BBC HD says goodbye with night of Testcards

BBC HD testcard. Want to see it full size? Click to enlarge.
The BBC HD channel is to depart from our screens next week with a night of test signals, including a variety of BBC testcards from bygone times for the armchair enthusiast.

Andy Quested, the BBC's chief technologist for HD/3D confirmed the special event in a blog post on the BBC Internet Blog today. Once BBC HD programmes finish at around 1:30am on Tuesday 26th, the channel will show the HD testcard, lip-sync test and re-creations of classic testcards, from 405-line testcards to the 625 widescreen testcard.

The test signals will continue until BBC Two HD takes over at 6:05am.

BBC Two HD will not include a slot for the HD test signals, as it will be the HD version of the existing BBC Two England (network) service, with no facility for an HD opt-out to allow the HD test signals to air on BBC Two HD only. The removal of a separate stand-alone HD channel is part of the BBC's Delivering Quality First efficiency programme.

The HD testcard and lip-sync test were introduced to the BBC HD Preview loop screened during the morning and early afternoon in December 2008, following complaints from viewers that they were having problems with lip-sync to assist viewers with their set-up.

According to Andy Quested, the introduction of the lip-sync test brought complaints on the matter down to nearly zero within a few weeks, helping the BBC to identify that the majority of lip-sync problems were originating from viewer's AV equipment set-up rather than the signal departing from the BBC.

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