Non-Road Boards > Off-Topic

Bad cable TV systems

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--- Quote from: SP Cook on September 26, 2023, 09:24:48 AM ---In the beginning, there was OTA TV.  You put up an antenna and got the local stations.
Unless you lived in a rural area, especially in the mountains, where the signals were unreceivable (and the government, in its indifference to Rural Americans, refused to permit repeater stations).  So there came in CATV.  Community Antenna TV.  Which was simply building a single large antenna for the whole area, such that no one person could afford it. 

--- End quote ---

I grew up in a town surrounded by mountains in every direction and no local TV station that had a system like this. The tower was just west of the Talimena Drive near the former site of Ward Lake, which was Mena's water supply for decades. For years, this antenna would be lit up like a cross in December and early January, which could be seen from all over Mena. It was actually pretty cool.

I remember one day turning the TV on and seeing a new channel, WTGC-17 Atlanta, so that means the antenna service switched to cable no later than 1979.

In as late as the early 1980s. the Mena cable company had a channel that showed meteorological instruments scrolling across the screen. It was similar to the videos below but less primitive. I remember the day it was replaced by a computer-generated text screen, which made me mad. The first video mentions Little Rock, but the station was in Nashville, The music and the voiceover are soothing, and the cards between the dials are adorable.

One of the brands was Weather Scan.


--- Quote ---Cable TV is evil.  To understand why, you must simply understand the history of television.

--- End quote ---

These are some cool videos from free TV advocates. The narrator in the second video says "free baseball".


"Free TV", as portrayed by those 1960s and 1970s, is very much a myth. Either you are paying for the product, or you are the product targeted by advertisers based upon demographics. Nowadays, because of retransmission fees for broadcast television and per-subscriber fees for cable channels, it's now both. And those movies were often edited for content, to fit the time slot allocated, and to fit in more commercials.

As for "free baseball", prior to the Regional Sports Networks in the 1990s, only a subset of baseball games were televised in the primary television market (e.g. San Francisco, Oakland), and even a smaller subset was broadcast in secondary television markets (e.g. Sacramento). For NFL games prior to the 1973 season, the home team games were automatically blacked out within 75 miles of the stadium, and from 1973 until 2014, if the game wasn't "sold out" in the home market, it was blacked out also. NFL SUnday Ticket for out-of-market games didn't exist until 1994.

Of course, with the RSN meltdown going on with Bally Sports and AT&T Sportsnet, some broadcast stations are taking over the role of Regional Sports Network.

golden eagle:
I hear that Spectrum is very terrible.


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