How to use testcard F 

18 August 2014

The coming of colour required a whole new testcard to be made. Each black-and-white testcard had been something of an evolution on the one that went before, and the inherited characteristics between each one were obvious – it was even easy to upgrade testcard C from 405-lines to 625-lines black and white without much trouble.

But colour was something new. The generation of colour bars to test a colour system was relatively easy, but colour bars only test colour. What the television trade wanted was something more detailed so they could install a new set and fine tune not just the colour but also the brightness, contrast, hold and the myriad of minor things that needed setting up (and would later be fiddled with by nosy children and techie dads).

Testcard F was the solution, testing colour, screen geometry, contrast, brightness and tuning all in one slide. By radiating it most of the day – and making sure that BBC-2 dropped back to the testcard if there was ever a gap in the programmes – the trade could twiddle and fine tune to their heart’s desire and also have something operational and bright in the showroom.

Once the set installer had gone, it was up to dad (usually) and the kids (if dad wasn’t looking) to keep the set tuned. A handy, free information sheet like this made that easier and also reduced complaints about UHF’s sadly poor reception issues.

A Transdiffusion Presentation

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1 response to this article

Simon Davies 10 February 2021 at 11:14 pm

I really like it. I was sent a pointalised print of this on thick card by a BBC engineer back in the 90’s. I can’t seem to find it though. I don’t suppose you could send me a high res scan of the TCF image so I can try and re-create it? Thanks.
Best wishes,

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