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Which clippings match 'Idents' keyword pg.1 of 1
18 OCTOBER 2012

Four to the Floor: the ever growing collection of Channel 4 idents

An "ever growing collection of Channel 4 current set of idents. The simple idea that flows through all these idents is the creation of 'the 4, be it optical illusion, supernatural intervention or coincidence, the iconic Channel 4 logo rears its head at some point during all these videos.

The basic premise leaves open many possibilities to play with, which perhaps also explains the longevity that these idents retain. New idents continue to be produced by Channel 4"

(John Beohm,



Simon Perkins
02 MARCH 2009

Television Test Cards, Tuning Signals, Clocks and Idents

"Test cards have all but disappeared from tv screens in the twenty–first century, certainly on old–fashioned analogue terrestrial stations, where twenty–four hour programming is the order of the day.
So what is the purpose of test cards and why are they so rarely used these days?
For a start there was only one channel, and that only broadcast for a few hours in the afternoon and evening. Most people couldn't afford a telly, and they were hardly going to be persuaded to save up for one if the sets in the shops had blank screens. Even when you bought one, it wouldn't work straight out of the box. The dealer would have to install it for you, erect an aerial, and perform a complicated series of adjustments before you received your first picture.

Because sets relied on thermionic valves in those days and ran very hot, it was necessary to allow the circuitry to 'warm up' properly before your programme was due to start. Since this would most likely be the first show of the evening there had to be something on the screen to assure you that the set was going to work properly.

A simple caption would suffice, but how much better to have a display that would allow the viewer to tweak the user controls – brightness, contrast, horizontal hold, etc, that because of the poor stability of the electronic components inside the set required frequent adjustment.

The broadcasters too needed a test signal that would tell them that the network was functioning properly."
(Alan Pemberton)



broadcastidentspioneeringtechnologytelevision • television test cards • Terrestrial • tuning signals • TVUK


Simon Perkins

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