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Did the BBC 2 Test Card ever have the 1986 "TWO" ident?

JA
james-2001 Central (East) East Midlands Today

That's an unusually short period of black and GLITS. BBC One typically ran black + tone for 10 mins, before shortening it to 2 mins in later years. Was this clip edited by any chance?


No, that's exactly how it is on the tape!
MM
MMcG198 UTV Newsline

That's an unusually short period of black and GLITS. BBC One typically ran black + tone for 10 mins, before shortening it to 2 mins in later years. Was this clip edited by any chance?


No, that's exactly how it is on the tape!


Interesting. Pres must've been itching to get home that night! The BBC used to be very particular about these routines - but as I've found with lots of pres-related material that has materialised online, there have been many little exceptions to various procedures/rules over the years.
MM
MMcG198 UTV Newsline
Also discovered this video I had which I recorded after a Learning Zone weekend closedown in 1998. The tone on the Test Card sounds incredibly strange, so after a while they replace it with music until they've fixed the tone generator, and there's around a minute where the tone plays under the music:





That sounds like BBC One 1KHz and BBC Two 440Hz tone playing out together.

When they stopped shutting down BBC Two transmitters at night, they put out TCF + tone overnight. Later in 1998, they started showing Pages from Ceefax + tone overnight (when LZ wasn't on). It was a while before music accompanied nighttime Ceefax.
BU
buster London London
I always liked that by the time Pages from Ceefax ended, with it filling all closedown hours and the Learning Zone massively cut back, it was actually on air far more each week than it was in the 90s and possibly even some of the 80s!
MM
MMcG198 UTV Newsline
I always liked that by the time Pages from Ceefax ended, with it filling all closedown hours and the Learning Zone massively cut back, it was actually on air far more each week than it was in the 90s and possibly even some of the 80s!


I think 1985 still holds the record for longest uninterrupted Pages from Ceefax (though there may even have been some occasions where the first programme was 5.35pm):



RW
Robert Williams Founding member London London
I think 1985 still holds the record for longest uninterrupted Pages from Ceefax (though there may even have been some occasions where the first programme was 5.35pm)


There was indeed, this is an example from January 1984: https://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/schedules/bbctwo/england/1984-01-09

It was the removal of BBC2's only year-round daytime programme, Play School, to BBC1 in September 1983 that cleared the way for these long stretches of Ceefax.
MA
Markymark Meridian (Thames Valley) South Today
Here's the closedown in question, 17th April 1993 according to what I named the file:



Suprised how little test card there is, if my grandparents had set the timer to stop recording one minute sooner, there wouldn't have been any recorded!

I always wish I could have been just a few years older so I could have properly experienced a lot of interesting stuff that happened during downtime first hand (and been able to make my own recordings). It's one of the aspects of TV pres that interests me the most. By the time I was old enough to have been able to get up early enough to see anything (without being ushered back to bed), all we got was around 15 minutes of testcard and tone before Ceefax, and even that ended with in a few years. Still JUST about old enough to remember getting up on weekend mornings and both BBC1 and 2 were off air and showing static, suprising how long BBC channels weren't coming on air at weekends until 7-8AM lasted looking back at it. Reading about all the various test cards, music, ceefax/Oracle, engineering announcements, OU broadcasts, BBC Select, encryption tests, PALPlus tests and other odd stuff that went out in downtime has always fascinated me.


I believe one set of PALPlus tests were simulcast overnight on BBC 2 and C4, to compare how the transmitters would cope with the 'below black' video signals. The BBC concluded not to press on with PAL+ because many of their transmitters didn't cope too well, C4 did press on, because they only had two different models of Tx in use, and both required minimal modification. C4 also from 1993 used component digital distribution, that effectively moved the PAL coders to the transmitters, so each main transmitter had to be equipped with PAL+ coders. I'm not sure how the BBC proposed to get PAL+ on the air ?
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Avatar credit: © BBC, ITA, BREMA 1967
JA
james-2001 Central (East) East Midlands Today
There's a recording of the BBC's PALPlus test here (though whoever uploaded it has labelled it as being for BBC Select encryption for some reason)



There is a recording of encryption testing as well though, seemingly using a load of random footage from the 70s:

DE88, Matt7924 and Markymark gave kudos
MA
Matt7924 Central (West) Midlands Today
I'm sure that's not what I remember seeing, would that programme even still have been repeated by the early 90s? Though I know OU programmes were repeated for years, so it's possible. I'm just guessing my mind's fabricated something I never actually saw.


I know the feeling. YouTube has been great for examples of bonafide presentation material. But there's also nuisance value with some "mocks" that aren't an accurate representation of reality - and sometimes these images linger in our minds and confuse us.

But, from my own archive, there was no alternative version to the stripy 'BBC2' logo on that channel's test card, from Mar 1986 - Feb 1991, that I've ever seen. Nor have I ever seen anything different transmitted live. That's not to say a different version didn't ever air - but if it did, I can only surmise that it would've been short-term or a one-off.


The BBC1 Test Card was updated with the COW's logo in around 1989. I find it strange that they would not have also done the BBC2 version at the same time. I'm sure I remember seeing such a version at the time, although maybe I'm mixing it up with the OU symbol which had a monochrome version of the TWO.


I had no idea the BBC 1 test card didn't have the COW's logo until around 1989, I never remember the stripey BBC 1 logo on it at all.
MA
Matt7924 Central (West) Midlands Today
There's a recording of the BBC's PALPlus test here (though whoever uploaded it has labelled it as being for BBC Select encryption for some reason)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRFAFsEg0MI

There is a recording of encryption testing as well though, seemingly using a load of random footage from the 70s:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89fW2gum-B0


I have seen these tests a few years ago and I remember all the odd test patterns in the first one, including the image of two planets. I remember seeing a message on an old site years ago (MHP?) where someone had once seen a test pattern with spheres in the early hours, I think there is something like it in this test.
RO
robertclark125 Central Reporting Scotland
I've seen on a couple of sites, such as 625.uk.com there is a TCF with the TWO lettering on it. However, it's clearly a mock. I've never seen it for real, just the stripey BBC2 during the "TWO" era. That's not to say there wasn't one; it may have not looked right, and they reverted back to the stripey BBC2 logo.

The only other theory I can give is, every BBC test card from C onwards has always had BBC on it, either BBC1, BBC2, BBC2 Colour, or BBC tv. TCJ and W have just BBC on them. Perhaps that's why there wasn't a TCF wth TWO on it; it didn't have BBC, and putting BBC on TCF with the TWO logo wouldn't look right.
MM
MMcG198 UTV Newsline
I had no idea the BBC 1 test card didn't have the COW's logo until around 1989, I never remember the stripey BBC 1 logo on it at all.


That date is inaccurate. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the COW 'BBC1' logo was on the test card from 1985. The earliest recording I have to hand is May 1985. The earliest sighting of the COW logo on TCF that we are aware of - early April 1985.

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