BBC News published a great feature today on the government funded broadcaster's cutting-edge developments into television back in 1936, trialing two rivaling standards in the same studio based in London's Alexandra Palace. Despite a break in broadcasting during World War II, the "Ally Pally" studio remained in use for another 50 years, playing home to news programming and the Open University until 1981. Most of the original structure is still there — it's the earliest surviving TV studio in the world.
The BBC's come on a long way since then, and now operates from studios around the country, with a major new facility recently opened in Salford Quays near Manchester. It's also heavily investing in new technology and the web, with products like iPlayer now making their way to the US — we just wish it would have up to date episodes of shows like MasterChef.