Tag Archives: Bugs

20 Years Later… Graphics Artists Learned about TV Burn-ins…

In the late summer of 2001, the graphics artists at the Fox News Channel introduced a new “bug” (industry lingo for the logo that’s featured in the lower third of an older TV set) to basically confirm what never had ever been confirmed before it. TV Sets can burn in.

It was well known for computer related screens that if a certain type of text would appear in the same area for hours and days on end, that the bulky cathode ray tube screens would burn in. In fact over time, near the end of CRT TVs, “flat screen” which means no bulging or rounded curves on the corners, this effect was less harmful.

But the issue began for many Fox News Fanboys (and maybe some fangirls) when the network launched in 1996, nearly 5 years after major TV operations moved to Paintbox, Chyron’s iNFiNiT!, or Pinnacle’s Deko, and the advancement of Adobe’s Photoshop and the popularity of Apple’s Macintosh systems, this lead to the first time in television history that modern computer generated graphics would appear for longer periods of time. As a result, many reported burnins, and as a result Fox News Channel, created a 2-dimensional cube of it’s iconic logo that would rotate slowly, on a 10 second cycle.

Sometime in the last few years, FNC dropped the cube, and returned to a “static bug” on the lower third. The Fox Business Network would launch in 2007, but didn’t have a bug that would rotate, other than some glow effect. FBN shared FNC’s look in late 2018 or early 2019.

a screengrab from Fox News Channel in 2001, just after the change to their bug to animate.
That’s the timeless Bridgette Quinn who had a stint at FNC and MSNBC before returning to New York newsradio! Her looks and voice has aged mavhusly! 🙂

Can LCD or OLED flat panels be burned in? The answer is yes. And it can cost you money, even News Corp’s money. When Fox owned WFXT, they built them for all intensive purposes a new facility for their news in 2003. Three years later, Roger Ailes had ran the O&Os and introduced the O&Os the cube logos for their stations to mimic FNC. They paid $10 million in 2001 dollars to build out the expansion (2001 was the time of the project, while the fall of ’03 when they launched it.) News Corp is known to be stingy, but they kept their flat panels in their newsroom studio, even when the news wasn’t on, so you could see the old horizontal logo when the logo changed in ’06. The Beacon Street Studio also got damaged from the lack of proper brightness controls or just for the love of god turning the screens off when there’s no news programming!

In short: FNC’s and FBN’s creative people should research maybe doing a “dark mode” for their crazy primetime yakkers to prevent this from happening and prevent what happened 20 years ago to happen again!