(When you hit play, you'll start at 5:23 just before the vision and audio scrambling become apparent).
I understand that this was a special Videocrypt variant produced for the BBC Select service as supposedly Videocrypt I (one) could not handle "ghosting" well that terrestrial analogue signals can be quite prone to. I wonder if this was the same variant of Videocrypt used by Sky (no full-blooded relation) in New Zealand for their terrestrial service or did they use VC I?
I think the "scrambled" BBC Select service lasted just over a year for whatever reason - maybe the uptake among professionals that the programming was aimed at was very poor. From memory they definitely did continue with a service promoted as BBC Select in FTA form in around 1993-95 before it morphed into The Learning Zone, later BBC Learning Zone.
I've never seen one of those "Selector" boxes myself. Some cynics might suggest that the scrambling of the BBC Select service was intended to be a precursor to an eventual change to fully scrambling BBC1 & BBC2 TV output changing from a licence fee model to a subscription service. Equally cynical might be the case that some within the BBC wanted the scrambled BBC Select service to fail so as to put the brakes on any attempt of doing the former.
It appears that the BBC were experimenting with analogue scrambling systems in the years leading up to the launch of BBC Select - this is a clip from YouTube of an apparent BBC Engineering test in the autumn of 1987 shown after closedown. Looking at the way the picture is scrambled I'm certain that it's Discret being used here.
Yeah, very interesting seeing these tests and it does look like Discret here. You could actually watch this and your eyes would adjust - it's after watching and looking at the real world when it would all become scrambled!
This YouBoob video suggests that Sky NZ used plain old cut/rotate Videocrypt...
There must be something wrong with me, I've always been fascinated by scrambled/encrypted TV, when I had my old Salora Analogue system back in the late 80s early 90s I used to sit there watching scrambled images and could almost make out what things were, then the satisfaction of clearing those scrambled images with various methods lol.
Did this decoder ever actually exist, I've never seen one anywhere. I do remember the broadcasts late at night, before they encrypted the programme there was a short advertisement explaining about the select service and I think the idea was to record it to watch at a more reasonable hour. Seemed very short lived.
Interesting stuff you have done there with the HackRF, subscribed.
I haven't seen this personally, looks an interesting doc. And it has an actual picture of the "Select Decoder", cheers for sharing. I'm going to find some other reports on that BBC site, I would like to read up on NICAM and stuff.
I still have it and would be happy to part with it. I have no idea if it works, my wife bought it at an auction over 15 years ago thinking it was a satellite receiver. It has been in an outbuilding since then and I came across it today when having a clear out. I’m unwilling to even plug it in as it might be damp and is certainly very dusty inside, I gave the outside a quick dust.
I googled it and stumbled across SatsUK thus the post. I’m guessing it’s a bit of a collector’s item and have no idea of the value, what do you suggest?