What It Looked Like When TV Stations Would Go Off the Air Overnight [VIDEO]
Depending on your age, you may or may not remember that TV stations used to sign off the air overnight. The transmitter would be shut down and the picture would go to static. Here's a look at what it was like in 1982 when WTMW Channel 8 signed off the air for the night.
In 2015, it's hard to imagine that TV stations would just shut down for the night. At the time it would just cost them too much money to run overnight to such a small audience. Then came the infomercial and TV stations started running 24-7.
Someone was always up at that time of night and willing to buy an egg beater that could also make you a cup of coffee. It was easy money for TV stations and the sign-off was a thing of the past.
I remember the sign-on as well as a kid. I would wake up early in the morning to turn on WLVI 56 out of Boston on cable and wait for them to sign on to start their morning cartoons like Mighty Mouse, Bozo the Clown, The Mighty Heroes and Tom & Jerry.
They would run a test pattern and play disco music until the national anthem came on to start the broadcast day. Just seeing this old film of scenes from across America shown while a band played the Star Spangled Banner brings back all the memories.