunack: The television recording devices of the EIAR in Rome . In: In- house communications from research and operations at the television company . Issue 2/1939 ( digitized version )
  3. TV transmission with 1029 lines
  4. ^ History of television in the CSSR - The German legacy after World War II
  5. a b Top Secret - The Arnstadt TV Development
  6. Farvimeter TV GmbH
  7. The Farvi tube tester
  8. Farvi tester - an ideal tube measuring device . In: Funktechnik Heft 13/1949 ( digitized version )
  9. Farvigraph - A new Universaloszillograf . ( Digitized version )
  10. a b Historical color television test laboratory of the WDR
  11. Christian Bönisch: color television test laboratory
  12. Helmut Schönfelder: Television technology in transition . Springer, Berlin and Heidelberg 1996
  13. Fese heyday 1972
  14. The story of the technology passing by
  15. DFT acqires Sondor
  16. Black Dragon Capital takes over Grass Valley
  17. Mechanical TV television AG
  18. Electronic TV television AG
  19. Frithjof Rudert: The small television receiver DE 7 . In: In- house communications from research and operations at the television company . Issue 2/1938 ( digitized version )
  20. ^ television receiver DE 8 R
  21. TV studio camera KOA
  22. Bergische Universität Wuppertal, historical television laboratory: FAt / FVs 3
  23. Bergische Universität Wuppertal, historical television laboratory: color slide transmission system DC 21 15 A
  24. Bergische Universität Wuppertal, historical television laboratory: K4 OK 9B
  25. 1972 Olympics
  26. Bergische Universität Wuppertal, historical television laboratory: HDTV color camera KCH 1000
  27. The BTS / Fese KCH 1000 - the last camera from Germany
  28. DFT's SCANITY Audio Option Datasheet