Friday, March 6, 2009

Ident library websites

In doing a bit of research for this blog I have been trawling the net to find out where one can view examples of idents both past and present. (check out the links column)

My first port of call was The TV Room – a "fan site" run by people who do not work in the industry. There is an impressive array of all the UK terrestrial idents going back many years. There are many stills and some video – thought not as much as I would have liked. If you work in the industry ideally you want to see the full movement, logo resolve and hear the music. There is one hilarious sequence I did manage to see which was the nightly sign-off from BBC Scotland before closing down for the night – the announcer says good night from him and the crew and then they play the national anthem! – it seemed very 1950s but was not that long ago – do channels still do that? The selection of cable channels was a bit thin – but you can't have everything I suppose….

Next I found the Ident Gallery – again a fan site, but very well put together with loads of stills and movies of the idents themselves. It has a comprehensive list of all the UK terrestrial channels and their various spin-off and a few other satellite channels. Not much in the way of comment from wither of these two sites as to the whys and wherefores of the branding itself. I get the feeling that the mentality here is that of a stamp collector – it is important to the people to get as many into the collection as possible, but they are not too concerned about the reason for them coming about. Maybe we can begin to tackle this in this blog?

The third site I found - tv50 restricts the idents it shows from 1950 – 2000 – so not a great one for checking the latest versions of all your favourite channels – but it is a very easy site to use. Apart from idents it is also broken up in to news, continuity, weather, breakfast TV, and children's. There is a selection of stills, audio only and video from all these categories. I had a great time reminiscing on the LWT ident – amazing how familiar those signatures are from years ago! There is also a large links page that can take you to many related sites that I havn't got the space to discuss here.

Finally I am going to mention TVA, which has been going for 8 years apparently. This has the most comprehensive satellite selection I have seen as well as all the usual terrestrials. There is very little in the way of written info about any of the channels on show – but there are links to various articles written about TV. You can look for channels according to their Sky EPG number, which I thought was handy.

There are of, course other sites that show idents – I have only highlighted my favourites. Also you can find pretty much anything on You Tube – the only trouble with that, I have found is that you get lots of material which has been filmed off the TV screen with a video camera – with ensuing terrible picture and sound quality. If any one wants to tell me about better sites, I would be happy to post about them.

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