Hello! Welcome to the Michigan Radio & TV Buzzboard. Please visit the newly created "Buzzboard v3.0 features" forum to view announcements as to recently installed new features, as well as to report any issues or share your opinions regarding recent site changes. All accepted new account registrations through 7-16-2017 at 6:00p ET have been activated.

(Note: hover your mouse pointer near the upper right corner of this box and click the "x" to close it.)

Detroit Pay-TV IT

Discussion pertaining to Detroit, Ann Arbor, Port Huron, and SW Ontario
blizzard
Posts: 78
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2011 10:51 am

Detroit Pay-TV IT

Post by blizzard » Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:55 pm


User avatar
Plate Cap
Posts: 393
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2004 9:18 am
Location: After the rectifier stack

Re: Detroit Pay-TV IT

Post by Plate Cap » Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:28 am

The box that many broadcasters won’t look outside of was made in 1969 and hasn’t changed significantly since.

User avatar
bjmcdevitt
Posts: 83
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2004 8:54 pm
Location: Hartland, MI

Re: Detroit Pay-TV IT

Post by bjmcdevitt » Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:13 am

There was also MORE-TV, which I think just used to rebroadcast HBO? I can't remember which service had this ad, but I remember one of them featured a girl with one of the pay-TV logos on a t-shirt. I don't remember if getting a t-shirt was part of the campaign, but she stated that she would 'give you the shirt off her back', and reached down to the bottom of her shirt as the ad ended.
Saying a synonym for large = bad. Starting threads to attack other users = A-okay!

User avatar
HD74
Posts: 64
Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2004 4:53 pm
Location: SOMEWHERE BEHIND THE RACKS

Re: Detroit Pay-TV IT

Post by HD74 » Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:46 am

Wasn't channel 20 ON-TV for a while in the 80's?
You're never too old to learn something stupid.

sfpcc
Posts: 612
Joined: Thu Jan 11, 2007 3:05 pm

Re: Detroit Pay-TV IT

Post by sfpcc » Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:41 pm

[quote="HD74"]Wasn't channel 20 ON-TV for a while in the 80's?[/quote]


From 1979 to 1983

User avatar
Toledo Eleven
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat May 09, 2009 12:38 pm
Location: Toledo, OH

Re: Detroit Pay-TV IT

Post by Toledo Eleven » Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:24 pm

Vintage Toledo & Detroit TV Stations Print Ads at
http://vintagetoledotv.squarespace.com/

DR99
Posts: 56
Joined: Wed May 08, 2013 12:25 pm

Re: Detroit Pay-TV IT

Post by DR99 » Fri Feb 17, 2017 6:59 pm

So was this an encrypted OTA signal? It sounds like it died off once everyone one got wired for CATV

User avatar
The Constant Browser
Posts: 58
Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2004 2:32 am
Location: Metro Detroit

Re: Detroit Pay-TV IT

Post by The Constant Browser » Fri Feb 17, 2017 7:33 pm

It was broadcast on Ch 31 Ann Arbor which was WIHT then (In Home Theatre). The transmitter was actually near Chelsea, with a satellite repeater on Ch48 in St. Clair Shores. At one time it was scrambled 24 hours a day. They used a much more secure system called SSAVI, then what was used for ON-TV.

User avatar
rugratsonline
Posts: 342
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2004 1:20 pm

Re: Detroit Pay-TV IT

Post by rugratsonline » Fri Feb 17, 2017 9:15 pm

The Constant Browser wrote:It was broadcast on Ch 31 Ann Arbor which was WIHT then (In Home Theatre). The transmitter was actually near Chelsea, with a satellite repeater on Ch48 in St. Clair Shores.
After IT folded, both 31 and 48 would become independents, then HSN, before becoming PaxTV / Ion. I believe the channel 48 transmitter closed down shortly after channel 31's digital signal relocated to Southfield. The transmitter near Chelsea would become the new home for Lansing's WHTV, a rare instance where a station serving one market operates from a transmitter in another market (that originally served that market).

User avatar
mtburb
Posts: 396
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2015 12:28 pm
Location: Wyandotte

Re: Detroit Pay-TV IT

Post by mtburb » Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:40 pm

rugratsonline wrote:I believe the channel 48 transmitter closed down shortly after channel 31's digital signal relocated to Southfield.
Nope, when I first dabbled into using antennas after decades in 2015, I was still able to receive the 48 transmitter, albeit in digital and broadcasting Daystar programming.
rugratsonline wrote:The transmitter near Chelsea would become the new home for Lansing's WHTV, a rare instance where a station serving one market operates from a transmitter in another market (that originally served that market).
There's another example not far away: Toledo religious station WLMB broadcasts on RF 5/virtual 40 from a transmitter in far southwestern Monroe County, which is also in the Detroit market.
For three days in January 2017 (15th, 16th, 19th), I managed to receive KDKA Pittsburgh from 202 miles away indoors!

My tropo station reception reports: https://www.rabbitears.info/dxlocation.php?id=403

User avatar
Some Guy from Toledo
Posts: 513
Joined: Sat Jan 06, 2007 1:12 pm

Re: Detroit Pay-TV IT

Post by Some Guy from Toledo » Sat Feb 18, 2017 2:50 am

mtburb wrote:
rugratsonline wrote:I believe the channel 48 transmitter closed down shortly after channel 31's digital signal relocated to Southfield.
Nope, when I first dabbled into using antennas after decades in 2015, I was still able to receive the 48 transmitter, albeit in digital and broadcasting Daystar programming.
rugratsonline wrote:The transmitter near Chelsea would become the new home for Lansing's WHTV, a rare instance where a station serving one market operates from a transmitter in another market (that originally served that market).
There's another example not far away: Toledo religious station WLMB broadcasts on RF 5/virtual 40 from a transmitter in far southwestern Monroe County, which is also in the Detroit market.
Actually the transmitter is in Lenawee County, in Fairfield Township.

User avatar
SolarMax
Posts: 346
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2004 5:59 pm
Location: 313

Re: Detroit Pay-TV IT

Post by SolarMax » Sat Feb 18, 2017 9:25 am

DR99 wrote:So was this an encrypted OTA signal? It sounds like it died off once everyone one got wired for CATV
Not "encrypted" in the true sense, but "scrambled" using a sync pulse inversion technique similar to the Macrovision process used for VHS copy protection. Pirate descrambler boxes were abundant and cheap and could also be built by anyone with basic electronics skills of the day, contributing to the demise of the OTA pay channels.
Many of us remember (yes, admit it) catching a few fleeting seconds at a time of late night soft core pr0n by flipping channels and getting a visible image until the TV got unlocked again by the fake H sync signal.

SteveS
Posts: 43
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 7:03 am

Re: Detroit Pay-TV IT

Post by SteveS » Sat Feb 18, 2017 12:19 pm

SolarMax wrote:Many of us remember (yes, admit it) catching a few fleeting seconds at a time of late night soft core pr0n by flipping channels and getting a visible image until the TV got unlocked again by the fake H sync signal.
Yeah, my parents were legit ON TV subscribers but I had a small Panasonic television that was pretty good at getting IT TV without the scrambling. I don't remember it being for only a few seconds at a time but it was a long time ago. I think they called it Adult Theater at night when they aired the soft pr0n.

User avatar
rugratsonline
Posts: 342
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2004 1:20 pm

Re: Detroit Pay-TV IT

Post by rugratsonline » Sat Feb 18, 2017 5:26 pm

Some Guy from Toledo wrote:
mtburb wrote:
rugratsonline wrote:The transmitter near Chelsea would become the new home for Lansing's WHTV, a rare instance where a station serving one market operates from a transmitter in another market (that originally served that market).
There's another example not far away: Toledo religious station WLMB broadcasts on RF 5/virtual 40 from a transmitter in far southwestern Monroe County, which is also in the Detroit market.
Actually the transmitter is in Lenawee County, in Fairfield Township.
Furthermore, Lenawee County is the only Michigan county within the Toledo market:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U ... on_markets

User avatar
Plate Cap
Posts: 393
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2004 9:18 am
Location: After the rectifier stack

Re: Detroit Pay-TV IT

Post by Plate Cap » Sat Feb 18, 2017 6:08 pm

bjmcdevitt wrote:There was also MORE-TV, which I think just used to rebroadcast HBO?

MORE-TV started out on 2.154 GHz MDS (multipoint distribution service) facility as single channel HBO unencrypted. In detoilet, it was first on the Book Building, then moved to the Renaissance Center ca 86-ish. Satellite receive location was first on a big dish and small microwave tower adjacent to a golf course on Wayne Road near I-94, and microwaved to the TX location(s).

The downlink location was eventually moved to WGPR on Jefferson, and microwaved to the Ren. Later, when they went to MMDS with the ITFS channels (see below), they went to a VERY expensive and not-so-reliable video leased-line-coax provided by MBT from 'GPR to the Ren. 'GPR always had a pretty impressive satellite downlink facility, since they ran so much stuff delivered that way. I recall most of what Microband wanted already had a dish pointed at the correct bird, and only needed another RX port and receiver.

There was a short lived similar MDS single channel installation in Pontiac on the PSB building downtown; it didn't work out though, and was shut down. Ditto Ann Arbor. They were kept in place and fired up once a year with bars and a test pattern to keep anyone who really wanted to do something with the frequency from getting the license.

It was owned by a company called Microband Corporation of America in New York City; they had installations in many large cities. It was leased to the 'MORE TV' people locally; they were located in Livonia....they were Microband's 'customer'. Microband eventually bought MORE.

Later, ITFS channels were purchased from the Archdiocese of Detroit (that was always a complete boondoggle, and I suspect merely an investment). I don't recall if all the spectrum came from A of D; there may have been others....U of D is rattling around in my dusty head. A of D towers and red microwave dishes are still on a few Catholic schools around town.....it never really got going well, though. It was first put in when I was actually attending one of the elementary schools.

Anyway, Microband bought them, then went to a multichannel system from the Renaissance. I recall it was 5 or 6 channels; 'HBO' was still on the higher power MDS freq it was always on. Receivers did some simple decryption; and required two different antennas due to polarization of different channels used.

Channels were eventually supposed to become wireless internet; I recall maybe Sprint being peripherally involved in that, then 'Speednet'....I think Bob Liggett has some interest in that. Nice idea, but cable 'caught up'.

Anything else needed? I know that MDS/ITFS/MMDS system then like I know my cat today.
Last edited by Plate Cap on Sat Feb 18, 2017 6:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.
The box that many broadcasters won’t look outside of was made in 1969 and hasn’t changed significantly since.

User avatar
audiophile
Posts: 4532
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2004 9:21 pm
Location: Between 88 and 108 MHz.

Re: Detroit Pay-TV IT

Post by audiophile » Sat Feb 18, 2017 6:15 pm

Where was the Ann Arbor site?
Ask not what your country can do FOR you; ask what they are about to do TO YOU!!

User avatar
rugratsonline
Posts: 342
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2004 1:20 pm

Re: Detroit Pay-TV IT

Post by rugratsonline » Sat Feb 18, 2017 7:25 pm

Plate Cap wrote: [MORE-TV's] downlink location was eventually moved to WGPR on Jefferson... 'GPR always had a pretty impressive satellite downlink facility, since they ran so much stuff delivered that way.
Amazing, considering that WGPR was always a low-rent TV station the first 20 years of its life.
Plate Cap wrote: There was a short lived similar MDS single channel installation in Pontiac on the PSB building downtown; it didn't work out though, and was shut down. Ditto Ann Arbor. They were kept in place and fired up once a year with bars and a test pattern to keep anyone who really wanted to do something with the frequency from getting the license.
Or rather, to keep the license active by proving that they broadcasted at least one day a year, in hopes of selling to someone else. A similar situation with WDHS in Iron Mountain, which most of its life broadcasted a few days a year, either with a test pattern or with religious programming, apparently in hopes of selling it to someone else, or waiting until a better programming opportunity came along. That station's license was finally cancelled in 2015.
Plate Cap wrote:
Microband bought them, then went to a multichannel system from the Renaissance. I recall it was 5 or 6 channels; 'HBO' was still on the higher power MDS freq it was always on. Receivers did some simple decryption; and required two different antennas due to polarization of different channels used.

Channels were eventually supposed to become wireless internet; I recall maybe Sprint being peripherally involved in that, then 'Speednet'....I think Bob Liggett has some interest in that. Nice idea, but cable 'caught up'.
Apparently by then, they were part of the "Wireless Cable" trend of the late-1980s and early-1990s, when a small selection of cable channels and locals (depending on area) were broadcast on microwave. They all but dried up by the end of the 1990s when the small-dish satellite services became available.

User avatar
MWmetalhead
Site Admin
Posts: 3866
Joined: Sun Oct 31, 2004 11:23 am

Re: Detroit Pay-TV IT

Post by MWmetalhead » Sat Feb 18, 2017 7:51 pm

I believe the channel 48 transmitter closed down shortly after channel 31's digital signal relocated to Southfield.
That St. Clair Shores translator was a joke. Unless it changed TX sites toward the end of its life?? Didn't it transmit from a location near 8 Mile & Jefferson ? Must've been co-located on a public safety tower of some kind. I remember seeing a map that showed the site practically on the shore of Lake St. Clair.

In the 00's, I lived in Sterling Heights and then Warren. In analog, I received zero signal in Sterling Heights and an anemic (usually unwatchable) signal in Warren. The channel 31 signal - from the Chelsea TX site - came nowhere close to reaching my location.

I presume there was a wide swath of Metro Detroit that received neither signal over the air.
Radio station web sites that do not offer music logs or at least a "songs recently played" list are stupid.

User avatar
Plate Cap
Posts: 393
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2004 9:18 am
Location: After the rectifier stack

Re: Detroit Pay-TV IT

Post by Plate Cap » Sat Feb 18, 2017 9:07 pm

MWmetalhead wrote:
Didn't it transmit from a location near 8 Mile & Jefferson ? Must've been co-located on a public safety tower of some kind. I remember seeing a map that showed the site practically on the shore of Lake St. Clair.
Shore Club. 9 and Jefferson. Known in the boating industry as 'the nine mile tower'. Had/has a rotating nav beacon on it.
The box that many broadcasters won’t look outside of was made in 1969 and hasn’t changed significantly since.

User avatar
MWmetalhead
Site Admin
Posts: 3866
Joined: Sun Oct 31, 2004 11:23 am

Re: Detroit Pay-TV IT

Post by MWmetalhead » Sun Feb 19, 2017 8:40 am

Thank you for the info.

Definitely a bizarre location to put a TV station transmitter.

The whole concept seemed flawed to me. Who the heck would pay serious $$$ to watch a UHF station with a snowy picture? No wonder it failed. Was this a service offered in multiple markets across the nation?
Radio station web sites that do not offer music logs or at least a "songs recently played" list are stupid.

Post Reply Previous topicNext topic

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests