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Lv 5
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Is it true tvs before the 1980s had only 3 channels and cut off at 11 PM?

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  • Anonymous
    2 weeks ago

    In the 1970s there were very few, if any, 24 hour stations. Who was gonna watch tv in the middle of the night? 

    I recall a couple of them signing off about 2am, just after playing a black and white movie- but only on weekends. Then, a prayer by someone from a local church, then someone else reads a few lines from the station license, sign off, national anthem, then a test pattern. **beeeeeeeeeeep....**

    In major cities, there were usually about 6-10 channels. Smaller to mid size cities, 2 or 3. 

  • Phil M
    Lv 7
    2 weeks ago

    That was true where I live except they signed off at midnite.

  • KTJoe
    Lv 7
    2 weeks ago

    About 6 channels, (4, 5, 7, 9, 20, 26) network channels signing off 1:00am.

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  • John
    Lv 7
    2 weeks ago

    And after that, till dawn, this is what you got.

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  • keerok
    Lv 7
    2 weeks ago

    It depends on where you were. For me, it was five (ch. 2, 4, 7, 9, and 13) and sign-off was at 12 mid-night.

  • 2 weeks ago

    Depends where you lived, we were in an area where cable was not available in our small town until 1985.  when I was growing up, 60's and 70's this was true.

  • 2 weeks ago

    That was back in the 60's ...and there was more than 3 channels .

    Stations did log off by midnight .

    There was NBC , CBS, ABC and other private owned stations as well .

  • Anonymous
    2 weeks ago

    As a kid in the 60s, I remember the addition of UHF which added 2 more (viable) stations to the big 3. Dad installed a directional antenna on the roof to get the Bear home games out of Milwaukee. That didn't work very well. I don't remember 11pm as a standard cut off time but I remember the 'ant races' or Indian test pattern when programming for the network was off for the evening.

    Interestingly, cable first appeared in the late 40s. Cable originally brought distant over-the-air television signals from miles away to mountainous or geographically remote areas.

    The earliest I remember enhanced cable programming is the 70s. HBO launched in 1972. Initially, there were no commercials on my urban cable in the 70s. That was part of the attraction.

  • 2 weeks ago

    Yes, it's true. You were able to get both VHF and UHF channels if you  had a good antenna, though--so by the 1980s we had more than 3 channels. By the mid-70s there were about 11 or 12 channels you could possibly pull in; but cable TV wasn't distributed until the early 80s. 

  • 2 weeks ago

    Maybe somewhere.  Sign-off time when I had my very first memory of television long before 1980, was 1 AM.  I remember being afraid of the black and white test patterns on the screen.  There were only two stations at the time in my city, the NBC and CBS affiliates. The ABC station went on-air in 1962. The public broadcasting station went on-air in 1966.

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