SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

SECAM

SECAM written SÉCAM, is an analog color television system first used in France. It was one of three major color television standards, the others being PAL and NTSC. All the countries using SECAM are in the process of conversion, or have converted to DVB, the new pan-European standard for digital television. SECAM remained a major standard into the 2000s; this page discusses the SECAM colour encoding system. The articles on broadcast television systems, analogue television further describe frame rates, image resolution and audio modulation; the standard spread from France to its former African colonies. The system was selected as the standard for color in the Soviet Union, who began broadcasts shortly after the French, remained in use in most of those countries that were once part of the Soviet Union. Development of SECAM began in 1956 by a team led by Henri de France working at Compagnie Française de Télévision; the technology was ready by the end of the 1950s. A version of SECAM for the French 819-line television standard was devised and tested, but not introduced.

Following a pan-European agreement to introduce color TV only in 625 lines, France had to start the conversion by switching over to a 625-line television standard, which happened at the beginning of the 1960s with the introduction of a second network. The first proposed system was called SECAM I in 1961, followed by other studies to improve compatibility and image quality; these improvements were called SECAM II and SECAM III, with the latter being presented at the 1965 CCIR General Assembly in Vienna. Further improvements were SECAM III A followed by SECAM III B, the adopted system for general use in 1967, first SECAM broadcast was made in France that year. Soviet technicians were involved in the development of the standard, created their own incompatible variant called NIIR or SECAM IV, not deployed; the team was working in Moscow's Telecentrum under the direction of Professor Shmakov. The NIIR designation comes from the name of the Nautchno-Issledovatelskiy Institut Radio, a Soviet research institute involved in the studies.

Two standards were developed: Non-linear NIIR, in which a process analogous to gamma correction is used, Linear NIIR or SECAM IV that omits this process. SECAM was inaugurated in France on 1 October 1967, on la deuxième chaîne, now called France 2. A group of four suited men—a presenter and three contributors to the system's development—were shown standing in a studio. Following a count from 10, at 2:15 pm the black-and-white image switched to color. In 1967, CLT of Lebanon became the third television station in the world, after the Soviet Union and France, to broadcast in color utilizing the French SECAM technology; the first color television sets cost 5000 Francs. Color TV was not popular initially. A year only 200,000 sets had been sold of an expected million; this pattern was similar to the earlier slow build-up of color television popularity in the US. SECAM was adopted by former French and Belgian colonies, Cyprus, the Soviet Union and Eastern bloc countries, Middle Eastern countries. However, with the fall of communism, following a period when multi-standard TV sets became a commodity, many Eastern European countries decided to switch to the German-developed PAL system.

Other countries, notably the United Kingdom and Italy experimented with SECAM before opting for PAL. Since late 2000s, SECAM is in the process of being phased out and replaced by DVB; some have argued that the primary motivation for the development of SECAM in France was to protect French television equipment manufacturers. However, incompatibility had started with the earlier unusual decision to adopt positive video modulation for French broadcast signals; the earlier systems System A & the 819-line systems were the only other systems to use positive video modulation. In addition, SECAM development predates PAL. NTSC was considered undesirable in Europe because of its tint problem requiring an additional control, which SECAM and PAL solved. Nonetheless, SECAM was developed for reasons of national pride. Henri de France's personal charisma and ambition may have been a contributing factor. PAL was developed by Telefunken, a German company, in the post-war De Gaulle era there would have been much political resistance to dropping a French-developed system and adopting a German-developed one instead.

Unlike some other manufacturers, the company where SECAM was invented, still sells TV sets worldwide under different brands. Thomson bought the company that developed PAL, today co-owns the RCA brand —RCA being the creator of NTSC. Thomson co-authored the ATSC standards which are used for American high-definition television; the adoption of SECAM in Eastern Europe has been attributed to Cold War political machinations. According to this explanation, East German political authorities were well aware of West German television's popularity and adopted SECAM rather than the PAL encoding used in West Germany; this did not hinder mutual reception in black & white, because the underlying TV standards remained the same in both parts of Germany. However, East Germans responded by buying PAL decoders for their SECAM sets

Édouard Stephan

Édouard Jean-Marie Stephan was a French astronomer. His surname is sometimes spelled Stéphan in some literature, but this is erroneous, he was born in Sainte Pezenne and attended the Ecole Normale Superieure, graduated at the top of his class in 1862. He was the director of the Marseille Observatory from 1864 to 1907. In the early part of his career there, he had limited opportunities to do observations because he was preoccupied with improving the observatory, he discovered the asteroid 89 Julia in 1866. In 1867 he used the new telescope to observe a transit of Mercury. Between 1870 and 1875, Stephan systematically studied nebulae recording their positions and discovering many new ones, his goal was to enable the exact measurement of stellar proper motions by creating a reference system of fixed objects. In 1873, Stephan was the first person to attempt to measure the angular diameter of a star using interferometry, converting the 80 cm telescope at Marseille Observatory into an interferometer.

He did this by obscuring the reflector with a mask containing two vertical slits. The star he chose to perform this experiment was Sirius, he did not succeed in resolving any stellar disks, but by 1874 had obtained an upper limit to stellar diameters of 0.158". In 1881 he discovered NGC 5, he discovered the galaxy NGC 6027 the following year using the 80 cm reflector. Among others, he discovered Stephan's Quintet known as "Arp 319", a group of five galaxies. Stephan made this discovery with the first telescope equipped with a reflection coated mirror. In 1884 the French Academy of Sciences awarded him the Valz Prize, his name is associated with the periodic comet 38P/Stephan-Oterma, although Jérôme Coggia saw it first. He became a Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur in 1868 and an Officier of the Légion d'honneur in 1879. JO 7 9

Polizeipräsidium Wuppertal

The Polizeipräsidium Wuppertal is a part of the North Rhine-Westphalia Police. The jurisdiction spans the cities of Wuppertal and Solingen. Head of authority is Leitender Polizeidirektor Georg Schulz; the Police headquarters has four subordinate departments: Direktion Gefahrenabwehr with 9 police stations in Wuppertal and Solingen, Bereitschaftspolizei and the police dog unit Direktion Kriminalität Direktion Verkehr Direktion Zentrale Aufgaben It was built between 1937 and 1939 and used by the local police and the Gestapo since August 1939. After World War II the Allied Military Government used the building as headquarters, in 1945 it was used by the Stadtrat, because the city hall in Wuppertal-Barmen was destroyed by area bombing in May 1943. German: Official page