What To Watch When There's Nothing On
You've really got to try this out - it's ace! It might be common knowledge in some circles but it was news to me, and I love it.
You know how it is. It's late evening and BBC1 has a film you've already seen or don't want to see again. BBC2 is running News 24, but you've already seen Newsnight and so have no real need to watch it. ITV1 has Bingo Live of which the less said the better. Channel 4 may well be showing B*g B*****r - I don't know, we're in a 13 week period when I feel duty bound to avoid the "4" button on my remote (or 104 on Sky). And Five is in that period between their decent programming ending and the start of their baseball coverage. Multi-channel's obviously not worth a dime, so what to watch?
Well thanks to some information from Steve Roberts, one of the people who works on the Doctor Who Restoration Team and contributes to their excellent forum, you can watch the test card any time you like!
Specifically, it's the widescreen Test Card W (yes - it really does have its own Wikipedia page). And most importantly, you need a Freeview box. But you've got to try this right now - it's wonderful!
1. Tune to the BBCi channel (currently ch. 105)
2. When the BBCi background appears, press Yellow (within 30 secs)
3. Tune away to a different channel
4. Tune back to the BBCi channel (currently ch. 105)
5. When the BBCi background appears, press Green (within 30 secs)
The word 'Secret' will appear in the top right hand corner [Note: I didn't get this I jumped straight to the status page]
6. Wait until the status page appears
7. Enter 3, 3, 5, 8, 2, Red, Green, Yellow, Blue
(note "33582" spells out the word "DELTA" on a mobile phone keypad)
8. Wait approximately 30 seconds [Note: this was instantaneous on my box]
Test card will appear
And it works. You're now watching something significantly better than most fare on television most of the time.
Indeed why not put on some test card music or listen to the radio - it's much better.