Talk:Test Card F

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Fair use?[edit]

Surely a screen cap of the card would be fair use, eh? Otherwise the 6 billion non-Brits of the world will have only a general idea of what it looks like (the text conjured up an image completely different from what the Beeb article shows). Also, no telling how long the exernal Beeb article will remain available... Stan 03:51, 11 Jan 2004 (UTC)

I agree entirely. I'll find an image and add it soon. However I believe this test card is used in several countries. Simon

More common than the American Indian test card?[edit]

Is this really a more common test image than the black-and-white Native American image that was ubiquitous in American broadcasting? RickK 05:11, 11 Jan 2004 (UTC)

I am not familiar with that Test Card, I am British, so I very much doubt it's been used over here. However, Test Card F has definitely been used in the USA, check out the comments at the bottom of the BBC article - some were from people in the US. Therefore I think that on a global basis, it is the most commonly used test card. SimonMayer 05:56, 11 Jan 2004 (UTC)

FWIW, you can see the Native American test pattern at RickK 20:12, 11 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Why not create a page for the American card and maybe use a general Test Card page to link them together? SimonMayer 23:52, 11 Jan 2004 (UTC)
I would if I knew what to call it. RickK 06:59, 12 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Native American test card? or less PC but more in keeping with the picture Red Indian test card? Failing that, what does "RMBWOC" stand for? Phil 10:05, Jan 12, 2004 (UTC)
I have no idea. RickK 03:37, 13 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Having tried to look around one of the worst-designed sites I've inflicted on my eyeballs in a while, neither have I :-( Phil 08:32, Jan 13, 2004 (UTC)
Apparently 'RMBWOC' stands for 'Rick and Myriam's Big World of Chaos' 16:42, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Alignment of picture[edit]

I keep seeing statements like "The 'X' on the noughts-and-crosses board is an indicator for aligning the centre of the screen". How does this work when this X is clearly not in the center of the picture? Phil 10:05, Jan 12, 2004 (UTC)

Well I can't find any version of Test Card F with a centralised 'X', however the slightly updated Test Card J does.
SimonMayer 18:24, Jan 12, 2004 (UTC)
The 'X' was not in the centre of Test card F. It was in the centre of its successor, Test Card J. (talk) 18:00, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

Carole Hersee?[edit]

Is the Carole Hersee link necessary? The page Carole Hersee is just a redirect to Test Card F. Oddtoddnm 03:42, July 19, 2005 (UTC)

I removed it. - DavidWBrooks 11:33, 19 July 2005 (UTC)

Band (wagon tango)[edit]

Nostalgic John Peel fans might just remember a band of this name:[1] Totnesmartin 23:11, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

40th Anniversary[edit]

I have noticed that on July 2nd (This Monday) will be Test Card F's 40th Birthday. Does anyone know if the BBC or other organizations are doing anything to mark this?

Riatsila 08:27, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

This could become GA/FA[edit]

I'm just saying. This article certainly has the potential.--h i s s p a c e r e s e a r c h 21:02, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

Good Article Status[edit]

Right, now the big Merge between Bubbles the Clown and Test Card F are done, I am going to work hard to get it up to GA status.

Riatsila 18:50, 21 July 2007 (UTC)

Pity that some of the Bubbles refs have been lost in the merge ......

Zir 23:17, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

Think that I've now located all lost refs - tho' they ought to be revised to "cite" sometime.

Zir 21:53, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

I'm also interested in getting this to GA status. I think it could be done quite easily, although some of the citations may not be set to reliable sources, that's the only problem. I may attempt a rewrite.--h i s s p a c e r e s e a r c h 11:05, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
I've tinkered with & added to this recently - hope that it's moving in the right direction...Zir 12:39, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

Disambiguation from Test Card F: Television, Mythinformation and Social Control[edit]

Long time reader, first time editor--I was trying to find information on the book [2] ''Test Card F: Television, Mythinformation and Social Control'' and there is no mention of it here. It'd be nice to at least have a disambiguation and a stub.

The book might not be notable. This article is undergoing a possible rewrite anyway. I've heard of the book...--h i s s p a c e r e s e a r c h 17:28, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Test card F music[edit]

Ceefax music isn't the same music as what we heard in trade test transmissions as that music dates back to 1997/8 to date and the Test card F music from the 60s - 80's era is long gone, though forgive me if this is incorrect —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cooky-cy (talkcontribs) 17:40, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

What is the first image?[edit]

It would be nice to have a caption for the first image of the card, explaining where it was obtained. Is it a picture taken off a TV set, maybe? Right now it has no caption at all, and because the other picture (the "original photographic slide" photo) is virtually identical, it's potentially confusing to readers - for example, me. - DavidWBrooks (talk) 17:51, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

Flop from left handed to right handed?[edit]

I've once heard that the girl was left handed and the image was flopped so that that she would appear right handed. Not sure but I think it was on QI. Anyone else heard this? Anyone find a source?

I'm going to remove the reference to the handedness of Carole Hersee as I can find no reliable refernce as to her handedness, nor whether the image was reversed for 'political correct' reasons.

It's a commonly repeated story, but the website which made the claim later retracted it. I can't add it to the article as it's WP:OR but I have discovered that the photo was flipped but not because she was left-handed (she is right-handed). Bizarre though it may seem, the tale started because George Hersee said he had flipped it "to make her look right-handed", but it turns out that this was because she really is right-handed but (for reasons too complicated to go into) the original photo made her look left-handed. Samatarou (talk) 23:23, 29 October 2016 (UTC)

"In popular culture" list is getting too long[edit]

There are currently 22 examples of the card, mostly parodies, appearing in TV/film/whatever. That's getting to the point that we should think of condensing it - perhaps something like this:

Variations and parodies of Test Card F are common in British broadcasting, Internet sites and games. Notable examples include:
  • example 1
  • example 2
  • example 3(or however many are suitable)

The problem, of course, is deciding which are notable (as a USA-ian, I'm not in a position to do that) and then keeping an eye on the list because it will undoubtedly start to grow again.

Any reaction to this idea? - DavidWBrooks (talk) 21:34, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

I don't remember what happened to the above comment, five years ago, but there are now 27 examples, almost none of which have references. Personally, I'd kill all those that haven't got a reference, but that might be excessive. Any thoughts? - DavidWBrooks (talk) 17:22, 7 April 2016 (UTC)

Merged Content from Test Card J and Test Card W[edit]

I agree with @Fram:'s decision that- as they are essentially updated versions of Test Card F- Test Cards J, W and X would be better covered by the same parent article. However, it appears that no attempt to retain or merge the content previously at Test Card J and Test Card W was made; it was simply overwritten by the redirect and hence lost.

No explanation for this was given, so I've merged the content here into subsections. Some of it has been removed as it makes overly specific claims about dates without providing any citation or indicating if the information is still correct (e.g. the "last time" something was seen).

Ubcule (talk) 18:27, 4 June 2016 (UTC)

When did ITV stop using Test Card F?[edit]

It was a lot earlier than the introduction of ETP-1 in 1979. As I recall, ITV was using colour bars immediately prior to ETP-1 being introduced (talk) 02:15, 29 October 2016 (UTC)

Was it ever actually used by ITV? There is no reference in the article for that claim and it seems surprising that something which was BBC property would be used by a commercial rival. Samatarou (talk) 23:06, 29 October 2016 (UTC)
It says "The card was also seen on ITV in the 1970s," (talk) 18:27, 12 October 2018 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Accessing Test Card W {2018 update}[edit]

Some of the on-line references to obtaining this from a Freeview set-top box seem to be a little out of date, but since I've done this just now it counts as blatant WP:OR so is not suitable for inclusion in the page, but should anyone want to try:

  • The channel, as of writing is now at 250, and is the "BBC Red Button" channel, select it, and after the main page has been generated press the "Yellow" button.
  • Change away and then back to it, perhaps with channel/program "up" and then "down".
  • Again, wait for the main page to be generated, then press the "Green" button, the word "Secret" does show briefly in the top right corner
  • A screen is displayed with the top line: "BBC North Red Button Team 2016" contain a two column table with the left column containing texts such as "Who am I?", "Where Am I?" with corresponding data entries in the larger right column, the bottom row contains a "Help" entry containing 4 colour-coded values: "Attributes" {Red}; "Test Card" {Green}; "DevTools" {Yellow} and "Credits" {Blue}.
  • Pressing the "Green" button displays an image which resembles Test Card F but contains the text beneath the Central circular image of the single letter "W" and beneath that "BBC WIDESCREEN".

To leave the screen and return to "normal" operation use the channel/program "up" or "down" buttons; the other colour buttons also seem to provide actions that are related to the indicated texts for them but the "DevTools" one could be hard to escape from.

This sequence worked for me on a somewhat mature "Bush iDPVR801B". SlySven (talk) 01:22, 14 June 2018 (UTC)

Does not work as of July 6 2020 upon pressing green it opens “Development tools menu (MHEG)” Slender (talk) 06:49, 6 July 2020 (UTC)


The BBC no longer uses the parody of the test card on the 404 page, instead opting now for the Clangers. SonnikuSan (talk) 12:39, 1 April 2020 (UTC)

Parodies, way too many[edit]

I like having "popular culture" sections in Wikipedia articles because they show how the article subject resonates in society, providing insight into the topic's importance. However, the section on this article has grown out of control, mostly because of all the parodies. It has become a classic pit of useless fancruft, just the sort of mess that makes some editors delete all pop-culture sections on sight.

I plan to remove virtually all of them, leaving only a couple of quick examples to reflect how often, and for how long, it has been parodied. This would be similar to the way sections about cover versions are often handled in song articles when there have been too many cover versions to list them all.

Any objections or thoughts? - DavidWBrooks (talk) 16:43, 25 June 2020 (UTC)

No response, so I'll give it a shot. - DavidWBrooks (talk) 19:49, 28 June 2020 (UTC)