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Analogue Cable Memories
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Old 10-08-2018, 19:02   #61
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Re: Analogue Cable Memories

Home Video Channel was not the same as the MVC retail chain - an the UK Prem1ere was nothing to do with Premier.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardCoulter View Post
Do you know if HVC was any connection to the video rental store (I think it was HVC, or was it MVC) and if Prem1ere had any connection to the German movie channel Premier that was on analogue satellite in the 90's?


---------- Post added at 19:02 ---------- Previous post was at 19:00 ----------

I think you are refering to the German version. The UK Prem1ere channel required a big satellite dish point at 27.5West.
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I vaguely remember there was a channel called Premiere on satellite, but it was scrambled in a system called syster (or was it nagravision?) - it was not receivable on a videocrypt decoder. Instead of the lines being cut and rotated, they seemed to jump up and down vertically, and the audio had a weird form of hissy sounding encryption also.
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Old 11-08-2018, 19:54   #62
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My cousin discovered with his box in the 80s all he had to do with slip an index card in the front of the box and ALL THE PAY CHANNELS CAME IN! (I guess the index card touched something inside and caused it to unscramble all the pay channels)

Back then there were only 36 channels and the upper 30s were all scrambled pay channels......
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Old 12-08-2018, 20:25   #63
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Re: Analogue Cable Memories

A guy in a company where I worked once built his own sky box (this was in the 80s), and at that time our council wouldn't let you put satellite dishes on chimneys.

He got around this by modifying a metal dusbin lid into a dish.
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Old 12-08-2018, 21:06   #64
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Re: Analogue Cable Memories

Impressive! Experienced with electronics I'm guessing? I wanna build an FM radio sometime while FM is still around
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Old 12-08-2018, 23:15   #65
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Re: Analogue Cable Memories

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hom3r View Post
A guy in a company where I worked once built his own sky box (this was in the 80s), and at that time our council wouldn't let you put satellite dishes on chimneys.

He got around this by modifying a metal dusbin lid into a dish.
Reminds me of this https://www.slashgear.com/crazy-sate...lord-07200645/
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Old 01-09-2018, 12:06   #66
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Re: Analogue Cable Memories

Got some new questions.

1. In the analogue days, did cable networks consist of fibre optic connections or was it all/mostly copper?

2. Since 2010 and besides Milton Keynes/Ireland, have there been any other special cases of VM still providing analogue TV?

3. Also! Let's assume VM were now broadcasting "720i" (or thereabouts) high definition analogue channels... How many of them could they reliably deliver to a customer's house on 1 cable from cabinet to premises (with landline phone as the only other service. No Internet.)

Last edited by RWCable; 01-09-2018 at 12:09.
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Old 01-09-2018, 13:18   #67
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Re: Analogue Cable Memories

To answer your first question, early cable networks tended to be MATV systems that eventually joined up (as far as I can tell) - and they had their own little headends and there was no fibre.

Once those networks began to join up, I would imagine that the technical sites / local head-ends were linked to each other fibre (carrying an analogue signal at 1550nm) since that has been available for many years. I know it was fibre-to-the-grid-square in Western MK because I've seen it physically - but I think after that point, it was a set of daisy-chained copper running under the lawn between houses using cheaper co-ax, just like the MATV systems of the 80s.

Maybe someone from BT or Openreach knows more about the physical architecture of the MK system for historical purposes - obviously it's dead, now.
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Old 01-09-2018, 13:29   #68
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Re: Analogue Cable Memories

2. Here's one I made earlier: https://www.cableforum.uk/board/show...php?t=33640854

3. Assuming such a channel fits into the usual 8MHz slots, around 80. But it does vary depending on how the network was built.

---------- Post added at 13:29 ---------- Previous post was at 13:27 ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Onramp View Post
Once those networks began to join up, I would imagine that the technical sites / local head-ends were linked to each other fibre (carrying an analogue signal at 1550nm) since that has been available for many years.
I don't think they were. Each headend had it's own satellite farm to receive the channels.
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Old 01-09-2018, 14:13   #69
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Re: Analogue Cable Memories

Quote:
Originally Posted by spiderplant
I don't think they were. Each headend had it's own satellite farm to receive the channels.
You could be right, to be honest. I'm not sure how recently the ones were linked in the area I'm thinking off but only one site actually had dishes located there, for quite some time, while the other didn't, for as far as I can remember. Just a single 60 - 80cm dish on the aerial tower.
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Old 01-09-2018, 15:12   #70
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Re: Analogue Cable Memories

I remember there being several big dishes on top of the buildings at Comtel Oxford. You could see them when driving along the A40.
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Old 05-09-2018, 20:28   #71
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Re: Analogue Cable Memories

My old house in Wales in 1992 had a box with a switch on it. Was located on the window shelf. Could get sky 1 on it. Was quite happy as I could watch wwf.

I believe about 20 houses on estate had it and was fed from a single dish.

No idea where it was though.
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Old 07-09-2018, 20:16   #72
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I love this thread!!!!!

I didnt realise anyone else loves analogue cable as Much as I do
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Old 07-09-2018, 20:28   #73
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Re: Analogue Cable Memories

I remember (as a child about 8 years old) accidentally blocking out BBC2 on the second box. When a second box was a uniquely cable idea, and about 3.50 a month!
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Old 11-09-2018, 23:51   #74
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That much??

Hmmmmm.. Sometimes steep prices!!

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Old 17-03-2021, 14:13   #75
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Re: Analogue Cable Memories

Hi all it's been a while, I hope you are all doing well.

I've been feeling nostalgic on this subject lately... I learned some new things and thought I'd share some updates on the topic.

Between 1994-1998, SEGA worked with cable companies to create a subscription games service called SEGA Channel for their Mega Drive (aka Genesis) console. The games would be delivered via coax into a special cartridge inserted into the console. It's very interesting. If you want to learn more see here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sega_Channel

Anyway keeping in line with the discussion around analogue cable TV, it turns out General Instrument had some role in supporting SEGA Channel. When I did some searches to learn more about SEGA Channel, I found that a System Operators manual for the General Instrument ACC-4000 had been uploaded on a SEGA wiki site. You can find that here: https://segaretro.org/index.php?titl...nstrument).pdf

As previously mentioned in this thread, the ACC is a sort of master computer which General Instrument supplied to cable operators to control the headend equipment, which would then communicate with the set-top boxes on the network.

The manual makes very interesting reading if you're technically inclined (maybe if you're reading this you used one?). It shows what a system operator would see on their end, which we as customers never saw. Obviously the system is obsolete so I doubt there's any harm sharing this.

The ACC has some interesting capabilities for the time. For instance, I was amazed to find it could conduct opinion and viewership polls with the GI boxes!! If you ever used an ACC, was the viewership polling feature ever used? As for opinion polls I know for a fact I never saw an opinion poll on NTL...

I also read a manual I downloaded a while ago for one of the most common set-top boxes used in Britain, the CFT-2100 which I remember fondly. In the example screens in the manual, the Messages feature is shown providing useful info like "today's weather," "PPV Guide", "Customer Service No.". Unfortunately I don't have a link to the manual but surely it's probably available somewhere. It's a shame NTL/local operators didn't use this type of functionality more. It's very cool for its time and would have made the service even better.

The ACC manual also explains the naming and model number convention for the various types and subtypes of boxes (CFT-20XX, CFT-21XX, CFT-22XX) etc. There's actually quite a lot of subtypes based on whether it's one-way, two-way, or "FONE-way."

So I learned a few things from the manual, including that CFT stands for "Consumer Friendly Terminal."

In my research I also saw a CFT-2200 box in America and it seems that particular model can run a custom firmware? It looks physically the same as the CFT-2100/2000 boxes but the menus look completely different. Interesting pictures here: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/GENERAL-I...kAAOSwx79erv5r

But I have some more questions too.
  • What's SURFview and did we ever have it here?
  • What's FONE-way? Probably something to do with the box having a connection to the phone line for two-way communication box and headend?
  • Could the CFT-2100, CFT-2000 run custom firmware like the 2200?
  • Did the boxes have an internal battery or storage to remember time, settings, channel numbers etc?

Last edited by RWCable; 17-03-2021 at 14:41.
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