SMPTE Fanfic
August 19, 2016 10:03 AM   Subscribe

Fantasy Test Cards is a YouTube channel that features dozens of fake television test patterns, each accompanied by an hour of relaxing music. [via]

Test cards have a long history. In 2002, the popular SMPTE Test Pattern won an Emmy.
posted by schmod (20 comments total) 38 users marked this as a favorite
 
This is excellent.
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 10:45 AM on August 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


Test pattern ... and chill.
posted by twidget at 10:53 AM on August 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


Don't forget to renew your subscription to the Test Card Circle.

The BBC - Error 404 : Not Found page has a familiar face, too.
posted by scruss at 11:05 AM on August 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


Miss the Indian Head.
posted by MtDewd at 11:18 AM on August 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


This is great!
posted by SageLeVoid at 11:31 AM on August 19, 2016


Which stands for Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers...
posted by TedW at 11:40 AM on August 19, 2016 [3 favorites]


Wikipedia page on India-head Test Pattern has more details (probably because the image is more detailed) than the SMPTE test pattern.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:52 PM on August 19, 2016


And here's a collection of (low resolution) test cards, from the delightfully archaic MHP (not sure what it means/ stands for, but they still have a webring thingy on the bottom of the main landing page!)
posted by filthy light thief at 12:56 PM on August 19, 2016


Of course, these test patterns were designed to stress the system and expose common problems. However, those problems were tied to the old analog transmission methods.

New digital methods have new ways of breaking and thus require new patterns to stress them and quickly spot problems. The modern test pattern is the Sarnoff / SRI signal (low-res Youtube sample). It's wildly expensive (you need the raw, high-quality video signal to properly use it) but a masterpiece of engineering and design.
posted by intermod at 12:57 PM on August 19, 2016 [3 favorites]


Who wants to put togteher a FPP on the mechanical test patterns/continuity placeholders, like the ones the BBC used?

Monty Python fans are familiar with the BBC Globe, but my favorite is the BBC Schools Diamond/Chevron.

Lots of BBC test cards here
posted by JoeZydeco at 12:58 PM on August 19, 2016


Hah, I read the wikipedia page linked above about the Indian head test-card and there was a line in there about playing the national anthem and the programming going off air-- one of those things that I had totally forgotten ever happened and which I should tuck away for the next time some whippersnapper in Ask wants to know what things were like in the days before infomercials.
posted by Hal Mumkin at 5:42 PM on August 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


came for the baby snakes; wasn't disappointed
posted by ergomatic at 7:09 PM on August 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


You're not really a Bostonian if this WGBH placeholder isn't burned into your brain.
posted by adamg at 7:22 PM on August 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


For me, it's the Thames Television ident.

That little tune is burned in to my brain as one of the hallmarks of summer vacation.
posted by madajb at 11:18 PM on August 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


Hah, I read the wikipedia page linked above about the Indian head test-card and there was a line in there about playing the national anthem and the programming going off air-- one of those things that I had totally forgotten ever happened and which I should tuck away for the next time some whippersnapper in Ask wants to know what things were like in the days before infomercials.

One of our local channels still goes "off the air".

They play a slideshow of static ads for a mattress company.
posted by madajb at 11:20 PM on August 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


I have been a nocturnal person since I was a very young child. Test patterns, station sign offs and sign ons, all have a very special place in my psyche.

I enjoy this. It might even encourage me to dig through my archives and make a few of my own mixes.




Yeah, I have a collection of test patterns and stuff.
posted by louche mustachio at 12:52 AM on August 20, 2016 [3 favorites]


  the Thames Television ident

If there isn't a burgeoning genre of dance music made entirely of sliced-up samples of this over electronic bass, the world disappoints me.
posted by scruss at 3:37 AM on August 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


You're not really a Bostonian if this WGBH placeholder isn't burned into your brain

I'm not a Bostonian (although my sister in law is), but that is definitely burned into my brain, followed immediately by the intro to Nova.
posted by TedW at 6:48 AM on August 20, 2016 [5 favorites]


Channel is closed now. :(
posted by frecklefaerie at 8:35 AM on August 22, 2016


but that is definitely burned into my brain, followed immediately by the intro to Nova ZOOM.

FTFY.
posted by JoeZydeco at 10:57 AM on August 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


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