The unthinkable has happened- BUG on my PBS station!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jesse Skeen, Jan 26, 2003.

  1. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    The following is a letter to KVIE, channel 6, the Sacramento area's Public Television station:

    Dear General Manager, I am writing because I am absolutely disgusted to see that apparently as of today, KVIE has begun displaying its call letters on screen ALL THE TIME during shows. I have already completely abandoned commercial television because of this practice, and watched channel 6 more often because its shows did NOT have any electronic graffiti onscreen! I simply cannot watch any shows with constant onscreen logos, or "bugs" as they've not-so-affectionately been called. It completely ruins the atmosphere the show is trying to create, and throws the concept of picture quality out the window. TV was never made to be used in this way- it was invented to give viewers a PICTURE, and having logos onscreen all the time defeats this purpose. I have never heard a single valid reason for this practice, and know that it causes more viewers to tune out than new ones to tune in, yet as evidenced by today the problem only becomes increasingly worse. To see this happen on public television is even more disheartening, as its function is to serve the interests of its viewers, not that of advertisers and large corporations. After the logo madness had hit commercial TV, it made me appreciate public television more than ever. Tuning in and seeing a CLEAN SCREEN reminded me that there was at least one broadcaster that had respect for the programs it showed. How many KVIE members ASKED to have the onscreen call letters added? (The number "6" that usually was on the screen for the first 2 minutes of programs was bad enough, but compared to other stations it was tolerable. This is NOT.) There is simply no reason to spoil the picture for the sake of viewers knowing what channel they are watching. The FCC requires station identification only ONCE every hour. Since there are no commercial interruptions on PBS, the station logo is even more of a nuisance since at least the commercial stations turn theirs off during the ads! In addition, my Mitsubishi TV will display the extended data signals, which among other things displays the letters "KVIE" onscreen plain as day when tuned to channel 6! Thanks to this advancement, my home will now become completely TV-free as I disconnect my antenna feed. I have no shortage of pre-recorded material that will display a CLEAN SCREEN. With the worst having happened I can only fear the day I buy a DVD and am treated to a constant onscreen logo, and possibly afterwards turn on the radio and hear station IDs being played repeatedly over the music.
     
  2. Paul W

    Paul W Second Unit

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    You should have said you were going to cancel your donation. You did donate . . . right?[​IMG]
     
  3. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    My parents are actually 'members', but they say they will not renew if this continues. Bugs on any channel are pointless enough, but they're EXTREMELY pointless on a PBS station! I've heard that other stations that have tried it lost members (channel 9 in San Francisco is still doing it though.)
     
  4. SteveK

    SteveK Supporting Actor

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    Jesse - Good job on an intelligent, well-written letter. Hopefully it will get their attention, and with something more than "here's a complaint about another minor issue".

    I rarely watch local television, but I believe my local PBS affiliate is doing the same thing. It seems you can't go anywhere anymore without the station bugs constantly displayed. Fortunately, Turner Classic Movies hasn't yet stooped to this level, but I can't think of (m)any other channels that don't constantly display the bug. Except during advertising, of course.[​IMG]

    Fortunately, most bugs aren't quite as bad (yet) as the one on TNN. Does TNN really believe we need a CONSTANT display of what channel and show we are watching? If I start watching a program on TNN, am I actually going to forget what program I was watching in two seconds if they remove the constant bug? Am I going to forget that what channel I'm watching? Am I going to forget that I even have the television on?

    I can't remember where, but I read an article within the last month or so saying that you're likely to see more and more television "real estate" being taken up by station bugs and other non-programming annoyances. Yet another reason not to watch television.

    Steve K.
     
  5. Jeff Jacobson

    Jeff Jacobson Cinematographer

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    There is a PBS station in WA, KBTC, that squeezes the program to the top of the screen and puts a black bar at the bottom, telling you which show you are watching. (It lasts for about a minute, then goes back to normal.)
     

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