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How It Was: Watching the test card on TV

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Max The Magnificent
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re: How It Was: Watching the test card on TV
Max The Magnificent   1/30/2012 8:51:53 PM
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Something else I remember is that, following the last news program at 10:00pm (or was it 9:00pm? ... I was in bed by then), just before they stopped broadcasting for the night, the TV company would play the National Anthem, and all of the adults would stand up for it. Someone told me that they used to do this in America also. Actually, now I come to think about it, they used to play the National Anthem at the cinema (movie theater) before the start of the films -- once again everyone would stand up for it...

Max The Magnificent
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re: How It Was: Watching the test card on TV
Max The Magnificent   1/30/2012 8:54:46 PM
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Hey, I meant to ask -- do you like my sketch of the old TV and test card?

David Ashton
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re: How It Was: Watching the test card on TV
David Ashton   1/30/2012 9:14:39 PM
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Not bad Max....but don't give up your day job just yet.....

SteveD_Aus
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re: How It Was: Watching the test card on TV
SteveD_Aus   1/30/2012 9:33:49 PM
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What surprises me is that your BBC test pattern is different to the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Commission)one that we had. The style of your TV also caught my eye, although the picture is a lot more square than I remember. Some of those TVs had a square flat pane of glass in front of a decidedly un-square picture tube. My cousin once pulled the internals out of an old B&W TV to make an impressive two-story mouse house behind that glass pane.

Duane Benson
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re: How It Was: Watching the test card on TV
Duane Benson   1/30/2012 9:37:03 PM
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Depending on the channel, our stations would stop broadcasting some time from 10:00pm (for PBS) to midnight or perhaps 2:00am. The stations would typically play the national anthem. We wouldn't stand though. I think you only do that in public in America. After the anthem some channels would go to the test pattern and others to static. I recall what looked more like an electronically generated pattern than a physical card. On weekends some of the stations would stay on later playing such SciFi classics as "Them", "The Day The Earth Stood Still" and "The Monolith Monsters." I think the stations typically started broadcasting again at 5:00 or 6:00am, but I wasn't up that early to know for sure.

zeeglen
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re: How It Was: Watching the test card on TV
zeeglen   1/30/2012 10:54:16 PM
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In North America we had the "Indian Head" test pattern seen here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Head_test_card The circle allowed TV receiver adjustments of vertical height and linearity, the better TVs had separate linearity controls for the top and bottom of the screen. Some even had horizontal width adjustment. With the advent of colour TV the shop convergence test generator replaced this broadcast test pattern. I remember the Canadian national anthem at the beginning of every Saturday afternoon cinema, we all stood proudly to watch the coast-to-coast flyover. Then the newsreel, cartoon, serial, finally the movie. When we eventually moved to an area that had broadcast TV available there were only 2 English channels (CBC and CTV), the French CBC, and a snowy channel from just over the USA border. One needed a high mast and high gain rooftop antenna for the American station and had to have the good fortune of no metallic structures in the line of sight. And remember how an aircraft flying overhead or a Ford going down the street would raise all sorts of havoc with the reception?

cjgtrnj
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re: How It Was: Watching the test card on TV
cjgtrnj   1/31/2012 11:03:28 AM
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I have an American test pattern board in my closet from when we were doing amateur tv in the Bronx NYC in the 70's those were the days. 7 tv stations, off at midnight with Quality programming. The old saying when they has mystery programs on the radio, radio is for people with minds, TV is for people who are mindless. You could close your eyes listening to some programs on the radio and envision the whole scenario. not any more ....

agk
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re: How It Was: Watching the test card on TV
agk   1/31/2012 1:06:11 PM
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these test patterns were sent to test overall performance of the video communication systems.Nowadays we do not receive these test patterns and we do not know how good is our televisions with respect to linearity,picture size,aspect ratio,bandwidth etc.

old account Frank Eory
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re: How It Was: Watching the test card on TV
old account Frank Eory   1/31/2012 3:27:52 PM
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I remember the late night sign-offs, particularly fighter jets flying overhead while the national anthem played. Here's a guy who made a website aggregating a broad collection of various sign-offs from TV stations across the U.S. -- http://www.tv-signoffs.com/

Pricey
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re: How It Was: Watching the test card on TV
Pricey   2/2/2012 9:27:25 AM
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I remember the BBC one having a little girl in the centre circle drawing on a blackboard I think the Test Card was accompanied by music and the high pitched whistle accompanied a grey fizzing screen when no picture was transmitted at all

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