Digital on-screen graphic
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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.
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 to reduce 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.
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).
Many news broadcasters, as well as a few television networks in such cases, 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. During televised sports events, a DOG may also display a few game-related statistics such as the current score. This has led many people in Canada and the United States to refer to it as a score bug.
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 on Prime and WIN Television. The Seven Network was the first metropolitan network to broadcast digital on-screen graphics on all of their programs in May 1999, following Nine Network in December 2001, Network Ten in December 2004 and the ABC in January 2005. 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 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/AMV & Seven).
Australian TV networks hide all of their DOGs during advertisement breaks, news and live sport programs. 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 Bold, 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, ABC, Seven, Prime, Nine, WIN and 10 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 ORF1 (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, such as Puls 4, show their digital on-screen graphics in the top right corner of the screen.
Dutch-language Belgian channels (i.e., those operating in Flanders) place their logo bugs at the top left corner, much like their counterparts in the Netherlands. Examples are the public broadcaster in Flanders, VRT, and the Flemish commercial broadcasters, DPG Media and De Vijver Media.
However, French-language Belgian channels (i.e., those operating in Wallonia), such as public broadcaster RTBF and commercial broadcaster RTL-TVI, use the bottom right corner of the screen, in contrast to French-language TV channels in France, Switzerland, etc., which use the top right or left corner.
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, Rede Bandeirantes, and GloboNews, whose logos are placed on the top right corner of the screen; TV Cultura's logo moved from top left corner to bottom right corner of the screen in 2009) 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. Most pay channels usually have the logos on the top right corner of the screen. 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 pre-recorded programs (e.g. dramas, sitcoms) 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.
Also, some channels in Canada (such as YTV or Teletoon) displayed a ten second animation as the screenbug that would play every segment after 1-3 minutes. This practice was discontinued in 2012. However, Teletoon displayed their logo for the entire program 2 minutes after the start of the program from 2005-2011.
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. Beginning in the late 2000s, separate logos are used for network newscasts; they are usually placed in the bottom-left corner and are shown in conjunction with the network logo.
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), some channels like Phoenix Television hide their logos during commercial breaks; although in some rare cases, the DOG may be placed elsewhere to avoid covering the score bug during the broadcast of a sporting event.
Czech Republic (Czechia)
Almost all Czech (and Slovak) TV channels place their logos in the top left corner of the screen, irrespective of the broadcasting network. The public television broadcaster Česká televize and the major commercial TV broadcasters (TV Nova, FTV Prima and TV Barrandov) all place their logos in the top left corner, as do many pay channels from pan-European broadcasters (though some use the top right). This is also the case with Slovak TV channels, some of which are broadcast in the Czech Republic.
The only exceptions from the major local broadcasters are the Nova Sport channels (Nova Sport 1 and 2, SD and HD), which place their logos in the top right corner instead of the usual top left, since score graphics for many sports use the top left corner and the public news broadcaster ČT24 between 2007 and 2010, where placed their logo in the bottom left corner.
Unlike Scandinavian neighbours Norway and Sweden, which almost exclusively use the top right corner for their DOGs, TV channels in Denmark may use either the top left corner or the top right for their DOGs. The public broadcaster DR and the state-owned commercial broadcaster TV 2 display their logos at the top left, as does commercial broadcaster Discovery with its TV channels such as Kanal 4 and Kanal 5. However, TV3 and other Viasat channels owned by Nordic Entertainment Group (formerly part of Modern Times Group) display their logos at the top right.
In the mid-1980s, Canal 12 started with a Video Cassette Recording text as "TV-12" white, and TCS's Canal 4 used as the channel's logo on the top-left position, both exclusively in live events. Telecorporación Salvadoreña (TCS) channels began using exclusively on newsreels and live events by 1987, and TVCE (today TVES), a Salvadoran public broadcaster began using as a VCR text with a cyan and sometimes yellow color on live in early-1990s. TCS Channels began using in 2000, for each one of the three channels permanently as a normal broadcasting; other channels did the same thing as today, commonly on the top-right screen. Each September the logo uses as an Independence Month with a Salvadoran flag for TCS Channels, and each December the logo uses as a Christmas decoration. Some television channels and programs uses as a transparent logo, a digital clock or both such as Agape TV.
Public broadcaster Yle moved its logos from the top right corner to the top left when it rebranded on 5 March 2012. However, the commercial TV channels, like MTV3 and Nelonen, place their logos at the top right. This is exactly the opposite of what is seen with the Netherlands, where the public broadcasting consortium NPO places its logo bug at the top right, but the main commercial broadcasters use the top left.
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 public TV broadcaster France Télévisions, as well as the majority of French commercial TV stations (such as the TF1 and M6 networks), display their logos at the top right corner of the screen. However, some channels, such as Franco-German cultural channel Arte, use 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. (For instance, kabel eins uses a bright orange coloured logo.)
TV channels generally may show their logos at the top left or top right of the screen, depending on the network. Public broadcaster ARD’s national channels display logo watermarks at the top right corner, but the individual regional broadcasting organisations’ TV channels may show their logos at either the top left or the top right (for instance, BR and HR’s TV channels use the top left for their logos, but MDR Fernsehen and RBB Fernsehen use the top right). Commercial network ProSiebenSat.1 Media, like ARD, uses the top right corner for all its channels, such as ProSieben, Sat.1, kabel eins and sixx. (However, Sat.1 used the top left corner until 2001, and again between 2008 and 2009.) But secondary public broadcaster ZDF and commercial broadcaster Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland use the top left corner for their channels, such as ZDF, RTL or VOX (exceptions in RTL's case are youth-oriented commercial channel RTL Zwei and news channel n-tv, whose logos are displayed at neither the top left nor the top right but the bottom right). News channel Welt (formerly N24) does not use any of these corners for its logo: its logo is placed in the bottom left corner. Another channel using this corner is documentary and parliament channel Phoenix, which moved its logo from the top left to the bottom left during its June 2018 rebrand.
Channels (except Phoenix) that are collaborations between ARD and ZDF (e.g., KiKa), or between ARD, ZDF and foreign broadcasters (e.g., Arte, a collaboration with France Télévisions, and 3sat, a collaboration with SRG SSR and ORF), use the top left corner.
On all Greek network television networks, DOGs appear on the top left corner of the screen, with the exception of Skai TV, which moved its logo from the top left to the top right as part of its rebrand in October 2018. Since 1997, almost all television stations in Greece keep their logos on the screen their logos during advertisements, although in channels such as Skai TV the logo becomes transparent.
Hungarian DOGs were first introduced in MTV’s channel M2 from 1989, but they were very rare until 1991. M2 was the first network to always display its DOG, which was a quarter-circle (which was bright and noticeable). It first showed up in 1992 but it changed in 1994 due to logo change. This was followed by many broadcasters and TV channels.
By and large, the corner used by the logo of a TV channel depends on the network. Public broadcaster Magyar Televízió moved its channels’ logos from the top right corner to the top left during its 2012 corporate rebrand, much like Yle in Finland, which also rebranded in that year, and their logos had changed from colour to gray-scale beginning in March 2015. MTV's thematic TV channel, M4 Sport, due to it being a sports channel, shows its logo in the top right corner.
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, such as the RTL network's channels, but some such as the independent TV2 and its sister channels include them during ads.
All Indian TV channels have on-screen logos. They are always full-colour, never transparent, and they are almost never removed during commercial breaks (though the channels of the South Indian Sun TV Network did so until 2015).
The great majority of Indian TV channels place their logos in the top right corner of the screen, though there are exceptions. The corner used may be broadcaster-dependent. Among the big national broadcasters:
- Channels from the Sony network always use the top right corner, without exception.
- Star channels also use the top right, with the exception of National Geographic and Nat Geo Wild, which use the top left corner in line with their international counterparts. Past exceptions include The History Channel, whose logo was placed in the top left until it rebranded to Fox History & Entertainment in 2008; the now-defunct Channel V, which used the top left between 2013 and 2016; and Nat Geo People, Nat Geo Music and BabyTV, which will be withdrawn from India in June 2019.
- TV18 and Viacom18 channels use the top right corner as well, with the exceptions of regional-language movie channels (e.g., Colors Kannada Cinema and Colors Gujarati Cinema) as well as Colors Super, which have shown their logos at the top left corner since 2018; and VH1, which has always used the bottom right corner. Also, CNBC-TV18, CNBC Awaaz and CNBC Bajar use the bottom right. Moreover, MTV showed its logo in the top left corner until 23 April 2018, when it was moved to the top right (its HD version, launched in 2017, has always used the top right).
- Unlike most other major networks, the Zee Network’s non-news channels containing ‘Zee’ in their name display their logos at the top left corner and not the top right. This has been the case since 15 October 2017, when almost all the Zee-branded TV channels of the Zee network rebranded with a new logo and, in many cases, a new graphics package and look. Before then, the logos were shown at the top right, as with other broadcasters. (News channels’ logos—i.e., logos of channels owned by Zee Media Corporation—stayed put at the top right corner, with the exception of WION, which uses the bottom left.) All the major Zee-branded channels—such as Zee TV, Zee Cinema, Zee Café and the regional-language channels like Zee Tamil, Zee Telugu, Zee Marathi and Zee Bangla—show their logos at the top left; moreover, the Odia-language channel Sarthak TV rebranded to Zee Sarthak and moved its logo to the top left.
- Among the Zee channels not containing the word ‘Zee’ that moved their logos to the top left during the big rebrand in 2017 was English movie channel Zee Studio; when it was renamed to &flix on 3 June 2018, the logo remained at the top left. Moreover, Hindi movie channel &pictures has always shown its logo at the top left since its launch in 2013. However, &privé HD, Zee's other English movie channel, and Hindi entertainment channel &TV place their logos at the top right corner. Other Zee channels not containing the word ‘Zee’, such as Zing and Living Foodz, use the top right corner.
- In stark contrast to the national broadcasters, the channels of major South Indian broadcaster Sun TV Network have always shown their logo at the bottom right corner, without exception. Furthermore, the Tamil-language Jaya and Kalaignar networks always show their logos at the bottom left corner, as opposed to Sun's bottom right.
Indonesian television DOGs have been occasionally used since 1982. 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.
In most national networks today, the logo is usually appearing in the top-right hand corner. Some network placed its logo in the top-left hand corner, such as networks owned by Media Nusantara Citra (e.g. RCTI, MNCTV, and GTV) as well as Indosiar. Only a few of them (most are news networks) appearing its logo in either the bottom-right hand corner (such as Metro TV, CNN Indonesia and CNBC Indonesia) or the bottom-left hand corners (such as BeritaSatu). The DOGs of local stations differ by each station, either in the top-right hand or the top-left hand corners.
Most of the networks/stations had their DOGs placed on-screen in color. Few were appearing in transparent format, e.g. NET. (since the first broadcast in 2013), ANTV (since 20 July 2012 until 24 March 2018) and TVRI (since 2019). Trans TV is the first to place its transparent logo since it began broadcasting in 2001 until 2013 when the network logo changed. Some DOGs features moving element, most are in shining effect.
The network may have moved their DOGs to the other part of the screen: 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 when the new logo moved to upper-right), followed by Metro TV in 2010. TVRI, RCTI, SCTV and TPI (former name of MNCTV) while using the text logo at the start of their broadcast, did not begin to use their own logo on the screen until the end of 1990 for RCTI and SCTV, 1995 for TPI, and 1996 for TVRI.
Unlike neighboring countries, since 2004 most networks/channels never leave their DOGs during commercial breaks, instead the logo becomes transparent and usually light grey (before 2004, DOGs were removed during commercial breaks and sponsor bug appears during program show). Trans TV is the first TV channel that never leaves its logo during commercial breaks since 2001, the practice later followed by other networks as well as local channels. For the station identification, the logo will remain on-screen, but sometimes it will disappear prior to the identification. However, not all (mainly local or pay) TV channels follow, as some of them were done by retaining it in full color or removing it during commercials.
Some of networks/channels ever show its logo in color even in the breaks, such as TVRI (since 2004 until its massive rebranding in 2019), ANTV (since 2004 until mid 2005), Lativi (former name of tvOne), since 2003 until mid 2010), Global TV (former name of GTV) during relaying MTV program shows simultaneously (since 2002 until 2006), B Channel (former name of RTV, from 2009 until 2012), and some of local channels. TVRI also mixes usage of retaining and removing on-air bugs for some advertisements from 2004 until the end of 2009. Metro TV first used different logo during advertisement since 25 November 2020, with its on-air bug (consisting of eagle icon of its logo) without the text "METRO TV". Some of Indonesian TV networks/channels such as ANTV (sometime in 2005), Indosiar (since end of 2005 to its DOGs change in March 2007, tvOne (since late 2010 to its logo change in February 2011) ever used transparent logo with colors retained.
Since 2011, most networks started to display additional contents all the time on their programming and disappeared during commercial breaks, such as rating classification and, in some networks since 2013, the name of the current program.
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.
Unlike British TV channels, which generally display their logo bugs at the top left corner of the screen, TV channel logo bugs in the Republic of Ireland generally appear in the top right. For RTÉ, TG4 and Setanta Ireland, the logo bugs appear in the top right corner of the screen. TV3's bugs appeared in the bottom right hand corner of the screen between the early 2000s and its rebrand in 2009; TV3 then moved its logo bug to the top right corner to match the other Irish channels, and it has stayed there ever since, even after the channel's rebranding as Virgin Media One in August 2018. 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 March 2020, a lockdown was imposed by the government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. All bugs were updated on RTÉ and Virgin Media channels to include “Stay at Home” beside each channel's logo.
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.
The Israel Broadcasting Authority, whose channels placed their logos in the top left corner, ceased broadcasting in May 2017. The new public broadcaster, Kan, displays its logos at the top right instead. The erstwhile Channel 2 as well as its successors, Keshet 12 and Reshet 13, also use the top right corner. However, Channel 10 used the top left corner before rebranding to Eser (Literally "Ten") in 2017 and simultaneously moving its logo to the top right. (Not long after, in January 2019, it ceased broadcasting as it merged with Reshet 13.)
In Italy, the channel watermark usage is different for every television network. RAI, at the end of the 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 words and from 2010 in numbers.
RAI's on-screen logos were placed at the bottom right until 2010, much like commercial broadcaster Mediaset and commercial TV channel La7, which have always used that corner. However, during RAI's 2010 corporate rebrand, they were moved to the top right corner. During a second corporate rebrand in 2016, the logos were moved once again, this time to the top left (with some programmes having the logo on the top right corner), which has rarely been used by Italian TV networks (barring some newer channels like Discovery's Nove). On the SD feeds of RAI channels that have an HD feed, the HD channel number (starting from 501) is posted below the channel's bug. Sky Italia channels, like TV8, use the top right corner for their logos.
Commercial broadcasters Mediaset and La7 have always placed their logos at the bottom right corner of the screen. However, during some shows or sport events, they may be moved to the top right. Mediaset's DOGs consist of a transparent channel logo with ‘MEDIASET’ written immediately below the logo. (Mediacorp, the sole free-to-air broadcaster of Singapore and effectively the state broadcaster, follows a similar approach: a transparent Mediacorp wordmark appears immediately above the channel logo in full colour. Note that Mediacorp, unlike Mediaset, places its logos at the top right corner, and has the channel logo in full colour.)
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 were 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.
Most Dutch channels, including Belgian Dutch channels (i.e., in Flanders), place their logos in the top left corner of the screen. Examples are the two main commercial TV broadcasters in the Netherlands, RTL Nederland and Talpa Network; the public broadcaster in Flanders, VRT; and the Flemish commercial broadcasters, DPG Media and De Vijver Media.
However, NPO, the public broadcasting consortium in the Netherlands, displays its logo bugs in the top right corner of the screen, and the logo bug of the presenting broadcaster (such as NOS, AVROTROS and KRO-NCRV) at the top left. This is the opposite of the situation in Finland, where Yle, the public broadcaster, has placed logo bugs in the top left since 2012, but the commercial TV broadcasters use the top right.
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 Māori 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 also on talent show with participation of children (e.g. You Can Dance - Next Generation), 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.
Romanian TV channels display their logos in a particular corner of the screen depending on the network. Public broadcaster TVR and commercial network Intact Media Group (which owns Antena 1, one of the country's most popular channels) display their logos at the top right corner (except for news channel Antena 3, which uses the bottom right). However, Pro TV, the most popular commercial station, and its sister channels show their logos at the top left corner (except during news broadcasts, where the Pro TV logo at the top left is removed and a Știrile Pro TV logo is placed at the bottom left). This channel along with Acasă TV (nowadays called Pro 2) and Pro Cinema had also the DTH provider logo in the top-right corner, on the transmissions from these DTH platforms, to prevent CATV piracy. The top left corner is also used by national commercial station Kanal D, as well as smaller national TV stations like National TV and Prima TV. Note that the Pro network channels which are available in HD (namely Pro TV, Pro 2 and Pro X) display the channel logo in the top left but the HD watermark in the top right.
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 (it used to be removed on ad breaks, but not on trailers), 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 television channels 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.
Mediacorp, the sole free-to-air broadcaster of Singapore and effectively the state broadcaster, shows its on-screen logos in two parts: a transparent Mediacorp wordmark appears immediately above the channel logo in full colour. The channel logos are almost always in the top right, with the exception of Channel NewsAsia, which uses the bottom left. Even with Channel NewsAsia, the Mediacorp wordmark remains at the top right corner.
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.
Much like the Czech Republic, TV channels in Slovakia always place their logos in the top left corner of the screen, irrespective of the broadcasting network. The flagship public channel, STV1 (now Jednotka), using the top left ever since 1993 with exception for 2000–2001 and between 2004 and 2012 which used top right corner. The main commercial TV channels, such as TV JOJ and Markíza and their sister channels, have always used the top left corner. The news TV channel TA3 has used the bottom left corner between 2011 and 2017. This is also the case for Czech-language channels that broadcast in Slovakia. Since 2004, almost all commercial television stations in Slovakia keep their logos on the screen and RTVS, the country's public broadcasting network, does the opposite during advertisements.
Unlike all other European countries, where channels generally display their logos at the top left or right corner of the screen, the great majority of TV channels in Spain use the bottom right corner to display their logos—much like in the Americas and Australia (except SBS, which uses the top right). Italy is the only other European country to have a significant proportion of channels that use the bottom right corner. This is partly a function of Italian commercial broadcaster Mediaset operating several TV channels in both Italy and Spain (via Mediaset España Comunicación), all of which use the bottom right corner.
Therefore, the channels of most of the major broadcasters—such as public broadcaster RTVE and commercial networks Atresmedia and Mediaset España—place their logos in the bottom right corner. The main exceptions are Telemadrid, which uses the top left, and TV3 in Catalonia, which uses the top right.
TVE introduced DOGs in 1984 on TVE1 and TVE2. The DOG of TVE1 was all white until 1991, when the number 1 was changed from white to blue. It remained so until 2003. 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 1991, earlier shown only alongside clock indents, and from 1994 until 1999, showed DOGs throughout broadcasting. From 1991 the DOG was removed during advertisements. In 1999, the DOG was removed during the clock.
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-based television stations show the logos in the top-right of the screen (the logos sometimes used to be shown in its bottom-right corner).
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 1 January 2000, all television channels at the time had screen badges usually located in the top right hand of the screen. However, on 1 January 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.
Commercial TV channels usually place their logos in the top left corner of the screen: among the larger channels Kanal D, Show TV, Fox and ATV use the top left, but Star TV uses the top right. A similar situation exists in Turkey's neighbour Greece, where most TV channels use the top left corner (including Star Channel, which is not related to its Turkish or Indian namesakes), with only Skai TV using the top right.
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 July 1998, it added DOGs to BBC One and BBC Two on Sky Digital 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 until 2015. 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), its international counterpart, BBC World News, and BBC Parliament. 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, and UTV in Northern Ireland.
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 channels 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 2020, neither BBC One HD nor BBC Two HD has been using their own 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. However, 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 first logo bug appeared in the 1970s 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 Chyron, 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. 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 The WB and UPN also used logo bugs in the same manner. Since then, the use of digital on-screen bugs among cable and broadcast networks became standardized.
The bug is usually placed on the lower right hand corner of the screen, with the notable exception being during the broadcasting of sports events and on some religious television networks (where logo bugs have largely been placed in the top-right), and on most NBCUniversal networks (including NBC) and Ion Television, where their standard bugs were moved to the bottom left during prime time programming in 2006 and the early 2010s, respectively. CBS followed suit with its bug moving to the bottom left in September 2021. 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. Univision, while being on the bottom right for a majority of its programs, leaves its network bug on the top right when broadcasting Hoy, a Televisa news program from Mexico, and in some programs.
Bugs are usually monochrome to minimize distraction, while some cable networks (Cartoon Network, 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, network 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 programs 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 program 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 inclusion of text advertisements for upcoming programs alongside the bug is also particularly prevalent among some broadcasters. 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 shown their specific websites rather than their network's main website in addition to the bug that shows their program. 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 in 1995. Logos are not removed during commercial breaks, but remain 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. Other providers and international channels were in the top-right, while K+ in VTV Cable bug used in the bottom-left.
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.
Usage in ham radio and TV
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 superimposes 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 hobbyists
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.
- Broadcast designer
- Screen burn-in, a side effect in some cases of digital on-screen graphics
- On-screen display
- Television news screen layout
- Digital watermark
- Score bug, an on-screen graphic specifically for sport broadcasts
- Clock ident
- Program Supplier Pack | Aurora
- Content Control: Digital Watermarking and Fingerprinting
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