Test Cards and Ceefax

Test Cards and Ceefax

An interview with Edwin Parsons a BBC preservation expert

Edwin Parsons, a preservation expert from the BBC's Archives, explains why the test cards and Ceefax matter more than you might think.


Previous Test Cards

The BBC started back probably in the 1940s with what was known as test card A. We know what that looks like. All the test cards were labelled. We don't really know what test card B was like any more. Of course, test card C for monochrome TV was about the pinnacle of development. I find it a pleasing picture as well and technically speaking it was very good. Test card D was used quite a lot. There have been test cards E and G, which haven't been on screen much at all, and then we came to colour television with test card F. Then test cards after that on BBC television were basically electronic versions and developments.

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