Digital on-screen graphic
A digital on-screen graphic (originally known as digitally originated graphic, and known in the UK and New Zealand by the acronym DOG; in the US, Canada, Ireland and Australia as a bug or network bug) is a watermark-like station logo that most television broadcasters overlay over a portion of the screen area of their programs to identify the channel. They are thus a form of permanent visual station identification, increasing brand recognition and asserting ownership of the video signal. In some cases, the graphic also shows the name of the current program. Some television networks use an on-screen graphic to advertise upcoming programs (usually programs scheduled later the same day, but also for "significant" upcoming programs as much as a week in advance).
The graphic identifies the source of programming, even if it has been time-shifted—that is, recorded to videotape, DVD, or a digital personal video recorder such as TiVo. Many of these technologies allow viewers to skip or omit traditional between-programming station identification; thus the use of a DOG enables the station or network to enforce brand identification even when standard commercials are skipped.
DOG watermarking helps reducing off-the-air copyright infringement – for example, the distribution of a current series' episodes on DVD: the watermarked content is easily differentiated from "official" DVD releases, and can help identify not only the station from which the broadcast was captured, but usually the actual date of the broadcast as well.
Graphics may be used to identify if the correct subscription is being used for a type of venue. For example, showing Sky Sports within a pub requires a more expensive subscription; a channel authorized under this subscription adds a pint glass graphic to the bottom of the screen for inspectors to see. The graphic changes at certain times, making it harder to counterfeit.
On the other hand, watermarks pollute the picture, distract viewers' attention, may cover an important piece of information presented in the television program. Extremely bright watermarks may cause screen burn-in on some types of TV sets.
Usage of visually perceptible embedded watermarks requires program author to have a separate clean copy for archival purposes, but this practice was not common decades ago when watermarking became popular among broadcasters. Watermarks present an issue when archival videos are used for a documentary that strives to create a coherent story. In some cases watermarks are blurred or digitally removed if possible to clean up the picture. In the absence of visually perceptible watermarks content control can be ensured with visually imperceptible digital watermarks.
Many news broadcasters also place a clock alongside their bug. In the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, DOGs may also include the show's parental guideline rating. In Australia, this is known as a Program Return Graphic (PRG). It has become common to place text above the station's logo advertising other programs on the network.
In many countries, some TV networks put "live" in the bottom of the DOG to advise viewers that the program is live, as opposed to a repeat.
Arabic TV logos are placed in the top-right and top-left except for Al-Jazeera, whose logo appears on the bottom-right of the screen. Some of the Arabian TV stations hide their logos during commercial breaks and promos/trailers, such as Dubai TV, Dubai One, Funoon, the Egyptian CBC and Nile TV networks, ART Hekayat, ART Hekayat 2, Iqraa and Al-Jazeera.
Beginning in the late 1990s, almost all television stations in Argentina had their logos being shown on the top-right of the screen. When Canal 9 relaunched in 2002 to replace Azul Televisión, its logo was shown on the bottom-left of the screen. After intense criticism, Canal 9 moved its logo to the top-right of the screen of which most Argentine broadcasters had almost always followed.
Australia first introduced the digital on-screen graphic in the early 1990s. The Seven Network was the first metropolitan network to broadcast digital on-screen graphics on all of their programs, following The Nine Network in mid-to-late 2002 later Network Ten in 2004. DOGs in Australia most commonly appear in the bottom-right hand corner of the screen, but sports orientated content that uses the network's sports brand (e.g. Seven Network and Seven Sport) generally appear on the top-right hand corner of the screen. One originally placed its DOG in the top-right hand corner of the screen due to it being a sports orientated channel at the time, but after the 2011 rebrand to allow a wide range of content to be broadcast, the channel's DOG was moved to the bottom-right hand corner of the screen. The ABC3 and ABC Kids channels originally placed their DOGs in the top-left hand corner of the screen, but have since moved them down to the bottom-right hand corner as of late 2013. Datacasting channels and home shopping channels show their DOGs in the top-right hand corner of the screen.
DOGs are generally shown in a semi-transparent format, but are shown opaque during in-programme advertisements that take place at the very bottom of the screen. News services have their own DOGs placed where their network's DOG would normally be, but are only shown in an opaque format. News services generally show footage that was captured by another network (usually for sporting stories), but the semi-transparent DOG of the original network is still shown. Current affairs programmes and other news programmes that are produced by the network generally show their own opaque DOG at the bottom-left hand corner of the screen, opposite to their network's semi-transparent DOG which still appears (e.g. Nine Network and A Current Affair).
Australian TV networks hide all of their DOGs during advertisement breaks. They only reappear during the promotion for a programme that will be shown on the station and are not shown during any other advertisement material.
At times, networks will superimpose a semi-transparent watermark immediately adjacent to their DOG to advertise an upcoming special event that the network will be broadcasting (e.g. Network Ten superimposed an advertisement for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics on their primary channel (Ten), 10 Boss, and 10 Peach as they were to be the Australian broadcaster of the event), or to advertise a popular upcoming programme.
In addition, during ABC's ABC News Breakfast, Seven's Sunrise and 10 Peach's Toasted TV (prior to 2018), a digital clock appears on the bottom right-hand corner of the screen while Nine's Today Show and Ten's Studio 10 appears on the bottom left-hand corner of the screen.
Currently now ABC, Seven, Nine and Ten are on the bottom-right hand corner while SBS is on the top-right hand corner.
ORF, the Austrian public broadcasting agency, introduced digital on-screen graphics in 1992 on both television channels operated back then. Before, only the abbreviation "ORF" was shown randomly for several minutes during the programming in the top right corner of the screen, styled in a simple white sans-serif typeface. Nowadays, all Austrian television channels, both public and private, are required by law to display a digital on-screen graphic continuously in order to enable channel identification. However, during commercial and continuity breaks, it is forbidden to show digital on-screen graphics, to allow a further distinction between paid commercials or station announcements and programming content.
The position on the screen varies between the top left and the top right corner: for instance, public broadcaster ORF shows the digital on-screen graphics on ORF eins (first channel) in the top left corner, on ORF 2 (second channel) in the top right corner and on ORF III (third channel) again in the top left corner. Commercial broadcaster ATV places the graphic in the top right corner on its main channel and in the top left corner on its additional channel ATV II. Most other commercial channels show their digital on-screen graphics in the top right corner of the screen.
In Brazil, digital on-screen graphics were introduced in the mid-1990s and are always used by all channels (free and pay). In most free-to-air channels, the logos are located on the bottom-right hand corner of the screen (except for RedeTV!, TV Gazeta, and Rede Bandeirantes, whose logos are placed on the top right corner of the screen, and GloboNews, which is located in the top left corner of the screen (and on the bottom left corner of the screen during reports)) and in all free channels they are usually transparent, but if some program or event is being broadcast live or exclusive or if some archived footage is shown, they become colorful. In some pay channels, the logos appear even in commercial breaks, but they become transparent in this situation.
Logo bugs are used by Canadian broadcasters in a nearly identical fashion to U.S. broadcasters. However, a complication emerges when Canadian broadcasters simulcast U.S. programming (a frequent practice among broadcast television networks, intended to invoke the simultaneous substitution rules requiring TV providers to substitute the feeds of U.S. broadcast channels with those of local, Canadian broadcast channel, if they are airing identically-scheduled programming). While recorded programs can be delivered to the broadcaster by their distributor and played out locally (without depending on taking a feed from a U.S. network), live programs may not always have a clean feed available that is free of the U.S. network's bugs and imaging, necessitating the use of a dirty feed from the network instead.
In these scenarios, some channels—including, most frequently, CTV and CTV Two, as well as its Bell Media sister channels—covered the U.S. network's bug with their own, opaque logo. However, Bell has since ceased this practice, and the majority of broadcasters "co-brand" the dirty feed by placing their own bug in a different corner of the screen than the U.S. logo.
Chilean television stations started showing the logos permanently in the 1990s. During that time, logos were placed in the bottom-right of the screen. La Red was the first television broadcaster to move their logo to the top of the screen, in 1997, due to the logo change, the logo was placed at the top-left, and later due to the same reason, moved to the top-right until now. Other broadcasters, such as Mega, which its logo being originally shown on the bottom-left of the screen, moved to the top-right of the screen due to similar reasons; Canal 13, in a similar manner, moved its logo from the bottom-right to the top-right corner in 2002. Chilevisión has continued to have its logo being shown on the bottom-right of the screen until 2007, when it moved to the top-right of the screen, of which other television channels in Chile had followed in the previous years.
TV stations in mainland China always place their logo (usually semi-transparent and sometimes animated) in the top-left corner of the screen in full colour or grey-scale, regardless of the content being broadcast (programme or advertisements); although in some rare cases, the DOG may be placed elsewhere to avoid covering the score bug during the broadcast of a sport event.
Nelonen was the first channel in Finland to use the DOG, from its start in June 1997. MTV3 started to use DOG in the beginning of 1998, and Yle introduced DOGs in its two channels in August 1998. The DOGs moved from the top right corner to the top left corner on Yle's channels on 5 March 2012 when the company's new corporate logo was taken into use.
La Cinq was the first channel in France to use the DOG when it launched in February 1986; it remained on the bottom-right corner until the channel ceased operations in April 1992. After the first private channels launched between 1986 and 1990, DOGs began to be used on the public television channels operated by France Télévisions and TF1, where they were placed on the top-right corner.
Currently, the DOGs of TF1 and all channels of France Télévisions are placed on the top-right corner, while those of M6 and W9 are placed on the top-left corner. During programming blocks aimed at children, TF1 and international channel TV5 uses another DOG.
In the 1980s, public broadcasters started to randomly show logos during programs to prevent video piracy, following the lead of Italian broadcasters RAI and Canale 5. After the first private stations emerged in 1984, permanently showing their logo most times, the public broadcasters soon followed. Today practically all TV stations show their logo during the programs and often these are an integral part of their design using fluent motion graphic animations to make the transition between programs, previews and advertising, as well as displaying additional information such as teletext numbers or the name of the following program. Most logos are transparent during programming though some channels do not. (e.g. kabel eins uses a bright orange coloured logo.) Also the majority of the channels show their logo in either the top-left or top-right corner of the picture though there are exceptions (e.g. RTL II in the bottom-right or N24 logo in the bottom-left and date and time in the top-right).
On all Greek network television networks, DOGs appear on the top-left hand corner of the screen. Since 1997, almost all television stations in Greece do not remove their logos during advertisement, although in channels such as Skai TV the logo becomes transparent.
Hungarian DOGs was first introduced in MTV's channels (TV1(Now M1), TV2(Now M2 - not to be confused with the independent channel of the same name)) from the late 80's to the early 90's, but it was very rare until 1991.
TV2(later M2) was the first network to always display its DOG, which was a quarter-circle. It first showed up in 1992 and disappeared in 1994 due to logo change. And followed by many broadcasters and TV channels, making it easier to identify.
These logos may be at any corner of the screen.
Age ratings have been included since 2001 onwards at the bottom of the screen as well as before the start of the program, but some channels dislike the requirement and use a different age rating system instead (mostly the Romanian ones, like the DIGI's educational channels, RTL(previously), and the independent TV2's sister channels) or none at all.
Many channels hide their logos in commercial breaks, but some such as the independent TV2 and its sisters include them during ads.
The Irish language channel TnaG first used their bug during simulcast of QVC and their coverage of the Oireachtas (Irish Parliament). In 1998 TV3 launch as Ireland's first commercial operator and the first Irish channel to permanently use a bug in the left hand corner of the screen. In 1999 TnaG re-branded as TG4 and began showing their logo during all programmes. In 2002 RTÉ introduced their bug however it would only appear for twenty seconds at the beginning of each show and it was there to classify the suitability of the content of the show, in 2004 the bug became a permanent part of the on screen presentation for both RTÉ One and RTÉ Two. RTÉ's classification guide also appears for twenty seconds at the beginning of each show. RTÉ's, TG4's and Setanta Ireland's bugs appear in the upper right hand corner of the screen, while TV3's bugs appeared in the bottom right hand corner of the screen between the early 2000s and the channel's rebranding as Virgin Media One in August 2018 (when its bug was moved to the top right hand corner). RTÉ does not use their bug during news or current affairs programming. The now-defunct Channel 6 also displayed a bug during its two years on the air. The new digital services from RTÉ also display bugs on RTÉjr, RTÉ Two HD and RTÉ One+1. Bugs are also used to tell viewers when shows are live or when they are replays. RTÉ use the word "replay" during repeats of live programming while TV3 advised viewers "Text & Comment Lines are Closed", Setanta replaced the word "Ireland" with the word "live" to advise viewers that they are watching live events rather than repeats and TG4 places the Irish word "beo" (live) below the number '4' in their logo during live programming. RTÉ refer to DOGs as "bugs". In Northern Ireland UTV began displaying their bug in the late 2000s. All of the community and local channels in Ireland display a bug. All bugs also display 888 for subtitles.
In Israel, channel watermarks more often appear on the top left or the top right since Israeli cable and satellite based services often have the channel description and programming (OSD) on the bottom of the screen. In ad breaks, it is required to replace the channel watermark with a special symbol - often on the other edge of the screen - indicating there are ads at the moment.
Indonesian TV DOGs have been used since 1983. At that time, TVRI was Indonesia's only television channel. When RCTI began broadcasting in 1989, the DOG began to be used at the same time. The usage of logo differs by channel, appearing in either the top-left hand (for example, channels owned by Media Nusantara Citra such as RCTI, Global TV and MNCTV, as well as Indosiar) or the top-right hand corners (such as SCTV, antv and the channels of Trans Corp like Trans TV and Trans7). Logos of television channels may or may not have moved their logos to the other part of the screen, such as TVRI was the first to move theirs to the bottom-right hand corner in 1999 (the year the network changed its logo, used until 2001), and followed by MetroTV in 2010, while Indosiar's DOGs have been always on the top-left since it began broadcasting in 1995. SCTV, while using the text logo at the start of broadcast, did not began to use their own logo on screen until 1994.
Unlike Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines, since 2004, most Indonesian TV networks never leave their logos during commercial breaks, instead, the logo becomes transparent (before 2004, logos were removed during commercial breaks). For the station identification, the logo will remain on-screen, but sometimes it will disappear prior to the identification.
In Italy, channel watermark usage is different for every television network. RAI at the end of 1970s, introduced its first watermark, to minimize copyright infringement by private channels. The bug "jumped" around the four corners of the image. At the end of 1987, the bug added the number of the station, until 2010 in letters and from 2010 in numbers. Nowadays RAI logos are always on the top right corner of the screen. On the SD feeds of RAI channels that have an HD feed, the HD channel number is posted below the channel's bug. Mediaset bugs are on the bottom-right from beginning, but during some shows or sport events, they can be moved on the top right.
DOGs are not removed during commercial breaks, with an exception of some channels like Disney Channel.
On all Japanese network television key stations and their affiliates, DOGs appear on the top-right hand corner of the screen. In addition, during some programs, a digital clock appears on the top-left corner of the screen. The digital clock had been in place on all programs prior to the introduction of DOGs; the first DOGs were introduced in 1999 on the NHK's satellite services, before expanding to terrestrial television with the start of digital broadcasting in that country between 2003 and 2006.
In Mexico Once TV and XEIMT-TV was the first channels to use their logos permanently in the top-right of the screen since 1997. The channels of Televisa and TV Azteca did not start use logos permanently until 2000 and 2004, respectively, in their channels.
Morocco's TV networks usually display their DOGs permanently, notably the SNRT and 2M TV. The exception to this is Medi 1 TV, as of now being the only Moroccan TV channel so far to hide its DOG during commercial breaks.
New Zealand introduced the digital on-screen graphics in 2001, starting with TV3 and FOUR. New Zealand FTA now placed their logos on the bottom right hand corner, with the exception of Maori Television and as of 9 February 2017, TV3. TV One had the logo on the top right hand corner until the switch to the bottom right hand corner on 1 July 2013. TV2 usually had the logo from the top right hand corner until New Year's Day 2012 when they switched it to the bottom right hand corner. Prime Television New Zealand now placed their logo on the bottom right hand corner as of March 2016.
GMA Network first introduced DOGs in 1995, as the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board had implemented a television content rating system from November that year. Most stations do not display DOGs during commercial breaks, except Net 25, ETC (since 2012), and some cable channels, which display DOGs all the time. The DOGs can most often be seen in the upper-right corner, aligned with the TV content rating logo, but on several cable channels they are placed in the upper-left or bottom-right corners. Formerly, ABS-CBN removed the DOG and rating 3 minutes before commercial breaks, however from 2000 these are now removed 10 seconds beforehand. ABS-CBN and GMA previously did not use DOGs during their newscasts but started doing so in 2012. ABS-CBN and its sister channel S&A append the word HD to their respective HD feeds' DOGs and place the DOGs outside the 4:3 safe zone.
Satellite pay-TV provider Cignal also appends its DOG to the channels it carries. Hence, those who view channels through Cignal will see its DOG.
The network logo and the MTRCB rating of the program (green 'G', blue 'PG' and red 'SPG') are shown 1 to 5 seconds after the start of the program. Hashtags, promotions and announcements are also shown in the middle of the program. All DOGs appear in a solid color.
Virtually all Polish TV channels show their logos in the corner of the screen during all programming, and have done so since the early 1990s. The two TVP channels first introduced them as a test in 1991 and then permanently in early 1993. Various positions of the logo were tested, before settling on the top-right corner on 19 April 1993. Polsat, the first commercial Polish-language broadcaster, launched initially on satellite on 5 December 1992, with a DOG in the top-left corner from the beginning.
Nowadays, most channels, including the major networks such as TVP, Polsat (since 28 February 2005) and TVN, show their logos in the top-right corner of the screen. Top-left corner is also a common location, used by TTV and several cable and satellite channels. News-oriented channels such as TVP Info and TVN24 that display news tickers at the bottom of the screen most of the time, usually integrate their DOGs in the ticker design, typically in the bottom-left corner. Few minor cable and satellite channels show their logos in the bottom-right corner. Most broadcasters remove their DOGs during commercial breaks, although the practice is not universal. Some channels, including most basic free-to-air ones, use alternate logos containing the "HD" branding for their HDTV feeds. This may be related to the fact that Polish digital terrestrial TV lineup consists almost entirely of SDTV streams, with HDTV available through cable and satellite.
Since 15 August 2005, all broadcasters licensed in Poland are also required to display the age rating at all times, during all programming except news, sports and advertising but has been criticised by viewers for exaggeration of age rating to +12 in case of animated or family movies on some TV channels, mainly from TVN and Polsat, and also on talent show with participation of children (e.g. The Voice Kids), for pathologizing of system and for screen burn-in. It is usually shown in the top-left corner, opposite the channel logo. However, Polish broadcasts of international cable networks (such as Discovery Channel, HBO, etc.) usually operate under foreign licenses and are legally treated as rebroadcasts of foreign channels. As such, they don't need to follow this requirement and may use a different rating system instead.
RTP introduced DOGs in the late 1980s, when it was the only broadcaster in Portugal that operated two television channels. Initially, the logos were placed on the top-right corner, but in 1991 they were moved permanently to the top-left corner, to allow television ratings to be shown in the top-right corner. Until 2004 and RTP1's rebranding, their DOGs were placed on the bottom-left corner during newscasts. On some programs or live sport broadcasting[clarification needed], DOGs are placed in the top-right corner. Logos are removed during advertising breaks and trailers. For subtitle information, on RTP1 and RTP2 a number such as 884, 885, 886, 887 or 888 is placed near the logo; in other cases Direto (Live) is sometimes used instead of a number (some programmes use neither numbers nor Direto (Live), Gravado (Recorded) or Repetição (Repetition)).
DOGs of privately owned channels were introduced in the mid-1990s. Initially, the logo of TVI was placed in the bottom left corner during only some of its programmes; in the mid-2000s the logo was moved into the top left corner, and has been shown across all programmes since then. The two Brazilian-owned television services (Globo and RecordTV Europa) have their DOGs placed in the bottom-right corner.
In Russia, television channels usually have watermarks, which are usually placed in the top-right or top-left corner of the screen (one notable exception is HTB, which places it logo on the bottom-left corner). In some channels the watermark becomes half-transparent on ad breaks, but on main channels such as Channel One or Russia-1 they never disappear nor become half-transparent. Channel One was the first channel to have introduced their watermark in 1992 and by 1993 watermarks appeared on other channels.
The Serbian national television RTS began showing logos in the early 1990s. Their logo was sometimes turned on manually during certain broadcasts but shortly afterwards remained permanently on-screen. One could notice how they were manually controlled, as the "logo-free" time during the begin of a program varied. Until around 1994–1995 their logos were opaque black and white, presumably due to being inserted into the analog CVBS signal just before being broadcast instead of an analog YUV, RGB or digital SDI signal, while in the mid-1990s they upgraded to colorized but still opaque logos. RTS's predecessor RTB (Radio Television of Belgrade) had DOGs of varying sizes, but rather than being introduced one after another they appear to have been used simultaneously at different broadcast sites. At least three different sizes and styles of their opaque black-and-white logo are known today. On the satellite channel "RTS-SAT", Latin letters were used, but after the destruction of RTS headquarters in 1999 during a NATO air strike, it could be noticed how the logo appeared to have been quickly re-drawn and was being inserted by different equipment as it varied in shape and size, presumably because of the original equipment used to insert it being destroyed. Today RTS has the same opaque color logo from 1999 on RTS-SAT and new translucent logos were introduced in the 2000s for the analog terrestrial programs. Old logos remain on most archived recordings presumably due to lack of a cleanfeed archiving policy in the past.
Most local and regional stations and some national commercial broadcasters (Pink from 2001–present, as of September 2012, when the national news start at 18:30, clock disappears up until the end of its morning program, B92 from 2004 to 2011, Avala from 2007 until 2011) in Serbia along with station logo also show a digital clock below the logo.
Singaporean televisions began showing the channel logos during television programs in 1994. The first one was Channel 5 then, Channel 12 and lastly Channel 8. The television stations show the logo in full-color, and are usually shown in the top right of the screen. Also, since around 2004, logos of Mediacorp television channels also include the parent company's logo, and this expanded in 2005, with Channel U became a part of Mediacorp.
Like its neighbouring country, Malaysia, Singaporean channels remove the channel logos during commercial breaks except for Channel NewsAsia, whose DOG is integrated into the ticker which remains on the screen during breaks.
Antena 3, Telecinco and Canal+ were the first channels to use DOGs from their launch, with the DOGs placed in the top-left and bottom-left corners. In 1992, Antena 3 and Telecinco repositioned their DOGs in the bottom-right, making it the same as TVE.
TV3, an Autonomical Channel of Catalonia, used DOGs from 1990, earlier shown only alongside clock indents, and from 1994 until 1999, showed DOGs throughout broadcasting. From 1990 the DOG was removed during advertisements. In 1999, the DOG was removed during the clock.
Currently, almost all channels in Spain use DOGs, with the DOGs are shown in the top or bottom-right of the screen, except 13-TV, Telemadrid, and Disney Channel, that uses DOGs on the top-left and bottom-left, respectively. Most DOGs are removed during advertisements, trade test transmissions or when a program is not aired. An exception to this is Intereconomia. Canal 3/24 did not remove their DOG during advertisements between 2011 and 2014.
Thailand introduced DOGs in 1991. Thai TV logos are in full-color, and the logos are removed during commercial breaks, trade test transmissions, transitions between programs and when a Thai Royal Family member is shown during the broadcast. All Thai television stations show the logos in the top-right of the screen.
During the mourning period after the death of Bhumibol Adulyadej all television stations aired black-and-white, monochrome DOGs and showed the logo on the bottom-right of the screen for a period of a hundred days until 21 January 2017. After the period ended, all television stations reverted DOGs back to regular color scheme but remained on showing the logo on the bottom-right of the screen (except during foreign sports programming and some foreign series and domestic sports programming on some channels, when television stations still show the logos on the top-right corner of the screen).
In Turkey, screen graphics, bugs, or DOGs are known as screen badges. On analogue/digital television, screen badges were introduced to TRT1 in 1996 and some private channels had screen badges beginning in the mid-1990s. Beginning January 1, 2000, all television channels at the time had screen badges usually located in the top right hand of the screen. However on January 1, 2010, One got a new theme package and the screen badge was moved down to the bottom right hand of the screen. All of the TRT channels' screen badges were on the bottom right of the screen by the end of 2010.
In the UK, DOGs most commonly appear in the top-left hand corner on British channels. DOGs were first used on satellite and cable television systems in their early days, when broadcasts were unmarked. Channel 5 was the first to use DOGs on an analogue terrestrial channel in 1997. The DOG was originally very bright and noticeable, and was soon toned down. Channel 5 said that the DOG was used to assist viewers in tuning to the new channel once its test transmissions had ceased. Following the rebrand to "five" in 2002 the DOG disappeared until late 2007.
There have been two known predecessors to the digital on-screen graphic on British television, namely a small white outline rectangle that was broadcast on the screen throughout ITV's broadcast of the documentary Life by Misadventure: A Film about the Seriously Burned on 7 September 1973 to warn people that may be uncomfortable with its content, and similarly, Channel 4's infamous red triangle symbol, which was applied in the corner of the screen throughout a series of controversial late-night art films broadcast 1986–87, in addition to an ident before the films began, again in both cases to warn viewers of the content.
The BBC initially introduced a DOG on each of its digital-only channels. In October 1998, it added DOGs to BBC One and BBC Two but following a large number of complaints they were removed just two months later. However, a BBC TWO DOG was used during the overnight BBC Learning Zone strand. The DOGs for the other channels appear at the top left-hand corner on other channels except BBC News (which is bottom left and forms part of integrated information graphics) and its international counterpart, BBC World News. The BBC News Channel's DOG does not appear when it airs Breakfast. Whilst BBC Four and BBC Parliament have static DOGs, the ones on CBBC and CBeebies alongside other channels such as Nick Jr. feature moving elements. ITV uses DOGs on all its channels, as do its counterparts STV in central and northern Scotland, Orkney Islands and Shetland Islands, and UTV in Northern Ireland. Although BBC One and BBC Two currently do not feature their own channel-specific DOGs, a generic BBC logo appears on the top left-hand corner of their iPlayer feeds as is the case with other BBC channels. This generic BBC DOG also appears on catch-up or on-demand programmes on the iPlayer.
The logos on channels such as ITV (excluding STV), Channel 5, E4, E!, Disney XD, Sky Arts 1 and 2, Sky1, Sky2, Sky Sports, History, More4 and CITV are almost transparent, whereas others like those on Comedy Central, Disney Junior, some UKTV channels, CBBC, CBeebies, the Discovery channels, Nick Jr., Nicktoons, Boomerang and Nickelodeon are bright and noticeable. Sky Movies and Film4 do not use DOGs, but Channel 4 (starting in July 2017), Channel 4 HD and the timeshift channel Channel 4+1 all do. Some stations display their on-screen graphics permanently. The UKTV are an example that remove them during commercials and trailers, with some Sky channels removing them altogether at certain times into a programme. In addition to a fixed (sometimes animated) motif, MTV includes the programme title in the top-right hand corner. During widescreen programmes, the DOGs on most channels including ITV, BBC Three, BBC Four, ITV2, ITV3, ITV4, CITV, CBBC, CBeebies, E4, and 4Music stay in the far corner of the screen, it is now rare for a channel to place their DOG in a 4:3 "title safe area".[when?]
On digital systems such as Sky and Freeview, where stations have a set EPG number and a name displayed across the bottom of the screen when changing channel, DOGs have been deemed unnecessary by some users. Despite this, broadcasters persist with the practice. In response to negative feedback, the BBC has responded, "We believe it is important to ensure that viewers can quickly identify when they are watching a BBC service." It reinforced this position in both 2008 and 2009 following continual complaints to its Points of View programme, citing channel identification as the sole reason for the policy. In its website FAQs, Five's stated reason for its use of a DOG is that "the vast majority of channels carry them, most permanently and virtually every channel at some point has one during the day." However, on 21 October 2008, the BBC announced that it was removing the DOG from BBC HD for all films and most dramas, acknowledging that there was an "irritation factor". However, the DOG came back when BBC One HD launched in 2010. As of 2016, neither BBC One HD nor BBC Two HD was using a DOG. More recent additions are graphics which appear near the end of a programme to tell the viewer what's up next, despite this information being available at a touch of a button on digital TV. Many viewers also find this practice annoying, distracting and unnecessary.
The first logo bug appeared in the 1970's on cable networks and local TV stations. It was often displayed on the bottom of the screen for 5 to 10 seconds. It was usually displayed once per hour, or every 10 or 15 minutes during a program. One of the popular title generator machines during that time was made by "Chryron". But other brands were also used. The first transparent logo bug to be displayed throughout an entire show appeared on CBS Evening News in 1990. It was part of the redesign of the news broadcast done by branding design firm Novocom. The reason for its introduction was so that business professionals traveling within the US would know which channel CBS News was on since it varied in different areas. Later it was adopted by CBS on every program. Since then, the use of digital on-screen bugs among cable and broadcast networks became standardized with the bug usually placed on the lower right hand corner of the screen, with the notable exception being during the broadcasting of sports events (where logo bugs have largely been placed in the top-right), and on most NBCUniversal networks (including NBC), where its standard bug was moved to the bottom left during prime time programming in 2006. During sports broadcasts, NFL on Fox introduced FoxBox, a permanent graphic at the top left-hand side of the screen showing the score of the game, along with the network's logo.
The "big four" networks (CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX) began using on-screen bugs in September 1993 with the bug removed during commercial breaks. Other major networks such as PBS and The CW also use logo bugs in the same manner. They are usually monochrome to minimize distraction, while some cable networks (The History Channel, Nickelodeon, and CNBC) decided to use solid, full-color bugs at all times. Broadcast stations and networks typically only use solid, full color bugs during local newscasts, newscasts, and sports broadcasts; at other times the bug is switched to the transparent, gray variant. Also, broadcast channels typically show their local affiliate's call sign and/or the channel number on the screen bugs during local newscasts and in some cases syndicated programming. First-run syndicated programmes often display their own bug in addition to the bug of the station they are running on. Meanwhile, network-based programming (including prime time programs and national newscasts) is typically shown with only the network's bug for most of the broadcast (although an automated system may allow a local bug to be overlaid onto network programming for a few seconds after the start of a programme or a commercial break).
Before the 2009 digital television transition, early high definition broadcasts often used bugs placed outside the 4:3 safe zone (sometimes with special "HD" branding) to distinguish them from the standard definition broadcast. By the late-2000s, due to networks switching to a singular HD feed downconverted for SD (assuming that the SD feed will be center-cut from the HD feed, or using Active Format Description (AFD) metadata to specify the framing format) as their network feed rather than distinct feeds for both formats, most broadcast networks dropped HD-specific logo bugs and used bugs in the 4:3 safe zone for all viewers, regardless of feed. However, by 2018, the majority of logo bugs and on-air presentation has been oriented towards 16:9 framing.
The use of bugs to announce upcoming programs with text advertisements is also particularly prevalent among some broadcast stations during prime time programs and many cable TV networks; they usually appear when a program resumes after a commercial break, to inform the viewer of the next scheduled program, a new episode of a program later the same day, or a "significant" broadcast in the near future. Since the mid-2000s, some stations and networks showed their websites alongside their bugs, especially during newscasts. National morning shows like Today and Good Morning America have also showed their specific websites rather than their network's main website in addition to the bug that shows their programme. Beginning in 2010, some networks began to display show-specific hashtags alongside their bugs, which encourage viewers to discuss and interact with the program online via social networking services such as Twitter.
Vietnamese TV stations started showing their digital on-screen graphical DOGs since year 1995. Logos are not removed during commercial breaks, but remained in full-color, unlike their counterparts in Indonesia. A digital clock and programme name may also be shown. Some cable channels show its cable provider logo and its logo. For example, VTV Cable's channels has the logo of the cable provider on the top-left, and the channel logo on the top-right.
Another graphic on television usually connected with sports (particularly in North America, though not in Europe) is the sponsor tag. It shows the logos of certain sponsors, accompanied by some background relevant to the game, the network logo, announcement and music of some kind.
In most countries, the ham station is required to periodically identify their amateur-TV transmission. Such stations frequently overlay their callsign on the signal instead of placing a card in the background. Most hams use homebuilt devices or old consumer character generators to generate such identifications rather than using graphical super imposes of high cost to do so. Only rarely one can see real graphics, as the callsign is usually written in the "OSD font".
Live DOGs by hobbyistsEdit
One of the easiest and most sought-after devices used to generate DOGs by hobbyists is the 1980s vintage Sony XV-T500 video superimposer. This device can luma-key a signal, capture a still frame into memory and then overlay the keyed graphic in one of eight colors onto any CVBS signal. Another method commonly used by hobbyists and even low-budgeted TV stations in former times was Amiga computers with genlock interfaces.
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