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 Do you remember the Australian TV Test Cards?
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 Return to top of page · Post #: 1 · Written at 3:27:32 PM on 6 April 2019.
Mattrix's Gravatar
 Location: Melbourne, VIC
 Member since 6 April 2019
 Member #: 2344
 Postcount: 12

I'm old enough to remember that test cards, or more likely transparencies, were quite prominent on Australian TV.
But for the life of me I can't remember which ones were used during the mid 60's to mid 70's.

I'm not sure when 24 hour programming started, obviating the use of test cards, but I know in 76 movies were played well into the wee hours.

Anyway, which cards do you remember?


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 2 · Written at 6:48:02 PM on 6 April 2019.
Robbbert's avatar
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 18 September 2015
 Member #: 1801
 Postcount: 1043

I remember that during the middle of the day the stations would have test patterns, and the ABC had the infamous clock with hands. At around midnight all stations would go off the air. Channel 7 would play "My city of Sydney" as the closing theme.

But during 1976-77, channel 9 started playing B-grade movies (usually b&w) all night.

SBS hung on to test patterns the longest, with hours of it through the daytime, and a sliding banner that listed the locations and channel numbers of all their stations.

As for different test patterns, I don't remember much, there was a b&w pattern, then when colour came we got a colour pattern. Channel 7's pattern had a child and toys in the middle.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 3 · Written at 10:24:12 PM on 6 April 2019.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 5176

I remember that during the middle of the day the stations would have test patterns

Yep, and my grandmother enjoyed the music that accompanied them. She had the morning test pattern and music on while she did housework. IIRC the day's programming on commercial TV began with the Midday Movie.

On a related matter, before it discovered self promotion (of its own programs), ABC TV used to televise fillers to pad out the programs to the hour or half hour. A commercial hour for a recorded program is 50 minutes and a commercial half hour is 25 minutes, so they needed a library of 10 and 5 minute fillers. I recall lots of vision of steam trains for one thing. I also recall Burl Ives singing various songs.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 4 · Written at 6:34:49 AM on 7 April 2019.
MonochromeTV's avatar
 Location: Melbourne, VIC
 Member since 20 September 2011
 Member #: 1009
 Postcount: 1038

But during 1976-77, channel 9 started playing B-grade movies (usually b&w) all night.

Channel 9 went 24 hours for the Montreal Olympics in 1976. When the games had finished Channel 9 continued the overnight transmission with three or four movies.

I used to sneak out of bed to watch some these movies in the middle of the night. I recall the programme break music was by Stephane Grappelli & equally B grade advertisements by Izzy Dye & Hal Todd.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMwwkb6VcY0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKubcY15v-E


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 5 · Written at 6:57:47 AM on 7 April 2019.
STC830's Gravatar
 Location: NSW
 Member since 10 June 2010
 Member #: 681
 Postcount: 794

" I recall lots of vision of steam trains for one thing."

I remember in particular film from the cab of a loco going from Lithgow to Sydney (100 miles), speeded up to make the trip a in few minutes. Lots of tunnels blinking by.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 6 · Written at 7:15:28 AM on 7 April 2019.
Skymaster's Gravatar
 Location: Ashfield, NSW
 Member since 7 April 2018
 Member #: 2237
 Postcount: 53

I don't remember when SBS stopped their test pattern and started 24 hour programming, but I do remember seeing it as a kid on the TV right up to the early 90s. I vaguely recall seeing it on tv after we moved into the hills district, which was in late 1991.
Being of early 80s birth though, the rest are a mystery to me Smile


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 7 · Written at 7:59:40 AM on 7 April 2019.
Robbbert's avatar
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 18 September 2015
 Member #: 1801
 Postcount: 1043

Here's an example of the ABC clock

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxc_H-BAc9A

I remember it better in the monochrome era, where the dial and hands were a stark white on a black background. And no sound.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 8 · Written at 12:17:01 PM on 7 April 2019.
Mattrix's Gravatar
 Location: Melbourne, VIC
 Member since 6 April 2019
 Member #: 2344
 Postcount: 12

Thank you everyone for your reminiscences.

I'd totally forgotten about the loco sequences.
I do remember the ABC clock, but that wasn't on all day, I think it was always on before the nightly news.

In the pre-colour, pre-SBS period I vaguely recall the ABC had some programming in the morning followed by a detailed test card, with frequency grating and all, until the afternoon programming started. I've no memory at all of what the commercial stations did in their downtimes.

Oh, and at the end of programming the ABC played God Save the Queen! (pre Advance Australia Fair)


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 9 · Written at 3:01:54 PM on 7 April 2019.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 5176

Oh, and at the end of programming the ABC played God Save the Queen! (pre Advance Australia Fair)

And Channel 7 Sydney played this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFy703E6PsE


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 10 · Written at 4:06:07 PM on 7 April 2019.
Brad's avatar
 Administrator
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
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It's strange looking back to Australia Square being the tallest building. As far as I know, that building still has the world's largest revolving restaurant.


‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾
A valve a day keeps the transistor away...

 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 11 · Written at 4:38:13 PM on 7 April 2019.
Mattrix's Gravatar
 Location: Melbourne, VIC
 Member since 6 April 2019
 Member #: 2344
 Postcount: 12

> And Channel 7 Sydney played this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFy703E6PsE

Kool.

I found this site: http://www.meldrum.co.uk/mhp/testcard/bbc_test.html
that has some BBC test cards. I think the one that Robbbert referred to is in there.

The monochrome cards are very reminiscent, but I couldn't say for sure which, if any, of them were used by Australian stations.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 12 · Written at 6:51:18 PM on 7 April 2019.
Brad's avatar
 Administrator
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 5386

When I was young I remember getting up in the morning to watch the Thunderbirds followed by Rocky and Bullwinkle. After that it was brekky time and then unfortunately, school.


‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾
A valve a day keeps the transistor away...

 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 13 · Written at 9:45:25 PM on 7 April 2019.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 5176

No morning TV for us. It was Sammy Sparrow on 2UE and then on our Cyclops scooters to school.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 14 · Written at 10:25:29 PM on 7 April 2019.
Robbbert's avatar
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 18 September 2015
 Member #: 1801
 Postcount: 1043

Oh yes, channel 7's kangaroo putting the joey to bed, I'd forgotten that. I do have it recorded somewhere though.

Our usual test pattern was Test Pattern G. I'm pretty sure we never had teletubbies in our test patterns.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 15 · Written at 5:18:43 AM on 8 April 2019.
MonochromeTV's avatar
 Location: Melbourne, VIC
 Member since 20 September 2011
 Member #: 1009
 Postcount: 1038

Here is a monochrome test-pattern from ABC Channel 2 Melbourne in 1966.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wU5btpWRJfo


 
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