[Tig] The Rank Cintel Mk III Telecine: 1975 - 2015

Terry Knight terryknightpc at hotmail.com
Sat Dec 27 09:00:44 GMT 2014

Hello chaps, in a few days time we'll be celebrating 40 years of the iconic Rank Cintel MkIII: 1975 to 2015.

A fine design incorporating precise correction circuits for perfect geometry, pincushion, scan linearity, afterglow, shading, burn, gamma, aperture, shrinkage, inter-dye crosstalk and flare, producing "the best picture of all time, the best sound around".

More than 900 were built, we sold them all round the world.  The initial one went to London Weekend Television, a station which, uniquely, only broadcast on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with great shows like On The Buses and Cilla Black's Blind Date.

Some of the ungrateful chaps at LWT had the audacity to place a white elephant on top of that first MkIII, but the fact is that that first machine was well used, sending out entertainment to the nation's homes every weekend in the days when there were only three TV channels.

Someone said to me "Rank Cintel makes telecines"; I said "no, Rank Cintel doesn't make telecines, Rank Cintel makes money."  And the money rolled in as we ramped up production, making two, three or four a week, selling them all round the world thanks to our excellent team of marketing experts and slick advertising.  Add to that the success of the TOPSY computer grading system and, slightly later, AMIGO, another winner.

Of course all this money encouraged greed and envy.  Third party after-market products appeared from unprofessional back street operations and deranged hobbyists, first a trickle then a torrent.  Our engineers examined these: we advised you not to waste your money on this useless tat, invalidating your warranty and jeopardizing your service agreement.  You didn't need alternative shading circuit boards, colour grading devices, steadygates, etc, etc.  It was so sad to see our machines vandalised.

We had more than 300 employees with all sorts of skills from Design Engineers and Coil Winders to Recruitment Officers and Canteen Ladies: all of them part of the happy Rank Cintel family in Ware.  Staff benefits were generous: free life insurance, a comprehensive pension scheme, free parking and subsidized holidays at Butlins.

In 2015 you'll be able to visit Rank Cintel again when the Asda supermarket opens in Watton Road, Ware: money-making will resume, bringing employment and prosperity to the local economy.  Dial 0920 3939, 8.45am to 5pm, (4.30 on Fridays).

Rank Precision Industries
Part of the Rank Organisation plc


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