Non-UK Test Cards and Captions

 

Including examples of long-distance reception



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Non-UK Test Cards

Not just a pretty face

Test Card History




HERE ARE some test cards from continental Europe and elsewhere that were used around the same time as the UK 405-line examples. Some are off-screen shots of signals received here in Sheffield in the late nineteen sixties and early seventies whilst others are scanned from cuttings that I collected for identification purposes. Some of the off-screen photographs of UHF reception were taken from production sets - a Ferguson 19-inch dual-standard receiver and a PYE 22-inch colour receiver rather later. Other UHF and all VHF reception were photographed from either a 12-inch PYE 405-line receiver of 1950 vintage converted for 625-line VHF operation or a home-brew 20-inch 625-line only receiver constructed in 1970 from a design published in Practical Television magazine and converted for VHF/UHF operation.

Many of the colour cards and patterns were photographed from monochrome receivers. I have a nifty routine that combines the chroma from one file with the luma from another and I have used it to add the colour elements to some of these shots, pinched from colour photographs. It isn't cheating; honestly. Can you spot the ringers?

Several countries' broadcasting organisations used UK-style test cards and where they did, the UK versions are shown alongside for comparison. I have also included pictures of the station clocks. They were an excellent means of identifying a transmission in the evening when there were no test cards about, and so I took pictures of any I saw, for future reference. They are very much a rarity, along with test cards, these days.

It's worth noting that many of the stations listed here are now available either free-to-air, or encrypted with certain shows sent in the clear, in digital and/or analogue on one of the many satellites serving Europe.

Details of all the CCIR transmission systems are given in World TV Standards and Waveforms, and the links given for each country below lead to frequency allocations, where they are known.




Generic cards

 

FIRSTLY, HERE is a collection of 'standard' test cards and patterns that were designed and published by equipment manufacturers and trade associations around the world. Many broadcasters used one or other of them in preference to commissioning their own designs.

SMPTE 525-line Test Card
SMPTE optical monocrome test card

THIS FIRST one is the SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers) test card mainly used on 525-line transmissions, though its resolution wedge calibrations are valid for any line standard. It was also used by Ethiopia and the United Kingdom. There's a full technical description of the SMPTE test card on More than just a pretty face...


525-line 'Indian Head' Test Card
RCA 'Indian Head' optical monochrome test card

THIS RCA-DESIGNED card, known colloquially as the 'Indian Head' card, was used extensively throughout the USA, but not generally any further afield, though it has surfaced in Canada, Zambia, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. There's more about the Indian Head test card on Chuck Pharis's web site.


Marconi Resolution Chart No 1
Marconi optical monochrome Resolution Chart No 1
MARCONI RESOLUTION Chart Number 1 was so successful that they never needed to release a sequel... It was used in Libya, Nigeria, Tunisia, Colombia, Australia and Jordan.

RMA Resolution Chart 1946
RMA optical monochrome Resolution Chart 1946
THIS IS the RMA (Radio Manufacturing Association) Resolution Chart 1946. It was used by many broadcasters even after the introduction of the 1956 version, below, including The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Hong Kong and Thailand.

RETMA Resolution Chart 1956
RETMA optical monochrome Resolution Chart 1956
THE RMA changed its name to RETMA (Radio, Electrical and Television Manufacturers Association) prior to bringing out this new design, called the RETMA Resolution Chart 1956. In 1975 it became known as the EIA (Electrical Industries Association) Resolution Chart. It was used by Egypt, Belgium, Hungary, Poland, AFN West Germany, Jugoslavia, Hong Kong and Syria.

Telefunken test card T05
Telefunken optical monochrome Test Card T05
HERE IS a European design, the Telefunken test card T05. It was used by Australia, Austria, Belgium. West Germany, India, Israel and Turkey.

Test Card C
Optical monochrome Test Card C
ALTHOUGH IT was designed for 405 lines, Test Card C was used by a surprising number of 625-line countries, including Libya, Mauritius, Jamaica, Trinidad And Tobago, Brazil, United Kingdom and Singapore. There's a full technical description of Test Card C on Not just a pretty face...

Test Card D, BBC1
Optical monochrome Test Card D
TEST CARD D was also designed for 405-line use in the United Kingdom, but was used on 625 lines in Portugal willy nilly alternating with Test Card E. There's a full technical description of Test Card D on Not just a pretty face...

Test Card E, BBC2
Optical monochrome Test Card E
TEST CARD E was a BBC 625-line design that was hardly ever used in the UK, but was seen in Ireland and Portugal. There's a full technical description of Test Card E on Not just a pretty face...

Test Card F
Optical colour Test Card F
TEST CARD F was a very high quality colour optical card designed for use in the United Kingdom, but not surprisingly it was adopted by several other broadcasters before electronic alternatives became available. It was used by New Zealand, Norway, United Kingdom and Bahrain. France and Sweden were two of the few countries that used their own design of optical colour test card. There's a full technical description of Test Card E on Not just a pretty face...

Test Card G
Optical monochrome Test Card G
TEST CARD G was a 625-line version of Test Card C that was rarely used in the United Kingdom. However it was used by Sierra Leone, Uganda, Barbados, Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, Gibralter, Norway, Malaysia, Sabah and Cyprus, The BBC used the designation "Test Card G" for their version of the Philips PM5544 625-line colour electronic test pattern from the 1970s onwards. There's a full technical description of Test Card G on Not just a pretty face...

EBU Test Pattern from TVE, Spain
Electronic monochrome test pattern
THIS EARLY electronic pattern was simply known as the "EBU monochrome test pattern" and was mainly used for testing and identifying circuits. However, it was broadcast as a test pattern by Algeria, Hungary, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Romania, West Germany and Turkey.

Chequerboard pattern from RTP, Portugal
Electronic monochrome chequerboard pattern
THIS ELECTRONIC chequerboard pattern was used by Rhodesia, Portugal and Spain.

PM5540 from The Netherlands
Philips PM5540 electronic monochrome test pattern
THE PM5540 monochrome electronic pattern was used by Australia, Denmark, The Netherlands, Abu Dhabi, Israel and Qatar.

The Telefunken FuBK electronic colour test pattern
Fernseh/Telefunken FuBK electronic colour test pattern
THIS ELECTRONIC card, which first appeared in the nineteen-sixties, is generated by the Fernseh/Telefunken FuBK (Funkbetriebungskommission, the German Television Service Commission) pattern generator and was used extensively in Germany and some other countries, including Finland, Jugoslavia, Luxemburg, Norway, and Switzerland.

The PM5552 colour chequerboard pattern
Philips PM5552 electronic colour test pattern

AN EARLY Philips colour pattern, the PM5552, photographed here in black and white. Used in The Netherlands.


The Philips PM5544 electronic colour test pattern
Philips PM5544 electronic colour test pattern
THE PHILIPS PM5544 colour electronic test pattern has been used almost everywhere that there are 625 lines to carry it, superseding most other cards and patterns. There's a full technical description of the PM5544 on Not just a pretty face...



Country-specific Cards

 


Test Card F optical colour test card from BRT, Belgium
Modified RMA Resolution Chart 1946 optical monochrome test card

PM5544 from BRT, Belgium  PM5544 from UK
Philips PM5544 electronic colour test pattern

Belgium

 
vhf:  System F RTB French language, until Mid-Feb 1969
System C BRT Flemish language (and RTB French language from 1969), until 25 Apr 1977 (Ruiselede E2 transmitter continued until 1 Apr 1978)
System B/PAL from 26 Apr 1977
uhf:  System H/PAL

BELGIUM, BEING bi-lingual, has two television services: Belgische Radio en Televisie (BRT) for Flemish speakers and Radiodiffusion-Télévision Belge (RTB) for Francophones. What's more, the transmission systems used by the two services were originally different.

The Flemish language BRT used System C for its 625-line pictures whilst RTB, the French language service, originally broadcast System F 819-line pictures using the same channel allocations and therefore in a much reduced bandwidth compared to that used for the 819-line standard System E transmissions used in France. Then, in February 1969, the System F transmissions ceased and both BRT and RTB used System C on vhf, but on uhf they used System H/PAL, almost identical to System G/PAL as used in most of the rest of Europe. On 25 April 1977 the vhf System C +ve modulation transmissions were changed to System B/PAL, giving Belgium a single standard for the first time though the Brussels Ruiselede transmitter on channel E2 continued on System C until 1 April 1978.

All this change must have delighted the setmakers in Belgium, where from the outset receivers had to be capable of receiving the Belgian 625- and 819-line services plus the slightly different ones of neighbouring France and the Netherlands.

Ident from BRT, Belgium
Taken on Wednesday 4 October 1972 at 1755 UTC


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Test Card G optical monochrome test card from BT, Bulgaria 
Test Card G optical monochrome test card

Optical monochrome test card from BT, Bulgaria 
Optical monochrome test card ("NRB SOFIA")

Electronic colour test pattern from BT, Bulgaria 
Electronic colour test pattern ("BT - SOFIA")

Bulgaria

 
vhf:  System D/SECAM, D/PAL
uhf:  System K/SECAM, K/PAL

BULGARIAN TELEVISION (B'lgarska Televisiya) used very few test cards in its history. It mainly radiated Test Card G anonymously, but these distinctive black & white card and colour pattern were also used. Television in Bulgaria began on 1 May 1959.


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Test Card from CST, Czechoslovakia
Optical monochrome test card

Test Card from CST, Czechoslovakia
Optical monochrome test card

Czechoslovakia

 
vhf:  Czech: System D/PAL
Slovak: System D/PAL, B1/PAL
uhf:  Czech: System K/PAL
Slovak: System K/PAL, G/PAL

CESKOSLOVENSKA TELEVIZIA has now split into Ceska Televizia in the Czech Republic and Slovenska Televizia in Slovakia. The lower test card was a common sight via sporadic E in the 'sixties and 'seventies, and replaced the 1953 version above.


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Test Card G from Denmark Test Card G from UK
Test Card G optical monochrome test card (with UK version for comparison)

PM5540 from Denmark
Philips PM5540 electronic monochrome test pattern

PM5544 from Denmark PM5544 from UK
Philips PM5544 electronic colour test pattern (with UK version for comparison)

Denmark

 
vhf:  System B/PAL
uhf:  System G/PAL

DANMARKS RADIO, like the other Scandinavian broadcasters, used the optical monochrome Test Card G. Usually the identification was Danmarks Radio when the card was originated from the studio in København, or Televerket when originated by the PTT. In this case it was being generated and radiated by the transmitter at Fyn. The monochrome electronic card carrying no identification is generated by a Philips PM5540 and is the precursor of the later colour version, PM5544, shown below. It was used extensively throughout the world.

Clock from Denmark
Taken on Thursday 20 July 1972 at 2147 UTC


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Test Card G from YLE, Finland Test Card G from UK
Test Card G optical monochrome test card (with UK version for comparison)
FuBK pattern from YLE, Finland 
Fernseh/Telefunken FuBK electronic colour test pattern

Finland

 
vhf:  System B/PAL
uhf:  System G/PAL

FINNISH BROADCASTER YLE used Test Card G as did its Scandinavian neighbours. When the colour service started they used the FuBK test pattern. YLE, which is an abbreviation for Oy. Yleisradio Ab., did not have its own design of test card.


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Test Card from ORTF, France
Optical monochrome test card Colour Test Card from ORTF, France
Optical colour test card

France

 
vhf:  System E (First Chain, until 1984)
System L/SECAM (Canal Plus)
uhf:  System L (819 mono 1968-84, First Chain 'fill-in' stations)
System L/SECAM (First, Second and Third Chains)

LIKE THE UK, France had a non-standard monochrome television service on bands I and III and then introduced colour on uhf 625 lines. However, theirs was a retrograde step in terms of picture quality because the vhf service from 1950 onwards was 819 lines, replacing the original pre-war 455-line and post-war 441-line Eiffel Tower transmissions which closed in 1955. There was something of a free-for-all during the 1950s when private concerns set up their own relay stations to bring pictures to more viewers, but these were eventually brought under the control of the authorities.

When the second channel started in colour, relay stations for the first channel were also added on uhf, though on 819 lines fitted into 625-line channels with a consequent loss of horizontal resolution. Following the introduction of the third channel, FR3, programmes from TF1 were radiated in 625-line SECAM colour during non-FR3 programme hours, pending the introduction of a dedicated first channel network on System L 625/50. In 1981-84, the vhf network was converted to 625-Line Standard L working, giving France a single standard again.

Detail of Test Card from ORTF, France This optical test card, which had several variations of the centre design including a colour picture, contains graticules with resolutions of up to 900 lines, as shown in the detail on the left. The horizontal resolution of the System E 819-line standard was 600 lines per picture height, or 800 lines per picture width (see "A Note About Resolution"). The horizontal resolution of the System L uhf 819-line pictures was 360 lines per picture height (the same as the System A 405-line pictures).

Apart from the optical card with colour pictures in the centre, ORTF (Office de Radiodiffusion Télévision Française) also used an electronic colour chequerboard pattern and the PM5544 for its colour services, which later included a third channel.

Continental Interference - do not adjust your set

When 625-line negatively-modulated signals from the continent were received over the top of BBC1 on a UK 405-line tv set of the 1960s the result was headache-inducing diagonal white lines on the screen and nightmarish buzzing and screeching in the speaker, and viewing of either service was usually impossible for the duration. However, with 819-line signals it was sometimes possible to display the pictures and hear the sound - in a fashion.

Simulation of 819-line signal recived on a 405-line tv set The major difference between the UK and French systems was the line frequency, which was about twice as high in the French system. The vision and sound modulation were similar, and two watchable pictures were displayed side by side on an unmodified 405-line set. Because the vision-sound carrier spacing was about three times wider in 819 lines you had to tune to a different 405-line channel to hear it. With the French F2 channel the vision was received on B2 and the sound on B1, while F4 vision appeared on B5 with the sound on B3, always assuming there was no strong BBC1 signal on the same channel.

I clearly thought that the results were not worth preserving for posterity, so I have no example to show you, but I have made this simulation - it's a 576p50 picture displayed on an old 625-line crt monitor. The effect is similar because the conditions are - the line frequencies are in the ratio of 2:1.


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Test Card from DFF, E Germany
Optical monochrome test card

Electronic Pattern from DFF, E Germany
Electronic monochrome test pattern

Germany, East

 
(Deutscher Demokratischer Republik)
vhf:  System B (Channels in use until circa 1960)
System B/PAL (Originally B/SECAM, CCIR channels adopted circa 1960)
uhf:  System G/PAL (Originally G/SECAM)

DEUTSCHER FERNSEHFUNK (DFF) had a fine collection of its own unique optical and electronic test cards and patterns. Here is one of each, plus a clock-cum-tuning signal from the 1950s.

Clock from DFF, E Germany

Since reunification, DFF has been subsumed into two new ARD regional services (RBB and MDR), plus the existing NDR. Details are in the West Germany section, which follows almost immediately.


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Chequerboard test card from ARD, W Germany
Chequerboard optical monochrome test card

Test card from Saarlandisches Fernsehen, W Germany
Optical monochrome test card

Telefunken test card from Hessischer Rundfunk, W Germany
Telefunken optical monochrome test card

FuBK test pattern from ZDF, W Germany
FuBK electronic colour test pattern

FuBK 16:9 PAL Plus pattern from ARD, W Germany
FuBK 16:9 PAL Plus electronic colour test pattern

FuBK test pattern from ZDF, W Germany
FuBK electronic colour test pattern

FuBK test pattern from NDR3, W Germany
FuBK electronic colour test pattern

EBU pattern from NDR/RB/SFB, W Germany
EBU electronic monochrome test pattern

Colour bars from W Germany
Colour bars with Schools TV ident

Germany, West

 
(Bundesrepublik Deutschlands)
vhf:  System B/PAL
uhf:  System G/PAL

THERE ARE two main broadcasters in Germany, Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Öffentlisch-Rechtlichen Rundfunkanstalten der Bundesrepublik Deutschlands (ARD) and Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF, founded in 1961). ARD 1 ("Das Erste", or "Erstes Programm") and ZDF ("Zweites Programm") are national networks, whilst ARD III ("Drittes Programm") is a network of one or two stations per region (each comprising one or more Länder) run by the individual broadcasting organisations that go to make up ARD. Before reunification, these were:

  • Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR) from München in Bavaria
  • Hessischer Rundfunk (HR) from Frankfurt am Main in Hesse
  • Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR) from Hamburg
  • Radio Bremen (RB)
  • Saarländischer Rundfunk (SR) from Saarbrücken
  • Sender Freies Berlin (SFB) from West Berlin
  • Süddeutscher Rundfunk (SDR) from Stuttgart
  • Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR) from Köln
  • Südwestfunk (SWF) from Baden-Baden.

The first two cards shown are from the 1950s, the first used by NDR, WDR and SFB, and the second by the commercial Saarländisches Fernsehen channel. When Saarland joined the newly created Federal Republic in 1959, it already had commercial stations running on the French 819-line standard, but these were closed down and replaced by SR on 625-lines.

As well as West Germany's own System B/G stations in the 1960s and 70s there were also transmissions from the American Forces Network AFRTS using the US System M 525-line standard with 4.5MHz vision-sound carrier spacing and allocated to channel E9 and a handful of System G uhf channels.

Ident from ARD 3, W Germany
Taken on Friday 6 October 1972 at 1758 UTC

The transmitter network was owned and run by the Deutsches Bundespost (DBP) and they originated the test cards. During trade tests, each main transmitter radiated an identification slide on the hour and half-hour for a few minutes.

Ident from NDR3 Kiel, W Germany
Taken on Friday 6 October 1972 at 1704 UTC

Ident from NDR3 Niebull, W Germany
Taken on Friday 6 October 1972 at 1000 UTC

Ident from NDR3 Ostfriesland, W Germany
Taken on Friday 6 October 1972 at 1633 UTC

The ARD networks have changed slightly since reunification to take in the former East German DFF service and SFB. The current line-up is as follows:

  • Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR) from München in Bavaria
  • Hessischer Rundfunk (HR) from Frankfurt am Main in Hesse
  • Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk (MDR) Sachsen from Dresden in Saxony (was part of DFF in East Germany)
  • Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk (MDR) Sachsen-Anhalt from Magdeburg in Saxony-Anhalt (was part of DFF in East Germany)
  • Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk (MDR) Thüringen from Erfuhrt in Thuringia (was part of DFF in East Germany)
  • Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR) Hamburg
  • Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR) Mecklenburg-Vorpommern from Schwerin in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania (was part of DFF in East Germany)
  • Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR) Niedersachsen from Hannover in Lower Saxony
  • Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR) Schleswig-Holstein from Kiel
  • Radio Bremen (RB)
  • Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (RBB) from Berlin (was DFF in East Berlin and SFB in West Berlin)
  • Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (RBB) from Brandenburg (was part of DFF in East Germany)
  • Saarländischer Rundfunk (SR) from Saarbrücken in Saarland
  • Südwest Rundfunk (SWR) Baden-Württemburg from Stuttgart (was Süddeutscher Rundfunk (SDR) from Stuttgart)
  • Südwest Rundfunk (SWR) Rheinland-Pfalz from Mainz and Baden-Baden in Rhineland-Platinate (was Südwestfunk (SWF) from Baden-Baden)
  • Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR) from Aachen, Bielefeld, Bonn, Dortmund, Essen, Köln, Münster, Siegen and Wuppertal in North Rhine-Westphalia.

All regions of the three networks together with their associated radio stations are currently available in the clear on SD and HD digital from the Astra 1 satellite positioned at 19.2° east. They have been joined by private broadcasters, of which the largest is RTL (Radio Télé Luxembourg), followed by Sat 1 and Pro 7. 3SAT is a public service channel run jointly by ARD, ZDF, the Swiss German-language broadcaster Schweizerische Rundspruch-Gesellschaft (SRG), and the Austrian broadcaster Österreichischer Rundfunk GmbH (ORF).


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Test Card from RUV, Iceland
Electronic monochrome test pattern

Iceland

 
vhf:  System B/PAL
uhf:  System G/PAL

THE STATE broadcaster in Iceland is Rìkisùtvarpið Sjònvarp, a name which includes fearsome diacritical characters that may or may not show up properly on your browser. This early electronically generated test pattern was unique to Iceland, and usually carried no identification, though occasionally the words "RÌKISÙTVARPIÐand "SJÒNVARP" appeared in the top and bottom black segments respectively. Television in Iceland closed down for the whole of every Thursday - a practice which continued until 1984. Fortunately this rare sporadic E-layer opening to the north west came on a Wednesday. Signals from Iceland occasionally arrived here by auroral progagation, but the pictures looked very odd because of the 'flutter' imposed by the moving curtain of ionised particles.

Ident from Iceland Clock from Iceland
Taken on Wednesday 14 June 1972 at 1946 UTC

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Test Card from RTE, Ireland
Optical monochrome test card

Test Card from RTE, Ireland
Optical monochrome test card

Test Card E from RTE, Ireland Test Card E from UK
Test Card E optical monochrome test card (with UK version for comparison)

PM5544 from RTE, Ireland PM5544 from UK
Philips PM5544 electronic colour test pattern (with UK version for comparison)

Republic of Ireland

 
vhf:  System A from 31 December 1961 until 23 November 1982
System I/PAL from mid-1962
uhf:  System I/PAL

IRISH TELEVISION began in December 1961, originated on 625-lines, with the pictures converted to 405-lines using UK channels in areas where BBC and ITV signals were already being picked up. In fact the service was 405-lines only for six months until the first 625-line transmitter was opened. There were no specific 405-line test cards radiated though - just these 625-line ones. The State broadcaster is Radio Telefís Éireann. During 1978 the 625-line network was slowly expanded, and the 405-line transmitters began to close, the last, Letterkenny in Donegal, disappearing on 23 November 1982.


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Test Card from RAI Uno, Italy
Optical monochrome test card Test Card from RAI Due, Italy
Optical monochrome test card

Italy

 
vhf:  System B/PAL
uhf:  System G/PAL

RADIOTELEVISIONE ITALIA (RAI) had two monochrome networks. Rai Uno was on vhf and Rai Due on uhf, both using the same 625-line standard. The test cards were inserted locally, and the top right hand circle used to contain a number from 1 to 32 to indicate the transmitter.

Following the opening of a large number of pirate television stations all over Italy, RAI was one of the first broadcasters to introduce the much-derided permanent on-screen channel ident, which popped up at random in any of the four corners. There is now a third channel, Rai Tre, and many specialised satellite and cable channels, all in colour of course, in addition to legal non-RAI stations. Here is a selection of captions and cards from the Italian Free Stations:
GBR caption Tele Iblea caption Tele Libera Fiorenze caption Tele Alto Milanese caption Tele Alto Milanese test pattern Tele Etna caption Unidentified station TV Libera


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Telefunken card from JRT, Jugoslavia
Telefunken optical monochrome test card

FuBK electronic pattern from HRT2 Croatia
FuBK electronic colour test pattern

Jugoslavia

 
vhf:  System B/PAL
uhf:  System G/PAL

THE NATIONAL state broadcaster in Jugoslavia was Jugoslovenska Radiotelevizia (JRT), which took over television transmissions in May 1963 from two independent stations that had started in 1957 and had amalgamated with a third in November 1958. JRT programmes were made and broadcast from six regions: Radiotelevizija (RTV) Beograd (now RTS in Serbia), Radiotelevizija Ljubljana (now Radiotelevizija Slovenija), Radiotelevizija Sarajevo (Bosnia-Herzogovina), Radiotelevizija Skopje (now MTV Macedonia), Radiotelevizija Titograd (now RTV Montenegro from Podgorica in Crna Gora) and Radiotelevizija Zagreb (now Hravatska Radiotelevizija in Croatia). Jugoslavia always used the channels and modulation system (system B/G PAL) used in western Europe, rather than the ones used in the USSR and most eastern European countries (system D/K SECAM). This test card radiated from Zagreb is the Telefunken card, and the colour pattern is the Telefunken/FuBK pattern, both mainly used in West Germany. The latter was photographed in 2003 from a Croatian second chain digital satellite transmission.

Clock from Ljubljana, Jugoslavia
Taken on Wednesday 18 June 1969 at 1859 UTC (the clock spells out RTV LJUBLJANA).

Ident from Beograd, Jugoslavia Clock from Beograd, Jugoslavia
Taken on Thursday 3 August 1972 at 1634 UTC (logged as JRT Beograd on E3). François Frappé has identified these captions as TV Romania Bucharest. I'm sure he's right - I never identified any signals from there.

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RMA Resolution Chart 1946 optical monochrome test card from NOS, The Netherlands
RMA Resolution Chart 1946 optical monochrome test card

PM5540 from The Netherlands
Philips PM5540 electronic monochrome test pattern

EBU electronic monochrome pattern from The Netherlands
EBU electronic monochrome test pattern

PM5544 from The Netherlands PM5544 from UK
Philips PM5544 electronic colour test pattern (with UK version for comparison)

The Netherlands

 
vhf:  System B/PAL
uhf:  System G/PAL

NEDERLANDSE OMROEP Stichting was the name of the Dutch broadcasting organisation, with Nederlandse Televisie Stichting being the tv arm, hence the NTS identification in these pictures. In 1949 Philips began experimental transmissions from its Einhoven factory, and NTS programmes started officially on 2 October 1951. The following organisations contribute to the two national networks provided by NOS: Algemene Vereniging Radio Omroep (AVRO), Evangelische Omroep; Katholieke Radio Omroep (KRO), Nederlandse Christelijke Radio-Veriniging (NCRV), Omroep Vereniging VARA, Omroep Vereniging VPRO and Televisie Radio Omroep Stichting (TROS)

These off-screen test card pictures were the first I ever took, using a borrowed 120-format camera, on a foggy Thursday evening in November 1967. The EBU electronic monochrome test pattern, newer ident and the clock were taken in 1972, when the local Sheffield BBC2 transmitter had started up on the same frequency, hence the strong co-channel interference. The colour picture was taken much later on 3 July 1976 and was a much weaker signal. I also took some pictures of NOS Teletekst during another tropospheric opening.

Ident from NOS, The Netherlands
Taken on Thursday 23 November 1967 at 1745 UTC

Ident from NOS, The Netherlands
Taken on Thursday 5 October 1972 at 1830 UTC

Clock from NOS, The Netherlands
Taken on Thursday 5 October 1972 at 1744 UTC


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RETMA 1956 from NRK, Norway
RETMA 1956 optical monochrome test card

Test Card G from NRK, Norway Test Card G from UK
Test Card G optical monochrome test card (with UK version for comparison)

Test Card F from NRK, Norway Test Card F from UK
Test Card F optical colour test card (with UK version for comparison)

PM5544 from NRK, Norway PM5544 from UK
Philips PM5544 electronic colour test pattern (with UK version for comparison)

FuBK from NRK, Norway
Telefunken FuBK electronic colour test pattern

Norway

 
vhf:  System B/PAL
uhf:  System G/PAL

TELEVERKET NORGE is the telecommunications agency (PTT) that distributes the signals from NRK, the national television company that was the last of the Scandinavian broadcasters to start its transmissions, in 1960. In common with many European countries, a distinction is made between test cards originating from the broadcaster and those generated by the PTT. The colour test pattern with the white circle was produced by the FuBK generator made by the German firm Fernseh, and was mainly used in Germany, though usually without the circle.

Clock from NRK, Norway
This clock, the 'pause' interval caption below and the RETMA pattern above left are from photos taken in the NRK broadcasting museum in Oslo.
Interval caption from NRK, Norway

Clock from NRK, Norway
Taken on Sunday 1 June 1969 at 1823 UTC. The caption, identifying the accompanying music, reads "IN THE GARDEN Austin Miller
Ella Fitzgerald sang".

Clock from NRK, Norway
Taken on Friday 13 June 1969 at 1844 UTC. The caption, identifying the accompanying music, reads "Delia's gone (arr. Bobby Bare)
Bobby Bare, sang".


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RETMA test card from TVP, Poland
RETMA 1956 optical monochrome test card

Poland

 
vhf:  System D1/PAL (Previously D/SECAM)
uhf:  System D1/PAL (Previously K/SECAM)

POLISH TELEVISION started in 1954 and was transmitted from at least two regional centres, in Warszawa and Katowice, following experimental transmission prior to 1952 on both the 441- and 625-line standards.

The RETMA (Radio, Electronics and Television Manufacturers' Association) test card was used by several other countries, including Hungary. Its name was changed in 1975 to the EIA (Electrical Industries Association) Resolution Chart.

Ident from TVP, Warsaw, Poland
Taken on Sunday 25 May 1969 at 1235 UTC


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Test Card D from RTP, Portugal Test Card D from BBC1
Test Card D optical monochrome test card (with UK version for comparison)

Test Card E from RTP, Portugal Test Card D from BBC2
Test Card E optical monochrome test card (with UK version for comparison)

Test card from RTP, Portugal
Optical monochrome test card

Chequerboard pattern from RTP, Portugal
Electronic monochrome chequerboard pattern

Portugal

 
vhf:  System B/PAL
uhf:  System G/PAL

BOTH TEST Cards D and E were radiated interchangeably by Radiotelevisão Portuguesa (RTP, set up in 1956) during the nineteen sixties and seventies, which is odd since RTP used only 625 lines. Test Cards D and E were used on vhf and the RMA Resolution Chart 1946 (see The Netherlands above) on uhf. RTP also used its own design of card, introduced in the 1950s.

The electronic chequerboard pattern was received on 19 July 1972 and was often also radiated by TVE Spain.

Clock from RTP, Portugal
Taken on Sunday 4 June 1972 at 1245 UTC


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Test Card from TVE, Spain
Optical monochrome test card

Test Card from TVE, Spain
Optical monochrome test card

EBU Monochrome test pattern from TVE, Spain
EBU electronic monochrome test pattern

Electronic colour test pattern from TVE, Spain
Electronic colour test pattern

Spain

 
vhf:  System B/PAL
uhf:  System G/PAL

TELEVISION ESPAÑOLA (TVE) had two networks and came under the auspices of Dirección General de Radiodifusión y Televisión. The service began in June 1956.

TVE used a series of distinctive cards, including this electronic colour pattern which was introduced in 1975 and is still seen occasionally on satellite, and normally carried the 'tve' logo in large letters in the top blue segment of the circle.



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Monochrome optical test card from Sveriges Radio
Optical monochrome test card

Monochrome optical test card from Sveriges Radio
Optical monochrome test card

Optical colour test card from Sveriges Radio
Optical colour test card

PM5544 from Sveriges radio PM5544 from UK
PM5544 from Sveriges radio
Philips PM5544 electronic colour test pattern (with UK version for comparison)

Sweden

 
vhf:  System B/PAL
uhf:  System G/PAL

THIS MONOCHROME test card, based loosely on the RCA 'Indian Head' design, from Sveriges Radio in Sweden took a similar route to Test Cards C and D on its journey into colour. First the monochrome version was updated, and then for the colour version the greyscale and frequency gratings and wedge were placed outside the circle on a grey background to make room inside for a full-colour picture of a little girl and doll. Notice that the white area of the background has been increased in order to preserve the 50% overall brightness of the card. Later the ubiquitous PM5544 test pattern was introduced. Television in Sweden began in June 1956.

Clock from SR, Sweden
Taken on Sunday 1 June 1969 at 1755 UTC

Clock from SR1, Sweden
Taken on Thursday 15 June 1972 at 1830 UTC (immediately following a subtitled broadcast of Coronation Street)


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Test Card from Switzerland
Modified RMA optical monochrome Resolution Chart 1946

Test Card from Switzerland
Optical monochrome test card

Test Card from Zurich, Switzerland, with colour bars

FuBK electronic pattern from Switzerland
FuBK electronic colour test pattern

Switzerland

 
vhf:  System B/PAL
uhf:  System G/PAL

TRI-LINGUAL SWITZERLAND has three television services: the German-language Schweizerische Rundspruch-Gesellschaft (SRG), the French-language Société Suisse de Radiodiffusion et de Télévision (SSR) and the Italian-language Televisione Svizzera Italiana (TSI).

Switzerland used a modified version of the RMA resolution chart in the 1950s, but changed to this distinctive optical monochrome optical test card in the 1960s. It had colour bars superimposed when I snapped it in 1969.

The Z in the box at top right of the circle means the transmission centre was Zurich. Other identification letters were: B - Bellerive German language studio; L - Lugano Italian language studio; G - Geneva French language studio; U - Ütliberg transmitter; D - La Dole transmitter; Q - experimental transmission.

The fully electronic FuBK pattern was received from the German language SRG1 on channel E3 in July 1972 via sporadic E propagation, and reconstructed versions from the Italian language TSI1 and French language SSR1 are shown below.

FuBK electronic pattern from TSI 1 Switzerland

FuBK electronic pattern from TSI 2 Switzerland


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Related pages: | E-mail me | Home Page | 405-Line Standard | World TV Standards | Test Card History | Not just a pretty face | Teletext |

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Bookmarks

Television Website Bookmarks

 

Mike Brown/MB21/Ether.net
Andrew Emmerson/Paul Stenning/405 Alive/British Vintage Wireless Society
François Frappé, a French DX enthusiast from the 1960s and 70s
Keith Hamer
Darren Meldrum
Richard Russell
Justin Smith/Aerials and TV
Andrew Wiseman/625 Room
Bill Wright


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Pembers' PonderingsPembers' Ponderings

Compiled by Alan Pemberton
Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England
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