Here are some interesting notes and trivia about the inaugural MTV broadcast, as well as this remastered version.
=== Blatant screw-ups during the broadcast:
(00;30;25;28) About 15 seconds of “Take it on the Run” play and then the video goes blank and there is a tone. Engineers quickly started playing a prerecorded bumper to compensate.
(01;36;49;28) Fades to Robert Palmer’s “Looking for clues”, then fades back to the VJ by mistake, then fades back to the video.
(01;47;41;03) Rod Stewart can be heard, but the video is completely blank. Engineers stop the video after 10 seconds and go to the next one.
(02;01;37;01) Pat Benatar’s “I’m gonna follow you” starts nearly 15 seconds into the video.
=== Blatant screw-ups in this reconstruction:
At 02;51;50;15, the tape I had access to was damaged and there is a dropout and picture corruption that lasts about five seconds.
The right audio track on the tape I had access to was either damaged in storage or improperly recorded. As a result, the left audio track constitutes the majority audio presence. This is not normally a problem as all of the studios and commercial audio was mono in nature and roughly half of all music videos that broadcast day was mono as well. The only time this is a real problem is during some of the MTV reports, where you can’t make out what someone is saying because the majority of their audio was on the right channel. To try to compensate for this, I’ve included an additional audio track where the music for the videos came from stereo sources, perfectly synced to the video.
The only footage I did not have access to is a complete version of RupertHine’s “Surface Tension” video. What I have is there, and then for the missing piece I had to use a VH1 Classics rebroadcast that someone had uploaded to the web. This section is clearly introduced as not original footage, and there is a VH1C logo and timecode overlaid on it, so there is no mistaking it as the original.
The first 48 minutes of footage is from a 3rd-generation copy; after that, it is all 2nd generation taken from a umatic cassette. This is why the video quality is sub-optimal for the first 48 minutes, and then gets better (in the middle of the Split Enz video, right where we leave the two “thugs”).
The enhanced stereo track was the result of a reasonable effort — if stereo sources were easily obtainable, they went on the track. If they were very difficult and/or costly to obtain (such as ordering a $40 rare promo LP from another country and then trying to find someone local with a record player), I did not go through the effort. As a result, the following videos do not have enhanced stereo audio: