What is a "Test Card"

Discussion in 'Free To Air (FTA) Discussion' started by Otis413, Jan 27, 2018.

Tags:
  1. Otis413

    Otis413 Topic Starter Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2016
    Posts:
    8
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Cass WV
    I can usually find what I'm looking for by using the Search option, but no luck on this one.
    Looking at websites like LyngSat I see transponders marked "Test Card", just what is this?

    Thanks in advance!
    Great Website!
    Otis
    KD8VBV
     
  2. Brct203

    Brct203 SatelliteGuys Pro

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2016
    Posts:
    391
    Likes Received:
    250
    Location:
    Connecticut
    usually that's just a video pattern, like a slide, that is static and fills the channel. For example, the color bar test card. Some will have some text indicating who owns it. Sometimes the audio carries a tone, sometimes it's silent.

    They can be used to test equipment, but also to "mark their territory", so that we can tune the receivers even at times where they are not broadcasting.

    Many test cards have very specific patterns, and allow a trained technician to quickly measure many indicators of transmission quality just by observing specific details

    Test card - Wikipedia

    They were probably more common and more useful in the days of analog TV
     
  3. Otis413

    Otis413 Topic Starter Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2016
    Posts:
    8
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Cass WV
  4. Lone Gunman

    Lone Gunman SatelliteGuys Pro

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2010
    Posts:
    2,831
    Likes Received:
    601
    Location:
    southeast
    Back in the early OTA TV days we called them a "Test Pattern". They looked a little different than what you see today but they did have the different colors and sometimes a station ID. Back then TV stations didn't broadcast programming 24hrs a day.
     
  5. Martyn

    Martyn SatelliteGuys Pro

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2005
    Posts:
    558
    Likes Received:
    176
    Location:
    Concord, CA
    Test card is British English. We never called them test patterns. That's probably where Lyngsat got the term from.

    See my profile picture for a long-running British classic.

    Test card trivia: The "x" on the blackboard on the BBC's Testcard F is at the exact center of the frame, enabling TV engineers to line up TVs. Yes, that was all done in the days of analog TV and cathode ray tubes.
     
  6. Alan Rovner

    Alan Rovner SatelliteGuys Guru

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    Posts:
    125
    Likes Received:
    51
    Location:
    Vancouver, WA
    The test card is especially useful when it identifies the satellite and transponder. It helps verify you're on the correct bird when setting up a new system.
     
  7. comfortably_numb

    comfortably_numb Dogs have owners, cats have staff
    Pub Member / Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2011
    Posts:
    3,947
    Likes Received:
    3,222
    Location:
    Missouri/Kansas
    I used to call them "color bars." Not sure if that was my nerdy invention or a term I heard someone else use !
     
  8. KE4EST

    KE4EST SatelliteGuys Is My Second Home
    Staff Member HERE TO HELP YOU!

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2004
    Posts:
    23,804
    Likes Received:
    4,123
    Location:
    EM75xb
    SMPTE color bars - Wikipedia
     
    comfortably_numb likes this.

***

Separate names with a comma.

More...