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Vintage Television and Video Vintage television and video equipment, programmes, VCRs etc.

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Old 15th Jan 2007, 10:01 pm   #1
Zelandeth
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Default Program Start Countdown screens

Something rarely seen these days - though the old monochrome clock does seem to make the odd appearance on ITV every now and then for the occasional second.

Granted, my knowledge of TV broadcasting doesn't go back very far...but this little chain of though was triggered by talk of testcards in another thread.

Does anyone have any info or screenshots of the countdowns that used to be shown immediately prior to the start of programs?

My main experiences of this relate to ITV (Grampian), and the last minute or so before educational broadcasts in the late 80s and early 90s. Certainly those in the 90s had a computer generated look to them, with a very fancy multicoloured rotating logo in the middle of the screen with the little countdown ticking down in a border around that.

I'm sure there have been innumerable variants on the theme over the years - anyone actually documented this?

Okay...that's my curiosity for the day...
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Old 15th Jan 2007, 10:27 pm   #2
Steve_P
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Default Re: Program Start Countdown screens

Yes, this is documented. We were/are still kids!

http://www.sub-tv.co.uk/index.asp

http://www.sub-tv.co.uk/schools.asp

http://www.transdiffusion.org/emc/ha...60s/school.php

Cheers,

Steve P
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Old 16th Jan 2007, 12:19 am   #3
Zelandeth
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Default Re: Program Start Countdown screens

Cheers Steve! The ITV schools ones from the late 80s-early 90s were just the ones I remember - running to 92, which puts it dead on the right timeframe.

Nice to see one of the movie sequences there (30th anniversary switchover to C4) was actually recorded from Grampian TV (which is based about five minutes from my flat).

Okay...this is actually making me feel old now...but at the same time I'm just about bouncing off the walls, having grabbed back a little bit of my past that I can look back at again now. I'd actually remembered the graphics exactly right too!

Thanks!
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Old 16th Jan 2007, 11:47 pm   #4
Focus Diode
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Default Re: Program Start Countdown screens

If its the screen clocks at the absolute start of programmes you're after check out some NETWORK DVDs! "On The Buses" series 2 (1969 B&W) has screen clocks at the start of ALL episodes plus original "From London Weekend" captions and break bumpers as an example!

Brian R
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Old 17th Jan 2007, 11:06 pm   #5
Mikey405
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Default Re: Program Start Countdown screens

Hi everyone.

There's a great DVD you can buy from Amazon etc. called "Look around you" which is a series of spoof schools programs from the 1970s. These programs have the schools countdown timer with the little rectangles on it and some pretty dodgy music too...

Attached are a couple of flash files of the schools diamond pattern and the schools countdown timer with the circles. You will need to have flash installed for the animations to work. If you want to run them full screen, you can download the files and use a little freeware application called "Swiff Player" from the Internet. The flash files were written by someone much cleverer than me, although I don't know who. I think you can download them from the BBC web site if you can work out where to look.

http://www.oldtechnology.net/misc/BB..._Countdown.swf
http://www.oldtechnology.net/misc/BB...ls_Diamond.swf
http://www.oldtechnology.net/misc/SwiffPlayer11.exe

Thanks everyone.

From Mike.

Last edited by Kat Manton; 18th Jan 2007 at 9:07 pm. Reason: Dealt with errant censoring
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