RÚV (TV channel)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Sjónvarpið)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
TypeBroadcast television channel
AvailabilityNational; also partially distributed over the Internet on Thor 5 and Worldwide
OwnerRÚV, the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service
Key people
Magnús Geir Þórðarson, CEO
Launch date
30 September 1966; 53 years ago (1966-09-30)
Former names
Sjónvarpið (1966–2011)
Official website

RÚV (named Sjónvarpið (English: 'The TV') before 31 March 2011) is the television channel of RÚV, the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service, launched in 1966. The channel broadcasts primarily news, sports, cultural programs, children's material, American, British and Nordic films and entertainment programming. Among its highest-rated programs are the comedy sketch show Spaugstofan (moved to Stöð 2 since 1989) and Fréttir (News).


Sjónvarpið's original iconic logo, designed by Gísli B. Björnsson in 1965-1966, was incorporated into the 2011 redesign.

The network made its first transmission on 30 September 1966. To begin with, transmissions only took place on Wednesdays and Fridays, only gradually expanding to the rest of the week through the years, but there were no transmissions on Thursdays.[1] In addition, no television was broadcast in July.[2] Transmissions in July began in 1983.[3] Sjónvarpið was the first public television channel in Iceland and also the first to broadcast in the Icelandic language, although Armed Forces Radio and Television Service Keflavik (is) broadcast an English language television service from Naval Air Station Keflavik from 1951 until the latter's closure in 2006. Having lost its monopoly and sharing the market with Stöð 2 a year before, Sjónvarpið ended the era of television-free Thursdays on 1 October 1987, resulting in the first full week of television in Iceland.

Test colour transmission commenced in 1973 and started full-time in 1976. From September 1981 onwards, the channel greatly benefited from Iceland's connection to the rest of the world via satellite. Starting on March 1, 1982, Icelandic television viewers were able to watch daily reports from abroad on their evening newscast. Live broadcasts from the rest of Europe, such as the Eurovision Song Contest, commenced for the first time in May 1986. RÚV's teletext service, Textavarp, was inaugurated on the 25th anniversary of Icelandic television in 1991.

As late as 2000, television only aired for 8 hours each day, starting at around 4:35 pm and ending at around 12:35 am on weekdays. The number of hours of television aired per week changes every week and day, with transmissions during the weekend being the longest. RÚV currently starts at 7 am on Saturdays and Sundays. During the week, however, transmissions still start between 3 pm and 5:30 pm and end between midnight and 1:30 am. During downtime, the station carries its daily schedule and a news ticker, complete with audio from Rás 2.

Test cards[edit]

Early Sjónvarpið test card. This test card was also used by ZDF, Süddeutscher Rundfunk (SDR) and Sender Freies Berlin (SFB) in Germany.[4][5]

From the inauragration of Sjónvarpið in 1966 until as late as 1982, an electronically generated, heavily modified version of the Philips PM5540 monochrome test card was utilised during off-air hours, with the words Ríkisútvarpið Sjónvarp occasionally appearing in the top and bottom black segments respectively.[6] In the early 1970s, the Philips PM5544 test card was introduced for colour transmissions and gradually replaced the previous monochrome test card, with the time and date included in the PM5544 test card from 1995–2000 and again from 2002–2006. In 2009, the Philips PM5644 widescreen test card was introduced to replace its PM5544 forerunner. In 2011 the testcard was discontinued when an overnight filler programme similar to ITV Nightscreen was introduced during RÚV's off-air hours.

High Definition[edit]

In 2012 two new 1080i play-out systems were installed.[7]

On 27 March 2013 RÚV signed an agreement with Vodafone Iceland to install and run two new digital HD channels starting in 2014 that will transmit both over the air on UHF in 1080i and via IPTV systems of Síminn and Vodafone Iceland. Analog TV transmissions ceased in February 2015.[8][9]

Programming aired on RÚV[edit]

Foreign shows[edit]

TV series[edit]


Icelandic programming[edit]


  • Áramótaskaupið (English: The New Year's Comedy), an annual New Year's Eve comedy special with an audience of up to 90% of viewers
  • Fréttir (English: News), the main news program at 7 p.m.
  • Gettu betur (English: Guess Again), a quiz show
  • Kastljós (English: Spotlight), a news/talk program
  • Tíufréttir (English: News at 10), the late evening news at 10 p.m.
  • Út og suður (English: There and Back), interviews with people around Iceland
  • Stundin okkar (English: Our hour), Iceland's longest running children's show. The show has had various different host through the years. Started in 1966.


  • Á baðkari til Betlehem (English: On A Bathtub To Bethlehem), the first televised advent calendar produced in Iceland[10] and is a part of Jóladagatal Sjónvarpsins, an ongoing series of televised Advent calendars. Shown in December 1990 and reran in 1995 and 2004.
  • Á tali hjá Hemma Gunn (English: Talking with Hemmi Gunn), a Saturday night talk show. Running from the 1980s to early 1990s.
  • Nýjasta tækni og vísindi (English: Latest Technology and Science). From late 1960s to 2001.
  • Spaugstofan (English: The Comedy Room), a weekly comedy show.
  • Stiklur Ómar Ragnarsson travels around the country showing Iceland's landscape and nature along with interviews with interesting people. Late 1970s to early 1980s.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ The American-Scandinavian Review, Volume 58, Henry Goddard Leach American-Scandinavian Foundation, 1970, page 72
  2. ^ The Horn Book Magazine, Volume 47, Bertha E. Mahony Miller, Horn Book, Incorporated, 1971, page 465
  3. ^ Guinness World Records 2015, Guinness World Records, page 174, 2014
  4. ^ https://plus.google.com/photos/110075467441072153682/albums/5720743420927143969
  5. ^ https://www.fmtvdx.eu/radiobulletin/europesche-testbeelden.html
  6. ^ http://www.radios-tv.co.uk/Pembers/Test-Cards/Non-UK.html#Iceland
  7. ^ Farbwahl GbR. "ATG Broadcast Completes High-Definition Expansion for RUV, Iceland". live-production.tv. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
  8. ^ "Tvær stafrænar háskerpurásir verða hjá RÚV". RÚV. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-07-09. Retrieved 2013-07-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "Vetrardagskrá Ríkissjónvarpsins". Morgunblaðið. 3 September 1989. Retrieved 3 July 2012.