Well, let me see if I can answer these in order:
1. Quite nice-- and they're streets ahead of the previous releases, in terms of both video AND audio... I think even some of the old-timers will be pleasantly surprised at the sound quality-- especially since there are few surprises I've thrown in here and there. The motion is fluid and lifelike and overall the impression is of a much more **involving** viewing experience. It doesn't take too much effort to feel as though you really **are** there, watching these shows as they aired live.
2. I'm told that CBS took delivery of their first Ampex Mark IV machines in early November of 1956 (their first confirmed on-air use was 11/30/56), so there's no chance that the first two Sullivan shows were ever taped by the network. It's **possible** that the 1/57 show might have taped for a delayed West Coast broadcast, but even if it was, the videotape does not appear to have survived. Tape stock was expensive and hard-to-get in the early days of the format, so tapes were almost always re-used immediately.
3. That is indeed how a kinescopes were made, though the film camera was specially synchronized, and the television monitor's tube had an exceptionally bright output. As to the source materials for this project, I worked with transfers of the best exisiting films in the Sullivan archives... and others, as it turned out. But without having seen the actual reels used, I wouldn't want to speculate on what was transferred from true 1st generation prints.
4. Actually, due to a variety of factors, there's a lot less of the line structure evident than you might think, otherwise, you'd see moire patterning in the transfers a lot more often. By and large, however, LiveFeed eliminates this artifacting.
As to curvilinear distortion, surprisingly, that isn't **always** introduced by the kinescoping process-- as it happens, I have a few dubs of vintage tapes that display this effect as the signal comes right off the video camera. Although LiveFeed itself doesn't address the effect, if it's severe enough, there are other methods that can be used to reverse the image distortion.
All told, sessions for the remastering took up varying lengths of time from March until early June.
Hope that answers things satisfactorily!
Last edited by General Sarnoff on Sun Oct 08, 2006 12:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.