Sign-on: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sign-on (or startup) is the term used to describe the beginning of operations for a television station. It is the opposite to a sign-off (or closedown).

As with sign-offs, sign-ons vary from country to country, and from station to station.


Communist countries closing times



  • Hungary, In 80's, M1 start sometimes around 8:00. While M2 start at 5pm/
  • Poland, In 80's, It start the day at 08:00.
  • Yugoslavia, Before ending the country, JRT usually start at 8:00. While TV2-YUG liked to start at 7:00.
  • Albania, In 70's and 80's usually start at 7-8 pm.
  • Soviet Union, Before ending the country, Always start at 6:30 with the news program.
  • Czechoslovakia, Before ending the country, They usually start at 9:00
  • Bulgaria, In 80's it usually start at 6 am


  • North Korea start at 17:00 except Sunday start at 8:00.
  • Vietnam VTV likes to start at 5:30. While H1 start at 5:30 and HTV7 start at 4:45.
  • Laos, start at 16:30 everyday.
  • Nepal, Only one communist country around there, Have the starting time is 9:00. And second at 17:00

North America

In the United States and Canada, sign-ons are often the exact reverse of a sign-off. Most frequently, the sign-on happens at 5 a.m. Television sign-ons are very rare these days as most stations operate 24 hours a day. In these cases, the sign-on sequence is shown between commercials or before a program around the 5 a.m. hour; for instance, before the start of a network's early morning newscast, or that station's morning news show.

The sign-on sequence often includes the following:

  • In some cases, a signal to turn on any remote transmitters—usually a series of Touch Tones.
  • A video and/or photo montage set to the national anthem or another patriotic piece.
  • A "good morning"-type greeting to viewers.
  • Technical information, such as the call sign, transmitter power, translators used, transmitter locations and STL links.
  • Ownership of the station.
  • Contact information – such as street and mailing addresses, and/or telephone number.
  • List of related organizations.
  • A disclaimer that station programming is taped, aired live, or originates from a television network. Some stations also air another disclaimer that programs are for personal use only (previously only at time of viewing; this has been appended with the spread of VHS and DVR devices), and businesses cannot profit from showing them by applying a cover charge for viewing.
  • A commitment to quality (or perhaps, a slogan). Prior to the early 1980s, this was generally in the form of the National Association of Broadcasters' "Seal of Good Practice".
  • An identification of the station.

The above is often followed by a station jingle, usually played over a montage of local video clips.

For stations that cut off their signal during off-broadcast hours, a test pattern may appear 15-20 minutes before the actual sign-on.

On radio stations owned and operated by the CBC, a short introduction is aired, before it goes into its announcement. On CBC/Radio Canada TV stations, the Coat of arms of Canada is displayed, followed by a video montage accompanied by the national anthem (In the mid 90's, the anthem was played as a cartoon fly by across Canada was happening from a bird's eye view), and a special "broadcast day bumper" video sequence, which includes a legal ID showing callsign, channel number and city of licence. The practice has ended, since the English CBC radio and TV stations went to 24-hour transmission in late 2006. In Saskatchewan, CBC TV Stations went on to be 24-hour transmission since the beginning of Torino 2006 Olympic Games. For the Radio Canada stations however, this sign-on practice still continues.

Examples of United States television sign-on messages

Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, where almost all terrestrial stations don't operate 24 hours a day, the basic elements of a station's sign-on features the playing of British and Chinese anthems are in the Following Network Stations: ATV World, ATV Home, TVB Jade and TVB Pearl. with Daily Program Schedule of Hong Kong TV Stations.

North Korea

On weekdays, Korean Central Television generally signs on at 5pm with the country's national anthem along with shots of Mount Paekdu and Lake Chon, followed by a shot of the North Korean flag, on which an image of the Chollima statue appears, along and the caption 조선중앙방송 (Korean Central Television). An announcer then appears, welcoming viewers to the day's transmission. This is followed by the Song of General Kim Il Sung accompanied by shots of Mount Paektu and Lake Chon, and then a red flag flutters on the screen, on which appears a portrait of late President Kim Il Sung. This is followed by a rendition of the Song of General Kim Jong Il by military band and choir which also appear on the screen. The overall start-up sequence lasts just over six minutes.

The Philippines

In the Philippines where almost all terrestrial stations don't operate 24 hours a day, the basic elements of a station's sign-on include the playing of the national anthem then technical station information (such as NTC permit number, transmitter power, studio and transmitter location, list of engineers, provincial repeater/sister stations). ABS-CBN Channel 2 starts with the video of the national anthem made by ABS-CBN,the technical information of the station being read by main voice-over announcer Peter Musngi, then a message saying "Ladies and gentlemen, in a few seconds, we will be on simultaneous satellite broadcast. Please stand by.", Then a short patriotic message. Major commercial stations like ABS-CBN and GMA go on the air before 4.30 local time (some ABS-CBN regional stations would show a Philips PM5544 from the ABS-CBN National Feed or a static slide (which actually is a screenshot from an ABS-CBN Regional Network Group station ID) while most other stations go on the air at around 6.00 local time. They usually sign-on at slightly later times during the weekends.

Q Channel 11 usually plays the Philippine national anthem before it shows the message like type of technical information of the station, the list of the Q provincial affiliate stations,and the station ID.

NBN 4 usually plays the Philippine national anthem after it shows the credits like type of technical information of the station with the Philippine Map showing the stations of the network will go on nationwide.

After said its message and technical information of the station, GMA-7 shows the replays of their late night public affairs programs before they aired their morning show while ABS-CBN joins DZMM TeleRadyo up to 5:11 AM, followed by Kape't Pandesal, its "reflections for the day program." Afterwich, Umagang Kay Ganda starts.


  • Channel 3, Modernine TV and NBT do not closedown. The Channels that still close everyday are Channel 7 and Thai PBS. (But Modernine TV sign on with the royal anthem, the royal speech and news to change the broadcast date about 4:55 everyday.)

Channel 3 (to 2005)

The station's startup is 10 minutes at 4:50. By the map of Thailand pointing at Bangkok with the same music each day. Then at 4:55 the famous places of Thailand and then at 4:58, Programs for the day and 4:59 the clock.

Channel 5 (to 1997 and feeds)

From the testcard, It shows the programs for today with the music. Then the royal anthem, National anthem, Music of the day and then the clock.

Channel 7

Before sign on there is a testcard with music and then the in-vision announcer and then station ident and then the first program start broadcasting

Former Channel 11

Before Channel 11 changed to NBT, Channel 11 closed down, not transmitted 24 hours as nowadays.

Before Channel 11 signed-on, It aired with PM5544 testcard. And then, it aired the logo of Thaland's Public Relations Department (PRD), Thailand royal anthem, channel's ident, clock, Buddha quote, royal speech and started with religions programmes and educational programmes.

Thai PBS

From modified PM5544 testcard, a holding card is shown. At 4:58 the royal anthem is played and then a station ident is shown.



TVK Opens everyday at 6:30. The testcard is shown only at 4:00 to 6:15. At 6:15 it shows famous places of Cambodia with music for 15 minutes. Then at 6:28 the announcer and 6:30 the first program. They do the same sequence at 16:30


TVK 2 opens around 11:30. The opening sequence is the TVK2 logo at 11:25. Then at 11:29 the digital clock appears.

5529 and TV5CAMBODIA

5529 begin the day at 5:55 everyeay by the clock for 5 minutes


RTM1 used to not operate 24 hours a day. Music (from the radio) were played over the PM5544 test card with time and date, a few minutes before signing-on. During those moments, a ticker showing a line-up of the day's programmes appear. A digital clock then follows and precedes Negaraku, Malaysia's national anthem. It was followed by a Qur'an reading, another apparence of the digital clock which precedes a morning Muslim prayer calling. Sign-ons were usually a sight at 5:55 local time except during the Ramadhan month. Today, RTM's stations now operate 24 hours a day.

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, the ITV network stations were required to make an authority announcement, and play a piece of music before beginning its daily broadcasts. The music played was often popular with those served by the station. The music had to be registered with the Independent Television Authority/Independent Broadcasting Authority. The practice has ended, since the ITV went to 24 hour transmissions between 1986 and 1988. The BBC signed on by simply cutting straight from the testcard to the first announcement. The practice on BBC 1 has ended, since they went into 24 hour telecasting in 1997.


In Indonesia, where almost all terrestrial stations don't operate 24 hours a day, the basic elements of a station's sign-on features the playing of Indonesia Raya are in the Following Network Stations: antv, Global TV, Indosiar, RCTI, SCTV, TPI, Trans TV, Trans 7, TVRI, and in Indonesian Regional TV Stations. with Daily Program Schedule of Indonesian TV Stations.


In Japan, JOTX-TV signs on with the station identification after the test card. This applies to other Japanese TV Stations Such as TV Asahi, Fuji-TV, and others. Since the 1980s some sign-ons usually feature a voiceover announcing the station's call sign, with an animation following afterwards. During the animation, the voiceover will announce the transmitter power frequency on which the station is powered on, similar to American practices. After the animation is finished, the voiceover announces the beginning of the program schedule.


In Brazil, the major television networks used the same vignettes of the sign-off for the sign-on. In average, the sign-on was between 6:00 AM-7:00 AM. In affiliates, in the sign-on appear National anthems are displayed or identification of the channel.

New Zealand

In the 1980's and 1990's TV One usually began their programming by first running In-Vision Teletext. In-Vision Teletext showed a cycle of pages on New Zealand Teletext, in the background music would be playing. In-Vision Teletext usually ran for 15 minutes before TV One began programming for the day. In the late eighties and early nineties TV One played a montage video showcasing New Zealand with the New Zealand National Anthem playing in the background, this same video was used for close down on TV One. Following the opening viewers would be shown a list of shows the were coming up and programming would begin for the day. Start times for TV1 have varied throughout the years. Today TV1 broadcasts the BBC World Service overnight and starts their own programming with NZI Business followed by Breakfast on weekday mornings.

TV2 played an opening video titled 'Bringing the World to You on 2' during the 1980's [1]. This video varied from region to region with each video showing New Zealand scenery from that region. From the late eighties to 1994 TV2 usually opened with a station id video usually showing clips of shows on TV2. In 1994 TV2 went 24 hours.

TV3 started in 1989 and originally began the days programming with their "Come Home to the Feeling" video also played at Closedown. Originally programming would begin at 7AM with the first show being the Early Bird Show. In early 1990 the Early Bird Show was moved to the weekends and all morning programming axed with TV3 not starting broadcasts until midday each day. In 1991 TV3 began screening again at 7AM showing the Early Bird Show and then closing down at 8:30AM until midday but this was for a very short period. TV3 began screening Infomercials in the mornings from 1993 onwards. Today TV3 screens Informercials overnight and starts programming at 5AM with religeuos programming. The TV3 morning news show Sunrise screens at 7AM.

External links

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