Do you remember when TVs turned off at midnight? These days, you can watch TV at any time you please. If you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t fall back asleep, there is always something on. With streaming services, you can choose what to watch too! In the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s TVs actually went static at midnight.
This happened when the transmitter was shut down. Many times, there was some sort of sign off. You might remember the National Anthem being played before the TV went to static. During this time, it cost too much for TV stations to run for small audiences. Generally, the TV came back on around 6 a.m. the next day.
Back in the day, TVs turned off at midnight
We asked our members of the 1960s Do You Remember Group if they remember when the TV used to shut off around midnight. Many people remember the days when there was nothing to do if you woke up with insomnia in the middle of the night! Here are some of the comments we received:
“Me that is one thing from the past that I don’t miss.”
“A local tv station where I used to live was still signing off as late as 2009, but not at midnight though. They would do it at 2am.”
“Very clearly remember also remember when morning tv started at 8am with the Star Spangled Banner.”
“Yes I sure do, and in Miami we only had three channels back then.”
“Yep…watched till then when babysitting…then got bored.”
“And then the national anthem came on 😩. if you couldn’t sleep you were screwed because there was nothing else to watch. lol”
“I remember that the test pattern was black and white. I also remember the National Anthem was played and sometimes the poem “High Flight” was recited with film footage from the cockpit of an Air Force jet aircraft!”
Is this something you remember? Let us know! Don’t forget to join our 1960s nostalgia group too! If you’ve forgotten what it sounded like, reminisce below: