Friday, April 25, 2008

BBC Test Card F

Information straight from WIkipedia:

Test Card F is a test card that was created by the BBC and used on television in the United Kingdom and in countries elsewhere in the world for more than four decades. Like other test cards, it was usually shown while no programmes were being broadcast, but was the first to be transmitted in colour in the UK and the first to feature a person,[1] and has become an iconic British image and is regularly subject to parody.

The central image on the card shows an eight-year-old girl, Carole Hersee, playing noughts and crosses with a clown doll Bubbles the Clown, surrounded by various greyscales and colour test signals needed to ensure a correct picture. It was first broadcast on 2nd July 1967 (the day after the first colour pictures appeared to the public on television) on BBC2.

The card was developed by a BBC engineer, George Hersee, father of Carole Hersee, the girl in the central image. It was frequently broadcast during downtime on BBC1 until that channel went fully 24 hours in 1997, and on BBC Two until its downtime was replaced entirely by Pages from Ceefax in 1998, after which it was only seen during engineering work, and was last seen in this role in 1999. Test Card J and Test Card W, which are digitally enhanced and widescreen versions respectively, have replaced it, although they are very infrequently broadcast due to the fact that the BBC now broadcasts BBC News and Ceefax pages on its terrestrial channels during downtime.

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