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Pay Movie Channels back in the day

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Some Guy from Toledo
Posts: 603
Joined: Sat Jan 06, 2007 1:12 pm

Re: Pay Movie Channels back in the day

Post by Some Guy from Toledo » Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:14 am

1027BrianFM wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:05 pm
The Tocom box with the wood grain on it, my grandparents had that one, you could flip between A/B on the remote. They also had the General Instruments one shown for a time, We had that one too after we finally got to ditch Bedford Cable in 2001, I was still living at home then. The Motorola one i had when I lived in Toledo and Perrysburg. Up untill recently I went without cable for like 5 years. I never had any trouble with the Motorola box but I am thinking they have stopped issuing those. I had one of those back in like 2005.
Still good times.
Bedford Cable indeed was Phoenix Cable service, in 1997 an Ohio company bought them and renamed it Frontier Vision, then it was Adelphia.
Thanks, I was trying to remember what the name was again.
I am told Buckeye bought them and closed them down, or did Adelphia just close it on there own? Bedford Cable office was on Lewis and Dean, across from Kaisers vegetable/fruit market. They were a bit of a low budget operation, the service was indeed bad. When Primestar and some of the other small dish company's came to be in the mid 90's, people were dropping Bedford Cable like a bad habit. I remember going to a friends house Junior year and just being blown away by all the channels they got, this was 1997.
I bet. No doubt whoever ran the cable company simply couldn't keep up if they weren't going to upgrade the wires in time. I could see why Buckeye came in.
I think one good thing that came out of the 1996 Telecommunications act was, Buckeye could cross the state line. Before, I believe this is why they didn't. Buckeye's service, was considered actually one of the best in the country at one point. On the other, Bedford Cable looked like something from a communist country.
Even for a local operation in a bedroom community (of course Buckeye is still quite independent among the sea of titans out there).
The Scrambled pay channels, you could hear sound but it was obviously just squiggly lines. I remember one time, The Playboy Channel was unscrambled but they weren't showing anything Juicy :P.
I don't think Buckeye ever gave us that experience too much, though channel 3B used to be a scrambled picture of Showtime I recall. Not sure about watching the CATV channels outside the cable boxes though.
At one point I think Playboy was only on at night and they showed infomercials during the day. Pass Sports was off the air most of the days. No one I knew of had Playboy or Showtime for that matter, which was ch 19. My one Friend had HBO. I got an early taste of Rated R movies, as we had The Movie Channel which was on Ch 15. We had the Jerrold boxes I think untill the end or untill the late 90s, I think one of the tv's did have the Scientific Atlanta box. That box, if you didn't subscribe to a pay channel it skipped right over it, if you say punched in 18, all you got was CH 3 public access .
When Buckeye finally added Playboy, they made it a PPV service instead of a premium one.

I also remember channel 3 and the blocky message channel, I think it looked a little like this...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRbF1PkUAH8



Deleted User 10525

Re: Pay Movie Channels back in the day

Post by Deleted User 10525 » Sat Feb 24, 2018 12:23 am

With Playboy, you had to buy it in 4 hour blocks, I think it was like a pay per view type deal. I remember hearing about it :P. Weird thing was, Buckeye didn't carry Cinemax up untill like 2001-2002. Which I thought was a bit odd.

With Buckeye, with The Tocom boxes, if you flipped to a pay channel it might show the scrambled lines for like a second with no sound, then revert to The Impulse channel. Buckeye honestly was ahead of there time with some stuff, as stated at home with that Pitiful Bedford Cable.

When Buckeye came, there was a H*** response. I think we had to wait a couple weeks for them to come and install it. It was worth it though, My parents had up graded to a 52in Hitachi TV, as there 27in Late 80s Sony bit the dust so it was nice actually have a decent picture and some channels in Stereo.



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MWmetalhead
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Re: Pay Movie Channels back in the day

Post by MWmetalhead » Sat Feb 24, 2018 7:57 am

Speaking of The Movie Channel and Cinemax - why do those networks even exist anymore??? Hard to believe there are people out there who would pay $15 per month to see a bunch of movies they can see On Demand or on non-premium networks for free. Netflix, Prime Video and other services have a massive library for a cheaper price.

HBO, Showtime, and to a lesser extent, Starz, were wise enough to develop a substantial cohort of original programming. In HBO's case especially, I think most folks subscribe for the network's original programming.


Memo to 106.7: Twenty-One Pilots, Imagine Dragons, FUN and Fall Out Boy all S-U-C-K!!! Stop playing those shitty (boy) bands, and maybe you'll end your streak of piss poor ratings!

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Some Guy from Toledo
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Re: Pay Movie Channels back in the day

Post by Some Guy from Toledo » Sat Feb 24, 2018 8:24 pm

1027BrianFM wrote:
Sat Feb 24, 2018 12:23 am
With Playboy, you had to buy it in 4 hour blocks, I think it was like a pay per view type deal. I remember hearing about it :P. Weird thing was, Buckeye didn't carry Cinemax up untill like 2001-2002. Which I thought was a bit odd.
They were pretty late to pick up HBO as well, I don't think they had it until the end of the 80's. I'm sure they looked at Cinemax as yet another The Movie Channel.
With Buckeye, with The Tocom boxes, if you flipped to a pay channel it might show the scrambled lines for like a second with no sound, then revert to The Impulse channel. Buckeye honestly was ahead of there time with some stuff, as stated at home with that Pitiful Bedford Cable.
That's true.
When Buckeye came, there was a H*** response. I think we had to wait a couple weeks for them to come and install it. It was worth it though, My parents had up graded to a 52in Hitachi TV, as there 27in Late 80s Sony bit the dust so it was nice actually have a decent picture and some channels in Stereo.
That was nice.

I did notice someone wrote a book about Buckeye you can pick up here if you want. I'm sure it answers every question we have!
https://www.amazon.com/Building-Blocks- ... 010UOY0G0/
MWmetalhead wrote:
Sat Feb 24, 2018 7:57 am
Speaking of The Movie Channel and Cinemax - why do those networks even exist anymore??? Hard to believe there are people out there who would pay $15 per month to see a bunch of movies they can see On Demand or on non-premium networks for free. Netflix, Prime Video and other services have a massive library for a cheaper price.

HBO, Showtime, and to a lesser extent, Starz, were wise enough to develop a substantial cohort of original programming. In HBO's case especially, I think most folks subscribe for the network's original programming.
Both The Movie Channel and Cinemax, at least by the early 90's, became more like companion channels to their parent ones (Showtime and HBO), it stayed like that for a while, but after the whole multi-channel thing started to spread out, it just sorta lost relevancy, especially in today's digital world. Why they exist at all is a mystery in some respects, but I guess they just don't want to retire them outright.



Deleted User 10525

Re: Pay Movie Channels back in the day

Post by Deleted User 10525 » Sat Feb 24, 2018 9:52 pm

HBO and Showtime had to diversify to survive. I am thinking are on borrowed time. I wonder why Showtime, just hasn't revamped them under The Showtime name or phased out completely. Cinemax is boring, There's never anything on there I want to see. In general pay movie channels are a waste of money.



Mega Hertz
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Location: Ann Arbor

Re: Pay Movie Channels back in the day

Post by Mega Hertz » Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:53 am

It seemed that cable carriers varied literally neighborhood to neighborhood. Growing up, we had a cheap in-house service that offered PASS on 16, The Movie Channel on 17 and Showtime on 18.

My grandparents, less than three miles away (Comcast Sterling Heights) had HBO on 17, Playboy on 18, Cinemax on 19, TMC on 20, Disney on 21 and Showtime on 22.

Comcast Warren had TMC on 6, HBO on 17, PASS on 18, Cinemax on 19, Disney on 21 and Showtime on 22.

I remember the channels being scrambled differently from channel to channel. Some were actual scramble while others had white lines bouncing with a high pitched noise. It was a little more fun and interesting back then.

And who could forget "filters" and "black boxes"? One family member didn't pay for Cinemax and another didn't pay for any movies, sports or PPV!


Underground Sounds, Ann Arbor, Michigan
"Keep Vinyl Alive!"

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