Get your testcards here

Published on 14 January 2008 in , , ,

My estimate is that probably less than ten people in the whole of the BBC knew it was there. Ten good people and true. One was me. And I know me. I know I can keep a secret. Although I’m not sure the person who told me can.

Yet secrets sometimes manage to get out – especially when the secret is broadcast in MHEG code on digital terrestrial television signals to the whole of the United Kingdom. Well 80% of it anyway…

And somehow the secret is out. And now more than ten people know about it.

BBC Testcard W

So I might as well let even more people know about it. There’s a hidden testcard buried behind the hidden engineering page on the BBCi service on Freeview. Should you ever want your own copy of Testcard W, any time of the day, just follow the instructions posted on Digital Spy’s forums. It is a slightly compressed image of the testcard – if you stare closely enough, you’ll spot a few artefacts in the picture.

Now if you’re wondering quite why there is a hidden testcard on the BBCi service on Freeview, well that’s one secret that’s staying a secret. For now anyway…


  • Ian says:

    Why does the reason for it have to remain a secret? It’s only BBCi, not nuclear warfare. Do tell….

  • Andrew Bowden says:

    The reason itself isn’t that exciting – it’s more what goes around that reason 🙂
    Trust me – it’s best unsaid!

  • wamdue says:

    it doesn’t surprise me that there is a boring reason for this.
    but its still cool that its there

  • Steve says:

    But does BBCi on DSat have a test card hidden in it?

  • Andrew Bowden says:

    Ah well, that would be telling! So I will! Afraid the answer is no. Well as far as I’m aware anyway…
    Although we did pump out the testcard in video once or twice as part of a video test!