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Sky Digital Dead-Time

Test cards aren't used any more in TV dead time (although they should be!), presumably because TV engineers have their own pattern generators. 

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Sadly, either the station doesn't bother and only the Search-and-Scan banner comes up (as above), or more considerate stations make more creative use of free air time:


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Taken: 11th March 2000

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In its last days, UK Arena's dead-time was filled with this caption.

Taken: 19th March 2000

This is a grab from S4C2's information pages. This one is about the Welsh Assembly.

Taken 31st January 2000

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Rapture broadcasted this mouse-cam prior to going seven days.  The cheese in the bottom right rotates around an axis.

There is some quiz show-like tension music going on in the background, continually looping for as long as I watched for.

Taken 31st January 2000

There were two cameras, each one remaining on for about 10 seconds before flicking to the other:

Taken 31st January 2000

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The mice were elusive when I took these - I had to quickly take this shot before the mouse vanished again, which is why this image is a bit fuzzy.

Here's one of the little fellas taking a drink.

Taken 31st January 2000

This is what the Flextech channels show before they start.  This shot differs from the one below in that there is a new ident for Bravo.  

There's no music or anything, just this image and silence.

Taken 31st January 2000

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This attractive menu is broadcast before .tv, the technology channel, begins to broadcast.  No music to be heard here.

Taken 31st January 2000

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A History Channel Fault Caption.

Taken: 30th May 1999

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Here's a UK Arena fault caption.

Taken: 4th October 1999

Here's what Bravo broadcasted all day, until they start broadcasting, prior to Bravo's logo change.

Taken Autumn 1999

Bravo
S4C Daytime

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This is what we get on S4C Digital until they start broadcasting. It's just this caption in silence; what happened to the good old test card and music?

According to the S4C2 FAQs, the Viewers' Hotline gets asked such questions as "What was that music last night on Pobol y Cwm? I want to use it for my wedding" and "My television doesn't work. What can I do?"

Taken Autumn 1999

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Speaking of the S4C2 FAQs, this is what they broadcast in between covering the Welsh Assembly. This presentation is the 90s equivalent to the test card; there is some muzak playing in the background which is more up-to-date than the BBC's current dead-time music. Very contemporary, very fashionable!

Taken Autumn 1999

S4C2 FAQ
S4C2 FAQ

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Every 15 minutes or so the channel plays a short, 5-minute bilingual barker, then returns to the FAQs. Occasionally they show a programme menu.

This FAQ is the same one as the previous slide, only in Saesneg.

Taken Autumn 1999

Tara TV, the Irish channel, shows a revolving programme menu until it starts broadcasting.

Taken 31st January 2000

Tara TV
UK Gold 2
 

This is what the UKTV group shows when they're off air. This particular example is from UK Gold 2. All in silence, sadly.

Taken Autumn 1999

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This is what the UKTV channels were showing when off-air before UK Gold 2 and UK Drama.

Taken 29th March 1999

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