New Tech for Old Stories

TV's Hidden Home Graphic

The Transmitter Hall was the nerve centre of the BBC studios, where cutting edge technology broadcast out the latest entertainment. Inspired by this legacy of innovation, come and experiment with emerging immersive and interactive devices and explore our fascinating stories.

We have been working with inspiring partners who are developing the next evolutionary leaps in entertainment technology. This is your chance to help us perfect our work by playing with our experiments so far.

Throughout the day our Curator will be joined by our partners to discuss how the projects were created, exciting current developments in technologies and the significance Alexandra Palace plays as a site to promote innovation.

Past and Present collide with Augmented Reality

What did those first television viewers see in 1936? How did the new technology work? Use Microsoft Hololens to explore a hologram augmented vintage television, see inside, watch early programmes and hear from those who were there.

Step back in time with Virtual Reality

Don a Samsung Gear VR headset and step back in time. Discover Victorian dining rooms when the Palace first opened then jump through time to see them transformed into the state of the art Baird Television Company studios. Use mobile AR to get up close to lost technology. This has been developed in partnership with the University of Westminster.

Stage Machinery

Explore the Theatre’s stage machinery in 3D

Within Alexandra’s Palace’s soon-to-be-opened Theatre lies one of the best surviving examples of Victorian stage machinery in the world. Originally designed to make the actors disappear and fly, creating spectacle and wonder, we have scanned the complex maze of frames and lifts to understand the design and how the machinery may have worked. With the space still inaccessible these cutting edge 3D scans, produced in partnership with Lincoln Conservation, allow us inside this amazing space. You can also bring along an object and see laser scanning in action.

Tour the birthplace of Television

As part of the landmark Civilisations Festival, Alexandra Palace partnered with BBC Research & Development to create ‘Television’s Hidden Home’. An interactive Virtual Reality tour through the historic spaces, the spiritual home of BBC R&D that saw decades of experiments develop television as we know it today. The spaces come alive with archive images, sound and footage.