HE is a wise author who knows his own reader; he is a daring author who writes for more than one reader. The first public demonstrations of high-definition television will have rekindled the enthusiasm of the three main classes of potential televiewer, and these enthusiasts will turn to such books as those now before us for some guidance on how television works. On the criteria suggested, Baron von Ardenne is the wisest, Mr. Barton Chappie the most heroic, of our three authors. Mr. Barton Chappie writes for “the public”, Mr. Scroggie, in an attractive preface, explains that he has tried to provide “a fairly comprehensive and unpadded survey for [the wireless amateur] without being unintelligibly concentrated for [the non-technical public]; so that neither is the one exasperated nor the other bewildered”. Baron von Ardenne, with his more-than-translator and almost co-author Mr. Puckle, address themselves to the advanced amateur and the engineer. Mr. Scroggie's via media proves itself tvtissima and his book can be recommended to the “wireless amateur who is already familiar with ordinary broadcasting”—and the class is an amazingly large one—as a clear well-balanced account of the present state and immediate possibilities of television, with a sufficient glance at the obsolescent, and a fair-minded scrutiny of the up-to-date. Mr. Barton Chappie does not wholly succeed in his difficult task of speaking to the non-technical public without going beyond its limited vocabulary; there are points at which he probably leaves it bewildered by dropping unconsciously back into the familiar jargon of the wireless amateur and engineer. His book is a good one, but he could make it better in its next edition by forgetting the wireless amateur and writing for one intelligent middle-aged lady who would like to know how she is to see the coronation next year from Croydon.
(1) Television Reception:
Construction and Operation of a Cathode Ray Tube Receiver for the Reception of Ultra-Short Wave Television Broadcasting. By Manfred von Ardenne. Translated by O. S. Puckle. Pp. xv + 121 + 43 plates. (London: Chapman and Hall, Ltd., 1936.) 10s. 6d. net.
(2) Popular Television:
Up-to-date Principles and Practice explained in Simple Language. By H. J. Barton Chapple. Pp. xiii + 112. (London: Sir Isaac Pitman and Sons, Ltd., 1935.) 2s. 6d. net.
By M. G. Scroggie. (Blackie's ” Technique” Series.). Pp. ix + 68 + 7 plates. (London and Glasgow: Blackie and Son, Ltd., 1935.) 3s. 6d. net.
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