The launch of BBC Two HD on March 26, replacing the BBC HD channel in the UK, means the corporation is dropping the testcard and AV sync test signals introduced to calibrate HD screens.
After being retired from active service in 1999, Testcard F with eight–year old Carole Hersee and sidekick Bubbles the Clown, from restored in December 2008 in a new high definition format along with the brand new AV sync check signal.
Hersee was the daughter of BBC engineer George Hersee, who worked on the original version of the testcard first seen on July 2, 1967.
“The test signal package was added to the BBC HD promotion after we had many complaints about lip sync and ‘odd’ looking pictures. We took some time to have a long look at all the issues and suggestions coming in but we also looked at how the then new high definition televisions were set up when they were delivered,” said Andy Quested, chief technologist HD & 3D, BBC Technology.
Quested wrote on the BBC Internet Blog that the test loop had successfully reduced the number of complaints to virtually zero.
In a last hurrah, the test sequence will be shown throughout the night from around 1.30am on the morning of March 26th, through to the launch of BBC Two HD programmes at 6.30am.