Channel 5 Video

From Audiovisual Identity Database

Descriptions by

Captures by

Editions by
PM pinter, Michael Kenchington, Blue2000, TrademarkMagic04 and Luigitehplumber

Video captures courtesy of
dylan fagan and LogicSmash


Channel 5 Video was a significant British VHS distributor founded in 1986 as a joint-venture between Heron Communications and PolyGram. The company shuttered in 1991 after PolyGram purchased Herson's stake in the business.

In 1997, PolyGram revived the Channel 5 brand as a children's label for their existing budget VHS imprint 4 Front Video. Following the rebranding of PolyGram Video to Universal Studios Home Video in 1999, the Channel 5 brand continued to be used as a label until 2000.

It is completely unrelated to (and not to be confused with) Britain's fifth terrestrial TV station.

1st Logo (1986-1990)

Logo: On a gradient blue background, a series of translucent 3D quadrilaterals rotate into view and form what turns out to be a right-pointing arrow with a "5" cut out of it. The arrow is then hit by a line of electricity (two CASCOM stock footages called "Electro Charge II" and "Electro Burst", respectively) and turns gold, and as it turns to face us, the word "CHANNEL" also in gold appears above. The whole logo faces us very briefly, with a flash of white light behind it, then zooms in towards us and disappears, leaving just the blue background.

Technique: CGI animation.

Music/Sounds: A synthesizer tune is played with some bells and electric guitars, and just before the bolts of lightning hit each other, a cymbal is heard building up to the flash, with a final electric guitar riff before the synthesizer fades out, as the logo zooms off the screen.

Availability: Seen on Channel 5 videos from the UK around the time period such as Thunderbirds, Stingray, Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, Joe 90 and The Trap Door, among others.

2nd Logo (1986-1991, 1997-2000)

Logo: On a gradient brown background, a beige square appears from the bottom right corner, zooming towards the center of the screen before disappearing. Two more squares, colored purple and black respectively, participate in similar sequences. While this is being done, the word "CHANNEL" forms letter-by-letter, then the symbol from the previous logo (a segmented arrow with a "5"-shaped hole) is formed afterwards. It stays on the screen for a few seconds, then the symbol and "CHANNEL" fly to the top right corner of the screen, leaving just the background.

Technique: 2D animation.


  • 1986-1991 - A droning note followed by a downing synth chord with drumbeats, which surprisingly is in sync with the lines forming the logo. This was actually sourced from "Threshold" by the Steve Miller Band. The track was also used for an early station ident for KMPH-TV.
  • 1997-2000 - A lullaby-esque theme, featuring a xylophone and woodwind.


  • Seen on Channel 5 videos from the UK around the time period.
  • It also appears on the 1986 UK VHS releases of Mighty Mouse: Volume 1 and Mighty Mouse: Volume 2, respectively.
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