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

MM
MMcG198 UTV Newsline
The logo/ident might have been held in an EPROM, it's possible too much memory was required for the actual fonts for the COW and TWO logos (initially!)


Per the original BBC Engineering article about electronic TCF: "Captions for network identification will be added to the complete test card from separate integral digital generators so that the one equipment will deliver several differently annotated outputs, all of which are coded PAL. The first equipment is expected to be in service by mid-1983."

Mid-1983 obviously became mid-1984.
SP
Steve in Pudsey Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
The logo/ident might have been held in an EPROM, it's possible too much memory was required for the actual fonts for the COW and TWO logos (initially!)

I know when the C4 ETP1 at Crystal Palace was fired up on DSO night for one final appearance the chaps simply yanked out the EPROM that held the NTL:C4 ident


That leads us to this anecdote:

Quote:
In the mid 1970's, before I joined Comms Department, I was working in the old Cardiff Switching Centre. I used to like to fix bits of kit when I wasn't busy. I was asked to see if I could get an old BBC-designed caption generator/inserter to work. It was used to insert a 'BBC WALES' caption onto our test card. (We used the test card for 'trade test' transmissions in Wales on certain afternoons when the schedule called for certain Network programmes not to be broadcast in Wales). Whilst fixing this item, I discovered that certain plug-in cards generated particular characters, and in particular, which card generated the 'W' of 'BBC WALES'. If the card was uplugged, the 'W' disappeared. I think I was bold enough once, to treat viewers in Wales to a few seconds of the 'BBC ALES' test card

Source: http://www.acdale.plus.com/ChrisD/Stories.html

Presumably that was Test Card G, but I don't think I've ever seen a BBC Wales branded version.
Write that down in your copybook now.
XI
Xilla Central
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.


This one?

Last edited by Xilla on 30 July 2020 1:36am
Matt7924 and james-2001 gave kudos
GE
thegeek Founding member London London
I'm sure I remember a version of TCF from the early 90s that was like the BBC1 and 2 ones, with with the OU logo in place of the 1 or 2. I've never seen any recordings of it though, and nobody else seems to recall it so possible it's a false memory.


This was used as part of a demo during an OU programme:

https://youtu.be/cI9Oat-s1ds?t=166

If you skip to earlier in that clip, a version appears where they've blanked out the bottom box - perhaps to avoid showing the 'BBC tv' version in their programme (which is what can be seen on the in-vision monitor)
Avatar credit: SMPTE RP198
MA
Markymark Meridian (Thames Valley) South Today
The logo/ident might have been held in an EPROM, it's possible too much memory was required for the actual fonts for the COW and TWO logos (initially!)

I know when the C4 ETP1 at Crystal Palace was fired up on DSO night for one final appearance the chaps simply yanked out the EPROM that held the NTL:C4 ident


That leads us to this anecdote:

Quote:
In the mid 1970's, before I joined Comms Department, I was working in the old Cardiff Switching Centre. I used to like to fix bits of kit when I wasn't busy. I was asked to see if I could get an old BBC-designed caption generator/inserter to work. It was used to insert a 'BBC WALES' caption onto our test card. (We used the test card for 'trade test' transmissions in Wales on certain afternoons when the schedule called for certain Network programmes not to be broadcast in Wales). Whilst fixing this item, I discovered that certain plug-in cards generated particular characters, and in particular, which card generated the 'W' of 'BBC WALES'. If the card was uplugged, the 'W' disappeared. I think I was bold enough once, to treat viewers in Wales to a few seconds of the 'BBC ALES' test card

Source: http://www.acdale.plus.com/ChrisD/Stories.html

Presumably that was Test Card G, but I don't think I've ever seen a BBC Wales branded version.


And Test Card G was a BBC customised (the BBC stuck in an extra 5.25 MHz freq grating I think) version of the Philips/Pye PM5544

Here's the tech data sheet for the 1970s version
https://frank.pocnet.net/other/sos/Philips_PM5544_PM3400_Publication.pdf
--
Avatar credit: © BBC, ITA, BREMA 1967
Matt7924 and steveboswell gave kudos
JA
james-2001 Central (East) East Midlands Today
Xilla posted:
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.


This one?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gacqpI4Rnk


There's a video of what looks like the same test here, but with a burnt in time code and the encryption being switched on part way through:



That doll on the Antiques Roadshow clip is creepy at the best of times, but when it's accompanied by tone...
JA
james-2001 Central (East) East Midlands Today
Found another strange BBC engineering test. What looks like a clip from a late 80s/early 90s Blue Peter, a rapid flash of various test patterns, repeated over and over

:
TM
ToasterMan Granada North West Today
Does anyone know if TCF with the current BBC logo debuted on the day or after the new corporate branding was introduced? It was updated much more quickly unlike the channel logos on the electronic version introduced in 1984.

Another thing I'm curious about is why they went through the trouble of creating a Widescreen version of TCF in 1998, when it was going to be replaced by TCJ and TCW a year later.
MA
Matt7924 Central (West) Midlands Today
Xilla posted:
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.


This one?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gacqpI4Rnk

That looks like the one. I remember seeing it myself on youTube a few years ago, but someone must have managed to see it when it was first shown. I know the MHP site hasn't been updated for years.

I wonder when the BBC stopped using Test Card G? I can't remember ever seeing it in the late 80s and early 90s
RW
Robert Williams Founding member London London
I wonder when the BBC stopped using Test Card G? I can't remember ever seeing it in the late 80s and early 90s

It randomly turned up on BBC Parliament one Saturday afternoon in 2003 as I reported here: https://tvforum.uk/tvhome/bbc-parliament-6210
MA
Markymark Meridian (Thames Valley) South Today
Xilla posted:

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.


This one?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gacqpI4Rnk

That looks like the one. I remember seeing it myself on youTube a few years ago, but someone must have managed to see it when it was first shown. I know the MHP site hasn't been updated for years.

I wonder when the BBC stopped using Test Card G? I can't remember ever seeing it in the late 80s and early 90s


Were the BBC nations supplied with electronic TCF generators? If so there was probably little need for G from that point, either in London, or in the nations?

LWT used to use a vanilla PM5544 after closedown in the 80s, I don't think any other ITV company did, it was either colour bars or black?
--
Avatar credit: © BBC, ITA, BREMA 1967
TM
ToasterMan Granada North West Today
Also better post these while I've got the chance, what I believe to be one of the last regular uses of TCF on BBC Two, from the dawn of New Year's Day 1999...


And from the following Monday, one of the first times Pages from Ceefax ran throughout the whole night, with the tone previously accompanying TCF now being heard midway through Ceefax.

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