Please Stand By August 21, 2009Posted by Fritz in Yachts and other things that float.
Tags: Indian test pattern, RCA, television
I just love this. Anyone under 40 has probably never seen it or knows what it is.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Indian Head Test Pattern was a black and white television test pattern which was introduced in 1939 by RCA.
The Indian Head Test Pattern became familiar to the large post-war Baby Boom TV audiences in America from 1947 onwards; it would often follow the formal television station sign-off after the United States national anthem.
The Indian Head pattern could variously be seen: after sign-off but while the station was still transmitting; while transmitting prior to a typical 6 AM formal sign-on; or even during the daylight morning hours on newer low budget stations, which typically began their broadcast day with midday local programs around 10 or 11 AM.
During the late 1950s the test pattern gradually began to be seen less frequently, after fewer sign-offs, on fewer stations, and for shorter periods in the morning, since new and improved TV broadcast equipment required less adjusting. In later years the test pattern was transmitted for as little as a minute after studio sign-off while the transmitter engineer logged required FCC-USA/Industry Canada transmitter readings, and then turned off the power.
A cardboard mounted lithograph of the test pattern was typically attached to a rolling vertical easel in each TV studio, to be videographed by each studio camera during test time. Then the cameras were adjusted to appear identical on picture monitors, by alternately switching between and comparing the monoscope image and the test card image. Such adjustments were made on a regular basis because television system electronics then used hot vacuum tubes, the operating characteristics of which drifted throughout each broadcast day.
And now you know.