|Possibly the first ever television test chart, this
very simple pattern was broadcast by the BBC in 1934
using Baird's 30 line TV system.
||In 1934 and 35, BBC Television had this 'Television
Eye" tuning signal, transmitted frequently prior to
the few programmes shown.
|An early BBC Tuning Signal, broadcast before each
programme. The idea was to give the old television sets
time to warm up, and for the viewer to adjust all of the
controls to get a reasonable picture.
were not "Test Cards" as such, as they were not
designed to test anything, but they were a comforting
sight for the early viewers operating somewhat unreliable
Note the "BBC" logo in computer MICR style,
some years before computers were in use. This dates from
before the war, around 1937-38. There was at least one
other Tuning Signal in this period, sharing a similar
||This Tuning Signal heralded the return of the BBC
Television Service at the end of the war, first broadcast
on June 7th 1946.
|BBC Tuning Signal from 1949.
This was the first to
incorporate a clock. Nothing hi-tech, the hands were
cardboard and had to be moved manually. It was first
trasnmitted on 24th July 1949.
||Yet another style of Tuning Signal. The centre hole
contains a 2.5MHz frequency grating. The "Test
Transmission" version was usually seen when new
transmitters were being set up in the 1950s.
|Tuning Signal from around 1950, this was the first to
be broadcast in 4:3 aspect ratio. The centre hole
contains a 2.5MHz frequency grating. The "wavy
lines" series was introduced in December 1949.
||Same Tuning Signal, this time with a clock in the
centre. Can anyone confirm exactly when these were shown,
and how they were used? Was the one above shown first
with the clock version clock reserved for the final
minute, or was the clock only used at certain times of
the day? Or were these two never shown at the same time?
|The first attempt at incorporating the 'Bat's Wing'
identifier in to a tuning signal. It made its first
appearance on 19th August 1955. Was not terribly popular,
and was replaced by...
||The BBC "Angel Wings" identifier / tuning
signal. It was introduced in 16th June 1956 and
accomapnied by a specially composed tune, the
That brings us to the end of the BBC Tuning
Signals. For more pre-programme images, you will need to look at
the BBC Test Cards, and the early ident symbols are featured in
The Ident Zone.
Last Updated 29 Mar 2000