Sunday, March 4, 2012

Blast from the Past: I Want My Cable TV!

So, this weekend we got a new HD-DVR cable box. It's the fifth or sixth one we've had since HD was invented. All of the old ones got glitchy, the last one being the worst. I figured that if I'm paying such a ridiculously high cable bill, I ought to have better technology. So I got one that just came out, with more storage, and the ability to become a "whole house" DVR, should we want to pay an extra $20 per extra TV. Yeah, maybe not.

But I forgot to set the thing for my Sunday morning political shows. And since I missed those, I pretty much fell out of my usual routine, and got no blogging done. Now it's time to do my weekly Blast from the Past column, and I've got no inspiration. Wait. Cable. Cable's been around a long time. . . .okay, cable ads it is!

1. Warner/Amex Qube - I grew up in Columbus, Ohio--Whitehall, actually--and we were a big test market for new products. Unfortunately, I lived in the Coax Cable area, across town from Warner/Amex. And we were rabidly jealous about it! Because that part of Columbus got to test market Qube, a first-of-its-kind interactive system, with a big (wired) remote control. Well, I was jealous anyway.

2. Telecinema - I'm kind of amazed to find this clip. It's low quality, but it is from 1976! This predates HBO, and was a system that offered lettered channels, like Channel A, Channel B. . .and Channel F was the dirty channel! Between movies, they ran promos, and a program guide. You'll see that in the clip. I remember--very well--the Rollerball trailer in this clip, as well as so many others: The Stepford Wives, Bug, The Car, The Towering Inferno, Earthquake, Death Race 2000, Phantasm. On and on.

3. HBO - Telecinema died, and was soon replaced in Columbus with HBO. But it didn't come in ten flavors or on demand. It was just one channel, that's all you got, and you were happy. This video--which aired before most movies--was a pretty big deal in the days before computer animation.

4. MTV - It's a cliche to say that MTV "used to play music videos!" But it's weird that they don't anymore. It was the entire reason for the channel. And in the early 80s, it was truly a phenomenon.

5. & 6. Ha! & The Comedy Channel - Before there was Comedy Central, there were these two channels. The two eventually merged.

And that's going to have to do it for this week's installment. Have a great Monday! 

1 comment:

  1. I am surprised that cable prices are not cheaper here in Vegas considering there is some competition. Besides satellite TV, you also have Century Link and Cox cable that compete.
    when I lived in a fairly small town (18,000) in Wisconsin, we had the competition of 2 cable companies and the prices were significantly lower than other towns.
    But we're not seeing that here in Vegas and there is supposed to be a 3rd cable TV company coming into Vegas, or at least Henderson.
    Maybe there's some collusion going on?


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