Test Card W

Test Card W

Test Card W is a test card, an image used to determine the quality of a broadcast television picture. It is an updated 16:9 (1.78:1) widescreen version of Test Card F, which was created by BBC engineer George Hersee. Test Card W is similar to Test Card J, the latter being a 4:3 version. Both appeared for the first time in November 1999.

The colour-bars on the top and right of the image are the full 100 percent saturation version, unlike Test Cards F and J which use the 95 percent type. Extra mirrored arrow-heads on the central axis at the sides mark the positions of the middle 4:3 and 14:9 sections of the image.

As television is usually broadcast 24 hours a day, the test card is now rarely used. The last "known" occasion that this card was broadcast on British screens was Friday 9 January 2004, when early morning tests were carried out on BBC One and BBC Two. BBC Two still closes every weekday morning between 4.00 and 6.00 and during Educational Holidays, but pages from Ceefax rather than test cards are broadcast on these occasions.


The last occasion that Test Card W was broadcast on BBC One and BBC Two was Friday 9 January 2004. The times before that were for a few minutes on 3 December 2003 on BBC Two during the 2003 tests; seen for around 20 minutes during Pages from Ceefax time from about 02.20 on 22 June 2003; a brief appearance in the early in the morning of 14 August 2001 in a programme gap; on BBC One between 03.00 and 04.00 on 27 July 2001 (while BBC Two was on reduced power); and during the August 2000 BBC rebroadcast test.

On Freeview, however, Test Card W can be called up at any time using this procedure:

#Tuning to the BBCi channel (105)
#Pressing "yellow" within 30 seconds of the BBCi background appearing
#Tuning to another channel
#Tuning back to BBCi (105)
#Pressing "green" within 30 seconds of the BBCi background appearing
#Waiting for the word "secret" to appear at the top right corner of the screen and a status page appearing
#Entering 3, 3, 5, 8, 2--the numbers spelling 'DELTA' on a mobile phone keypad--followed by Red, Green, Yellow, Blue.

Test Card W should appear within 30 seconds. [http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=728925]


Test Card W was shown during the infamous power cut of 2000 at Television Centre.

*Power Cut Details:
**Details Info [http://www.tvradiobits.co.uk/bitsandpieces/powercut.htm]
**BBC Article [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/799360.stm]
**News Report [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whGnOGs_ibk]

ee also

*List of BBC test cards
*Test card
*Carole Hersee
*Bubbles the Clown

External links

* [http://www.barney-wol.net/video/testcardw/testcardw.html A history of the card]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Test Card F — is a test card that was created by the BBC and used on television in the United Kingdom and in countries elsewhere in the world for more than four decades. Like other test cards, it was usually shown while no programmes were being broadcast, but… …   Wikipedia

  • Test Card J — is a test card, an image used to determine the quality of a broadcast television picture. It is an updated version of Test Card F, which was created by BBC engineer George Hersee, and it first appeared in November 1999.DifferencesThe centre… …   Wikipedia

  • test card — see ↑test pattern below. • • • Main Entry: ↑test test pattern, test card or test chart noun (image technol) A transmitted chart with lines and details to indicate particular characteristics of a transmission system, used in TV for general testing …   Useful english dictionary

  • Test Card H — is the name given to a test card designed by the BBC. However, it was never broadcast and used as a line up chart for cameras, possibly used to test chroma specifications as well as resolution and bandwidth.ee also*List of BBC test cards …   Wikipedia

  • test card — test ,card noun count BRITISH a TEST PATTERN …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • test card — n BrE a pattern or picture that is shown on television when there are no programmes …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • test card — ► NOUN Brit. ▪ a still television picture transmitted outside normal programme hours to aid in judging the quality of the image …   English terms dictionary

  • Test card — A test card, also known as a test pattern in the UK, North America and Australia, is a television test signal, typically broadcast at times when the transmitter is active but no program is being broadcast (often at startup and closedown). Used… …   Wikipedia

  • test card — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms test card : singular test card plural test cards British a pattern of lines and colours that you see on your television screen when there are no programmes …   English dictionary

  • test card — (test kahrd) a card printed with various letters or symbols, used in testing vision …   Medical dictionary