The Electrical Contractor Network

ECN Electrical Forum
Discussion Forums for Electricians, Inspectors and Related Professionals

Books, Tools and Test Equipment for Electrical and Construction Trades

Register Now!

Register Now!

We want your input!

Featured:
   

2017 NEC and Related
2017 NEC
Now Available!

   
Recent Posts
Industrail Control Panel bonding per 409.108
by sparkyinak
Yesterday at 06:29 PM
Calling all Non-US members!! (Non-US only)
by aussie240
12/07/16 02:39 AM
Photo Upload Tutorial
by DanK
12/06/16 11:35 PM
Sprinklered equipment 26-008
by bigpapa
12/02/16 04:24 PM
On Delay Relay with Auto Reset
by Potseal
12/01/16 09:59 AM
New in the Gallery:
12.5A through 0.75mm˛ flex (just out of curiosity)
Shout Box

Top Posters (30 Days)
gfretwell 13
HotLine1 10
sparkyinak 9
Texas_Ranger 8
Trumpy 6
Who's Online
0 registered (), 184 Guests and 4 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#145544 - 06/05/06 03:05 AM Split: Television & Test Cards
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
Topic split from the This is rather strange thread.

Top
Test Equipment:

Large Selection of Test Equipment For Electrical, HVAC, Test & Measurement
Large Selection of Test Equipment For Electrical, HVAC, Test & Measurement

#145545 - 06/05/06 03:27 AM Re: Split: Television & Test Cards
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
Quote from aussie240:
 Quote:
Sadly, we haven't seen Test Card F here for about 20 years with 24hr broadcasting from all the commercial stations. Unfortunately our only remaining non 24hr broadcaster stopped using the Philips PM5544 pattern and replaced it with images off a weather satellite. Not much use for aligning your set! Just as well I made a 3hr recording of the Philips pattern before it was gone.


Test Card F has faded into oblivion here as well. A few years ago you could catch it for about 15 minutes some days around 5 or 6 a.m. before the breakfast shows started, but I think even that has gone now. BBC1 now relays the BBC News 24 program when not broadcasting itself, BBC2 has educational programs through the night, then if there is a little time to spare before the 6 a.m. start of the "next day," they show Ceefax pages. The independent companies have been 24-hours for a good few years (mostly garbage like never-ending phone-in quiz shows through the night).

The Philips pattern was used here alongside "F" in the 1970s, although it was by far the lesser-used pattern as far as broadcasting was concerned.

For those not familiar with what we're talking about, here is test card F, used in the U.K. from the introduction of color in 1967:



And here is the electronic Philips PM5544:



The IBA (Independent Broadcasting Authority)introduced its own electronically generated pattern in the early 1980s:



Fast forward to 1997 however, when the fifth network started here, and we were treated to this monstrosity of an ident pretending to be a test signal:


As somebody else said somewhere, it looks as though the engineers had been thrown out and some media "design" whizz-kid who had once seen proper color bars thought they looked "cool" and decided to design his own. Totally useless for alignment, of course, as the colors are meaningless.

Top
#145546 - 06/05/06 04:59 AM Re: Split: Television & Test Cards
Texas_Ranger Offline
Member

Registered: 12/17/01
Posts: 2343
Loc: Vienna, Austria
I remember the Philips card from some years ago. Definitely "the" Austrian test pattern.

Top
#145547 - 06/05/06 03:03 PM Re: Split: Television & Test Cards
djk Offline
Member

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 1269
Loc: Ireland
Channels broadcast 24/7 here in Ireland thesedays, but test cards were common right up until the mid 90s.

Here's a 1960s RTE card:


Reminding viewers to vote:



or go here for the entire history:
http://www.irish-tv.com/rtetests.asp

Or, for those of you with real player: http://www.irish-tv.com/closedown.rm
(little bit of irish stand-up comedy about RTE Closedown)

This was used during a power crisis in the 1960s:



There were some serious capacity issues on the power grid!! So, RTE broadcast messages from various local transmitter sites to encourage people to switch off!


How it looked through the 70s/80s/90s --- quite boringly the Philips test card:



or even more blandly:



[This message has been edited by djk (edited 06-05-2006).]

Top
#145548 - 06/05/06 03:22 PM Re: Split: Television & Test Cards
djk Offline
Member

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 1269
Loc: Ireland
Early RTE:


Early 60s - this card had test grids for 405 and 625 line services. Broadcast originated in 625 lines but was converted to 405 lines in some areas as many people had UK-specified TVs (405 lines) from the 1950s early 60s and had been watching broadcasts from Britain or Northern Ireland (BBC and ITV) RTE didn't want to loose viewers so in areas that could pick up UK TV, they used 405 line simulcasts. In other areas 625 lines were used exclusively. The local 405 line simulcasts were only abandoned sometime in the 1980s!!


(A 405 line card)


[This message has been edited by djk (edited 06-05-2006).]

Top
#145549 - 06/05/06 04:30 PM Re: Split: Television & Test Cards
aussie240 Offline
Member

Registered: 07/06/05
Posts: 222
Loc: Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
There was an interesting mention in the latest "Television" magazine of 405 lines...apparently there's going to be a real 405 line transmission on VHF channel 1 (subject to approval) from Alexandra Palace on 2nd November this year to mark the 70th anniversary of electronic TV in the UK.
No mention of how long the transmission would be, except to say it would be a recreation of program material of the time.
So for those in the London service area lucky enough to own a 405 line set, now's the time to get it in working order and find a Band 1 aerial for it.
Incidentally, it mightn't be well known, but 625 line VCR's will record a 405 line signal as the field frequency is the same so the head and capstan servos lock correctly. However, the dropout compensator, if fitted, won't work as it operates at line rate. Not a problem provided a good quality tape is used. In any case, with only 3MHz bandwidth of vision signal there should be virtually no loss of definition.
Of course an exernal receiver needs to provide the vision and sound signals in view of the positive modulation and AM sound.

Top
#145550 - 06/07/06 02:36 AM Re: Split: Television & Test Cards
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
Interesting. I hadn't heard about the Alexandra Palace event later this year.

Re the Telefis Eireann test card E, that same card was used in the U.K. (with different station ident, of course). I don't know how long "E" was employed in Ireland, but it's interesting to note that it was not well received here and was soon abandoned, with the former test card D continuing in use until fully replaced by the color card F.

Many more images of these cards can be seen here:
http://www.meldrum.co.uk/mhp/testcard/index.html

Top
#145551 - 06/07/06 07:13 AM Re: Split: Television & Test Cards
djk Offline
Member

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 1269
Loc: Ireland
Paul,

I don't think Telefis Eireann kept that test card for very long either. It was very rapidly replaced by their homebrew version which is above.

They needed a 405/625 line test card as soon as the 625 line transmitters went live in the early 60s.

They employed complicated standards converters to produce the 405 line output.
However, apparently these proved rather problematic and had a tendency to "blow up". So, for years 405 line broadcasts were produced with a 625 line monitor and a syncrhonised fixed 405 line camera. None of the 405 line viewers seemed to notice any problems with quality, then again it's hardly high enough resolution to notice much

The 405 line transmitters went on air in 1961 exclusively in areas where there were 405 line TVs and the 625 line transmission system went nationwide in 1962 & 1963.

PAL I colour went on air on VHF 625 line from 1968 onwards. Initially only broadcasting movies in colour via a colour telecine setup. Some bought-in programming also went out in colour. They gradually started ramping up the % of colour programming. News and current affairs from the early 1970s onwards and eventually the Late Late show, (The world's longest running chat show) went colour in 1976 although, apparently it took the presenter, the national institution that is Gay Byrne about another 20 years to get used to it.

The main 405 line transmitters went off air in 1978 to clear frequencies for use with RTE2 (PAL I) along with most of their relays. Two small 405 line relays remained in operation in Donegal (Northwest Ireland) until 1982 when they were replaced with VHF PAL I relays.

Teletext services, Aertel rolled out pretty early on and became available shortly after CEEFAX.

Nicam digital stereo rolled out on a phased basis through the 80s and 90s.

Top
#145552 - 06/08/06 12:06 AM Re: Split: Television & Test Cards
C-H Offline

Member

Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 1508
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Ahh, that Philips PM5544 test card looks so familiar. It was (is) the standard in Sweden, even on commercial channels. It has been getting rarer and rarer.

On SVT 1 and 2 (SVeriges Television) there is clock on the right and a re-broadcast of one of the radio channels on the audio. The audio goes to BEEP a while before the transmitter is switched off.

Top
#145553 - 06/08/06 02:42 AM Re: Split: Television & Test Cards
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
 Quote:
On SVT 1 and 2 (SVeriges Television) there is clock on the right


The PM5544 generators provide options for many components of the card to be turned on or off. The "[ ]" color brackets either side of the central circle can be turned off, for example, and I've seen it broadcast without them occasionally. The clock option was seldom used here as I recall.

There's what I would guess is a 1960s Sveriges card on the "Around the world" page of the Meldrum site:



 Quote:
I don't think Telefis Eireann kept that test card for very long either. It was very rapidly replaced by their homebrew version which is above.


Test card E wasn't actually much different from D. In fact the only real change was that the frequency gratings were shaded to a sinusoidal form rather than squarewave, and apparently dealers didn't like it because it made the sets appear to be out of focus on them!
 Quote:
They needed a 405/625 line test card as soon as the 625 line transmitters went live in the early 60s.


BBC2 started here on 625/UHF in 1964, and apart from a few experimental cards it used mostly a redesigned 625-line version of test card C, even after BBC1 and ITA had switched to D.

Color arrived on BBC2 in 1967, but BBC1 and ITA were still on 405/VHF monochrome-only at that point. If you look at the original version of "F" you can see that the frequencies were actually marked alongside the gratings, from 1.5 to 5.25MHz.

When BBC1 and ITA started simultaneous 625/UHF color broadcasts a couple of years later, they used the color "F" card for both services, even though it would be only monochrome on 405/VHF. The frequency markings were removed, as they wouldn't be correct when converted to 405-lines.

I understand that some regional "opt outs" continued to use "D" on 405 in the early 1970s, but I don't recall ever seeing it. When I started paying attention to the test card -- probably around 1972 or so -- it was F, but then we were seeing signals from Crystal Palace (London), so we weren't subject to any of the regional switching.

The other change to "F" was that the original card had just cyan castellations across the top. The slide itself remained unchanged, but they soon started electronically inserting a few lines of standard color bars at the top. It wasn't until sometime in the early/mid 1980s that "F" was converted into digital form and generated electronically.

There was an interesting statistic a few years ago that Carole Hersee (the daughter of a BBC engineer) was the most seen person on British TV in terms of "hours on screen." That may well have changed now since "F" has disappeared into obscurity, but I find it rather amusing that 90% of the British public would recognize that little girl instantly yet very few could name her!

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >



ECN Electrical Forums - sponsored by Electrical Contractor Network - Electrical and Code Related Discussion for Electrical Contractors, Electricians, Inspectors, Instructors, Engineers and other related Professionals