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Bad cable TV systems

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Anyone have experience with really bad cable TV systems?

In the 1980s, our local cable system was Storer Cable. It was truly miserable. Their customer service would cuss out people over the phone. Stations would go out all the time too.

They had a channel called Network Preempt, which was supposedly for the many times our local network affiliates would preempt network shows. But whenever we tried to watch a preempted show on Network Preempt, it was just showing our local station that had preempted it.

There was also a channel called Color Bars, which was just that. Vertical multicolored bars, all day and all night.

I remember Storer cutting into the MTV video awards with local commercials once because someone told a mildly risque joke. We were also late getting MTV around here.

Storer used to carry WKYT Lexington, but when they dropped it, they made a big issue of it and kept running ads blaming it on the local newspaper.

Also, VH1 was always really fuzzy, with the ghost of another station visible, but I guess that was no big loss.

Later, in the '90s, we tuned in to Storer's weather radar channel, but all it had was a Windows error message.

I do not miss cable or DBS TV.

I still have a cable connection, but that's just because it's been the only viable option for broadband internet at my location.

SP Cook:
Cable TV is evil.  To understand why, you must simply understand the history of television.

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. 

What was the business plan?  To screw over the consumer, to provide the least service possible, to do the bare minimum.  It is where cable TV came from, and what it is all about. 

Then came the "cable" channels, like ESPN, or HBO, or TBS.  Begrudgingly, Big Cable added these channels, but in analog, and as few as possible, and crammed into its existing inadequate cable infrastructure.    Because cable is about doing the least possible.  They were the only game in town, and they knew it, and the DID NOT CARE ABOUT THEIR CUSTOMERS.

Then came DBS.  Death From Above.  100s of channels in crystal clear digital perfection. 

Now, the "linear model" of TV is on its last legs.  And people are letting the cable company be their ISP.  Why?  They are evil.  They don't care.  They will do the least possible for you. 

It is who they are.

MTV wasn't even an option on the cable TV in my hometown until it was basically over as anything worth watching.  We're talking middle 2000's so they had already turned MTV into a shitshow of reality bullcrap and reruns of movies you've seen 1200 times.  So I had to watch Beavis & Butthead at a friend's house; they had a satellite dish.

But where I grew up, you needed cable or satellite to watch Fox until 1999.  There was no OTA channel for Fox before then.  The ABC affiliate aired all the NFL games that would have been on Fox in the 90's.

Then when they finally did get a local station up and running, it was a much weaker signal than the ABC affiliate so everyone was pissed off they weren't getting good reception any more for Packer games.  That was the case for at least one season and it never really had the oomph for as long as that OTA channel existed.  The digital switchover finally leveled the reception quality, though many would say not for the better.

I remember some channels on our old Cox analog system (the Manchester, CT, franchise) being really poorly modulated, with a noisy/static-filled picture.


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