Bygone Icons

TV test patterns
TV test patterns

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There are 10 comments for this item.

Posted by Bob Matthews at 12:52 pm (PST) on Fri February 7, 2014   
Yes, and you could switch the channels and each had its steady tone that was a different pitch (note), some higher, some lower. I think those tones are called "sine waves."
Posted by unclekipsy at 12:37 pm (PST) on Fri February 7, 2014   
Wasn't there a high-pitched sound that came with those TV Test Pattern images ?   Kind of reminds me of "The Outer Limits"........."We are in control, do not touch the dials"....... LOL !!
Posted by Duff at 12:17 am (PDT) on Tue April 30, 2013   
A while back, Alan asked, "Why an Indian?" I think that the Indian simply served as a standard image (with details and shading) that a trained television engineer could glance at to see if any adjustments were needed.  What amuses me is that the same test pattern was used around the world in such places as Sweden and Rhodesia. For further info on this image, see Indian Head test card in Wikipedia.
Posted by Bob Matthews at 10:55 pm (PDT) on Mon April 29, 2013   
Yes! And they'd wake the station up at 5 AM with the National Anthem too.
I liked the version that started out with a long drum roll.
Posted by GlenEllyn at 3:57 am (PDT) on Sun June 17, 2012   
One of our local stations used to play the Star-Spangled Banner at sign-off.
Posted by Tshayne at 12:18 am (PDT) on Sun May 27, 2012   
My father was a boozer. He once mistook the TV being off after midnight as something broken with the TV. He took the no good for nothing TV out in the back yard and threw a brick in to the screen. Then I couldn't watch KBHK 44 and Popeye, Kimba and Speed Racer.
Posted by Alan at 1:03 pm (PST) on Tue February 7, 2012   
Why an Indian?
Posted by billk at 1:03 am (PDT) on Sun October 24, 2010   
I was the chief engineer at a radio station, and our station signed off about 12:10 after the 12:00 CBS news, and signed on at 5:30. That was my time to work on the station. I don't know how any transmitter work gets done on these 24 hour stations.
Posted by Duff at 5:14 am (PDT) on Sat August 15, 2009   
Remember when the local TV stations would sign off for the night, often at 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning? Perhaps some still do, I don't know.

I used to love the film that San Francisco's KRON-TV (4), an NBC affiliate at the time, ran in the 1970s just before signing off. It showed various peaceful scenes of California and the Bay Area, accompanied beautifully by "Pavane" by Gabriel Fauré.

You can get a sense of the beauty of this combination here if you concentrate on just the scenes of nature.
Posted by Evelyn at 8:57 pm (PDT) on Thu August 13, 2009   
Thats one I really miss.

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