Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Test Card F

An institution! Never to be forgotten and I will certainly always remember the famous BBC Test Card! During my twenty years or so as a Television Technician this wonderful piece of analogue art would light up the screens. As an apprentice I used to time the start of the BBC2 Test Card with it's music at Nine O'clock in the morning and try to guess which tunes would play first! Sometimes my favourite two tracks would come on first!

The test card of course was used for setting up and aligning colour televisions. The blackboard and noughts and crosses marked the centre of the screen. The cross was used to accurately align the Red and Green Static Convergence, the horizontal and vertical lines on the blackboard were used to align the Blue Static Convergence. Other outer white lines were used to set up the Height, Width, linearity and dynamic convergence controls. Many an hour spent trying to get the alignment 'that little bit better' and wishing you had never started!

During bad days the smile of that little girl and the relaxing music became quite theraputic when things were not going right!

So who is this little girl?

Her name is Carole Hersee, daughter of the Engineer and Designer George Hersee. She made her first appearance on BBC2 in 1967. (Where are you now Carole?)

Check out the Test Card History site and this great news page from the BBC about Test Card F

What about Test Card 'C' and the music? ....click HERE!

How about your own Test Card F Wallpaper? ....click HERE!

Some facts:

Carole Hersee has had more television airtime than Carol Vordermann, Coronation St, News 24 and Bart Simpson! (all put together!)

The ITV Test Card F which was transmitted from Winter Hill, was a 35mm photographic colour slide and flying spot scanner. (I actually held the slide!!)

The clown's name is called 'Bubbles'

Carole Hersee is four years younger than me!

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