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Guest Message by DevFuse


When did you first get cable TV (non OTA)?

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50 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   ejjames



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Posted 02 May 2010 - 04:57 AM

Growing up in Burlington, ND (pop. 950) and receiving OTA from Minot, we had NBC, CBS and PBS. No ABC until about '84. (The CBS station had a secondary ABC affiliate and would air shows like GMA and MNF.)

Anyway back to the question, "When did you get cable, and how many channels did you get?" Being an A/V geek at even 8 years-old, I remember every one, we got it in about 1980. Channels 2-13 so no cable box was needed...
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#2 OFFLINE   cadet502



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Posted 02 May 2010 - 06:23 AM

Northern New Jersey, 1977
But we did get the box and I can't remember the numbers, but we got
MSG (at that time all Ranger/Islander home games were on MSG, Ranger away games were all on Channel 9)
We also got a selection of independents from Philly and Boston.

#3 OFFLINE   Glen_D



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Posted 02 May 2010 - 06:55 AM

I first got Cable TV in 1992. It had been available in my neighborhood since the early 1980s. I got in on a promotion that included free installation (I didn't have an existing drop coming into my house).

I kept the Cable service until I got Dish Network in 1996.

#4 OFFLINE   bidger


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Posted 02 May 2010 - 07:16 AM

My family had it ever since I could first remember. CBS out of Binghamton was over 50 miles away and there are lots of hills between and there was no way my Dad was going without the Jackie Gleason show in the early 60s. I had cable from 1987 until 2000, keeping Lifeline the last 2 years when I picked up DirecTV. Been with them from 1998 to present.

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#5 OFFLINE   RobertE


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Posted 02 May 2010 - 07:59 AM

Where my parents live, they got it in 90-91 when the small town finally got wired up. Sadly, the company got sold more times than they had channels. Last year the most current company (Cox I think) pulled the plug. Thankfully, my parents had finally seen the light and already had DirecTv installed. :) When the plug was pulled for the town, my parents had more HD channels than the total available channels on cable.
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#6 OFFLINE   Cholly


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Posted 02 May 2010 - 08:29 AM

First got cable from Pioneer Cablevision (out of Vestal, NY, I think - later acquired by Time Warner) in 1963. I moved several times between 1965 and 1972, and was mainly OTA. In 1972, was back in upstate NY and served by Time Warner until 2003, when I went with basic cable for locals and Dish Network. In 2004, Time Warner came to me with an offer of cable, Roadrunner and phone that I couldn't refuse, knowing that I'd be moving to NC before the special price ran out.
When I moved to NC to live with my oldest son and his family, they already had Time Warner cable. After we moved into our new house (still with Time Warner), I investigated going with satellite and due to our unique needs (7 TV's in 7 rooms, with two TiVo DVR's serving two of the TV's), cable turned out to be the practical solution. Although we had the house prewired, provision for room to room cabling was not provided, so we would have needed 7 individual satellite receivers and the TiVo boxes would have been useless.


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#7 OFFLINE   Jim5506


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Posted 02 May 2010 - 01:45 PM

We first got cable TV in the mid 1960's.

I lived in Carlsbad, New Mexico where we had a total of 3 OTA channels 6, 8 and 10and the transmitters for 8 and 10 were 70-80 miles away.

A local radio station owner went in with some other businessmen in town and put in a small cable TV system, bringing in 4 channels from Albuquerque, and 4 channels microwaved overland from Los Angeles, KTTV, KCOP, KTLA and one more - we had 12 channels (2-13) one was a weather channel that was a black and white camera panning a thermometer, barometer wind gauge amd clock.
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#8 OFFLINE   Getteau



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Posted 02 May 2010 - 01:56 PM

82 or 83ish from Storer Cable. We were in Clear Lake City Texas and I think Storer was in League City Texas. I don't remember if we had a box, but I remember it was always going out for hours at a time and I remember Storer's customer service was awful. They were the only game in town and they knew it.


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#9 OFFLINE   Stuart Sweet

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 01:58 PM

Northeastern Massachusetts, approximately 1981. There was cable there in the 1970s but we didn't have it.
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#10 OFFLINE   matt


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Posted 02 May 2010 - 02:56 PM

When I was growing up, we got Heartland Cable. It was wireless, and had a antenna at the top of a 20' pole that looked like a shelf from an oven with the little receiver sticking out of it.

House after house had a huge tripod, 20' pole, and 4 guy wires on the roof after TCI Cablevision screwed up their lineup.

We had ours mounted on the side of the house and looked a lot nicer. I still see them from time to time, even though the company is long defunct. I might snap a pic if I have my camera next time I see one so ya'll can see how ridiculous it looked.
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#11 OFFLINE   manxiemaxx


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Posted 02 May 2010 - 03:54 PM

Sept. 1980. Storer cable. North Central TX. Can't remember exact number of channels, but got HBO, SHOWTIME and a new (then) service The MOVIE CHANNEL.

Basic package included TBS,WGN,WOR, C-SPAN ,CBS CABLE(an arts channel),USA and a few more .HBO was on the air from 4P.M until around 4 A.M.
Basic cable was $7 and you could get HBO, SHOWTIME and TMC for $14.00 more.

#12 OFFLINE   fluffybear


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Posted 02 May 2010 - 08:53 PM

It was sometime in the very late 1970's (i'm thinking 78 or 79) and we received a total of 4 channels (3 majors and PBS). Parents paid $4.00 a month.

I personally got cable for the first time in 1984 when I went off to college (lived off campus). There were 2 tiers, basic (around 14 channels) which ran about $7.00 a month and extended (around 30 channels) which ran about $20.00. HBO & Cinemax were the only 2 premiums being offered an I think they were around $10.00 for the two.

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#13 OFFLINE   spartanstew


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Posted 02 May 2010 - 09:38 PM


I'm sure Directv can't wait to get their hands on your unit.

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#14 OFFLINE   brant



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Posted 02 May 2010 - 10:23 PM

growing up, we never lived in an area w/ cable TV.

my brother left for college when i was 14; he got a primestar dish @ the duplex he rented. about a year later (1998), he moved to a house w/ cable and gave me the primestar setup. by this time they had been purchased by directv, and the local dish network dealer got me a free dish net system for being a primestar customer. i had it installed in my bedroom @ my parents and paid for it myself. my parents still weren't interested in having anything other than OTA.

anyhow, almost 6 years ago i got married and moved down the street to a house that had cable. $25/mo for 60+ channels including 3 HBO's.

I disconnected that 3 years ago when I got my first HDTV and signed up for dish network's HD package.

I disconnected that about a year ago and went back to OTA w/ streaming netflix through WMC.

I currently have no interest in paying for TV again, except for netflix because it has so many things we like to watch and all on-demand.

And having a DVR w/ OTA gives us plenty of choices for programming. Many shows I actually like come on network TV, and we can watch them @ our convenience.

#15 ONLINE   phrelin


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Posted 02 May 2010 - 10:35 PM

In 1974 in the Salinas Valley - brought NBC and CBS local channels plus ABC, PBS and some independents out of the Bay area.

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#16 OFFLINE   davidjplatt



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Posted 02 May 2010 - 10:51 PM

I couldn't get cable in Fairfax County, VA and when I moved to Arlington I could finally get cable in 1982.

I was shocked - 34 channels with a wired remote control (it used a modular phone cable to connect the remove to the cable box). I was in heaven - HBO, Cinemax, Showtime the local regional sports network was a premium channel - Home Team Sports and I refused to pay for it.

When I moved to Fairfax a couple of years later they actually had cable in the area I moved to. 120 channel system (not all of them live) - double cable system - two cables came in and both connected to a Zenith converter box - box was required because of the dual cable.

Moved to Prince William county and went back to a lousy 35 channel system.

Moved back to Fairfax to the 120 channel system and got so fed up with the service that I put in DirecTV in 1996.

Been with D* ever since.

#17 OFFLINE   TheRatPatrol


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Posted 02 May 2010 - 10:56 PM

I remember having cable in our house around 1980, when I was about 8. I don't remember how many channels we had then. I do remember at one time we had a cable box that had a dial on it, then we got a "cataloged ordered" cable box that had a remote control. When they finally scrambled everything you had to have one of their boxes on every TV.

I remember they didn't broadcast the local channels on their OTA channel numbers. The cable channels that they did broadcast on the local channel numbers didn't come in very good sometimes as they got interference with the OTA channels leaking into the cable.

#18 OFFLINE   Phil T

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 11:51 PM

I remember in the 60's we had friends in Frankfort KY who had cable that could pull in stations from Louisville and Cincinnati.

I lived in an apartment in 1980 that I could get HBO and WTBS on in Lakewood, CO. In 1981 We moved into our first house in Morrison CO and had Televents cable. We had a converter box that went up to 36 but I think I had about 25 channels including MTV (when they played videos).

Televents was bought out by Jones Intercable who was bought by TCI who was bought by AT&T who was bought by Comcast. I luckily got Satellite in 1997 and got to miss the TCI, AT&T & Comcast conversions.

#19 OFFLINE   matt


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Posted 02 May 2010 - 11:52 PM

I was shocked - 34 channels with a wired remote control (it used a modular phone cable to connect the remove to the cable box).

Was it the one with a large array of mutually exclusive switches and the channel guide printed on the back? My grandma had that was back in the day.
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#20 OFFLINE   TheRatPatrol


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Posted 03 May 2010 - 07:07 AM

I remember in the 60's we had friends in Frankfort KY who had cable that could pull in stations from Louisville and Cincinnati.

They had cable in the 60's? I wonder if your friend actually had this?

The abbreviation CATV is often used to mean "Cable TV". It originally stood for Community Antenna Television, from cable television's origins in 1948: in areas where over-the-air reception was limited by distance from transmitters or mountainous terrain, large "community antennas" were constructed, and cable was run from them to individual homes. Link

#21 OFFLINE   jkane



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Posted 03 May 2010 - 07:16 AM

The house I grew up in and the house my brother still lives in plus the house my Dad lives in now still do not have cable. Central Wisconsin. The land of fresh "dairy-air". Even cell phone service does not work there.

Our cottage also does not have cable. It barely has electricity and phone service. They just put up the first cell tower last year.

My first cable was after I joined the Army. It was so amazing to see more than 3 channels!
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#22 OFFLINE   the_batman



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Posted 03 May 2010 - 08:43 AM

1977 back in Alabama

#23 OFFLINE   Phil T

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 09:59 AM

I think you are right, it must have been CATV because I remember the channels being very fuzzy.

They had cable in the 60's? I wonder if your friend actually had this?

#24 OFFLINE   Earl Bonovich

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 10:38 AM

1979 - Philadelphia

Don't recall the carrier... but remember the big push button box, that had an a/b/c switcher so you can have 39 channels.

I remember the 50ft cord that it was attached to, and vividly remember sitting up on the counter by the basement windows watching TV... waiting for dad to come home from work.
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#25 OFFLINE   djlong


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Posted 03 May 2010 - 10:51 AM

1976 - Nashua NH - Time Warner Cable TV

I remember the entire lineup.

2 - WGBH Boston (PBS)
3 - WMUR Manchester (ABC, Ch 9)
4 - WBZ Boston (then NBC)
5 - WCVB Boston (ABC)
6 - WLVI Boston (then IND, Ch. 56)
7 - WNAC Boston (then CBS)
8 - WSBK Boston (then IND, Ch. 38)
9 - Couldn't have anything on that channel due to interference from WMUR CH 9.
10 - WJAR Providence (NBC)
11 - WENH Durham NH (PBS)
12 - WPRI Providence (CBS)
13 - CKSH Sherbrooke Quebec (SRC / CBC)

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