Technicolor test patterns

From Home Video

This page is dedicated to cataloging the numerous test pattern types used by Technicolor Home Entertainment Services, formerly known as The Vidtronics Company, Technicolor Videocassette, Inc., Technicolor Video Services, and Technicolor Video/CD/DVD Services for over 35 years.

Test pattern types[edit]

The first four test pattern types listed below were used on tapes printed in California from late-1985 to April 1989.

  • Black screen, 400 Hz tone
  • Black screen, 410 Hz tone
  • Black screen, 420 Hz tone
  • Black screen, 1010 Hz tone
  • From 1986 to 1987, some tapes released by Walt Disney Telecommunications & Non-Theatrical Company had a silent white screen (with black vertical lines). This usually preceded the black screen with the tone.
  • From 1989 to 2006, most tapes duplicated in Livonia using either industrial duplicators or Otari TMD systems would open and close with DTMF tones.
    • Sometimes, the tones were heard twice (at either the beginning and/or the end).
    • Sometimes, in 1992, the tones were only heard in the linear track.
    • Most tapes had the tones played on the left audio channel. Sometimes, in early-to-mid-1993, the tones were heard on the right audio channel. However, the tones are identical if the linear audio track on the VCR that the tape is played on is only mono, as it is hard to find a VCR capable of stereo linear audio playback. Also, on some tapes, the tones in the Hi-Fi track may be different from the ones in the linear track.
  • During the 1990s, some tapes had shuffling color/black-and-white bars (usually 1-2 seconds if at the end of the tape; 1-6 seconds if a mastering error has occurred on the master tape in the middle of the tape), with or without color static.
  • Some tapes printed in California in early 1993 had a silent white screen formed by black vertical lines at the end, possibly from the master tape being stopped.

Pre-1989 test patterns[edit]

  • Sleeping Beauty (Walt Disney Home Video, 1986) - Gray screen, 400 Hz tone
  • American Flyers (Warner Home Video, 1986) - Changeover screen, with a list of titles (possibly on the OSD of a master tape machine), Silent
  • The Ballad of Cable Hogue (Warner Home Video, 1985) - Changeover screen, silent
  • Bronco Billy (Warner Home Video, 1985) - Changeover screen, silent
  • Dirty Dancing (Vestron Video, 1988) - Gray screen, silent

Post-1989 test patterns[edit]

  • Disney's Sing-Along Songs: Very Merry Christmas Songs (Walt Disney Home Video, 1990) - DTMF tones (twice)
  • Disney's Sing-Along Songs: Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah (Walt Disney Home Video, 1991) - DTMF tones (heard in the linear track only)
  • Fantasia (Walt Disney Home Video, 1991) - DTMF tones (the first tone is longer than usual)
  • 101 Dalmatians (Walt Disney Home Video, 1992) - DTMF tones (heard in the linear track only)
  • The Great Muppet Caper (Jim Henson Video, 1993) - DTMF tones (twice)
  • The Fox and the Hound (Walt Disney Home Video, 1994) - DTMF tones (twice)
  • Pinocchio (Walt Disney Home Video, 1993) - DTMF tones (heard on the right channel)
  • Jiminy Cricket's Christmas (Walt Disney Home Video, 1990) - DTMF tones (twice)

Other duplicators that used these test patterns[edit]