What was your favourite memory of a feed or channel on cband before channels got scrambled ?

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Sammughal

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Feb 7, 2020
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Toronto Ontario Canada
I missed out and wasn’t around during the days of free to air cband when hbo and nbc and the other big networks were unscrambled I believe encryption started around 1986 right ? What was your favourite memory of an analog unencrypted feed or channel before the scramble happened ? Some of your long time hobbyists probably have memories to share.
 
TRG

TRG

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A friend of mine was a Patriots fan around that time. We had a lot of good football parties at his house watching games on his 12 foot c-band system. The bird he needed to hit was a little past the limit of his motor. So he had a piece of broom handle cut to "shim" the dish an extra couple of degrees to lock signal. I think his receiver was a Uniden.
 
907TECH

907TECH

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Aug 29, 2018
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I got into satellite TV around 1982. I started installing 12 foot dishes for TVRO part time, family business. My biggest memories were of MTV, it was fresh and new, and revolutionary. And of course that crazy preacher Gene whatshisname, 24 X 7. Everyone was using 12 foot dishes right at first, the best LNA available was 120 degrees and they ran around $500. One of the best early receivers was from Drake, the ESR 24 if I remember right. There were no block receivers yet. We ran a piece of coax from the feed to the downconverter behind the dish in a weatherproof box. Improvements were rapid, soon DX Engineering had a block receiver on the market, LNA's got better, and later the first LNB's. Dishes were getting smaller but 9 feet was about the smallest that worked OK. We were paying about $650 for a 12' Paraclipse, don't quite remember the receiver or motor drive cost Houston Tracker was our favorite. A complete system installed was around $3000.
 
clucas

clucas

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My first receiver was a Luxor with C-Band only, an LNA and downconverter. Back then HBO was only East and West. There was another movie service called SelecTV, now long gone. Later I upgraded by myself by adding a dual feedhorn and Ku and C-Band LNB's and a Uniden receiver. I was then able to get TVO (TV Ontario) and Showcase from Canada. TVO had interesting and educational programs with a movie on Saturday nights. I remember the British series "The Darling Buds of May" with my first exposure of a young, lovely Catherine Zeta-Jones. Also a crazy British series called "My Hero" where a superhero from the planet Ultron comes to Earth. Showcase introduced me to the Australian comedy series "Fast Forward" and the British comedy team of Hale & Pace.

Still in the old analog days the PBS feed channel transmitted "The Best of Your Show of Shows" with intros by Sid Caesar. They were 30 minute programs with full length sketches. I never saw that program broadcast over the air.

Finally, once a week I would watch the 90 minute feed of NCTV (National College Television) only for the chance to VHS tape the reruns of "The Spike Jones Show". Ahhh, memories.
 
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arlo

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Dec 4, 2016
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After hour closed bar parties with the new dish owner cranking the handle over to Satcom 4 to watch Playboy.
Then there was Gene Scott. He was at least honest. "Send me your donations, I need a new Caddy. Puh-Raise Jesus". lol
 
N5XZS

N5XZS

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Used to get few raunchy feeds in the.clear other than Playboy, some short lived stations showing triple XXX at late night.:clapping

Used to watch Caribbean Super Station out of Aruba.

CBC and Canadian Weather channel and exotic station out of New Foundland, Nova Scotia local news on fisheries issues. :)

Saw Gulf War 1 live and raw various news feeds back in the early 90's.

The dish size was 10 footer with DX model Recievers and I think was made from Sweden.

The body cover of the reciever was chocolate looking flavor!:biggrin

Ahh, the good old days and never well see again...:hatsoff
 
S

Sammughal

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Feb 7, 2020
68
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Toronto Ontario Canada
Used to get few raunchy feeds in the.clear other than Playboy, some short lived stations showing triple XXX at late night.:clapping

Used to watch Caribbean Super Station out of Aruba.

CBC and Canadian Weather channel and exotic station out of New Foundland, Nova Scotia local news on fisheries issues. :)

Saw Gulf War 1 live and raw various news feeds back in the early 90's.

The dish size was 10 footer with DX model Recievers and I think was made from Sweden.

The body cover of the reciever was chocolate looking flavor!:biggrin

Ahh, the good old days and never well see again...:hatsoff


I really feel bad missing out the early analog days of cband. There’s something about the 80s and analog that’s there that just isn’t the same feeling with digital and the new stuff on tv. Fascinated with the old channel surfing videos on YouTube of the analog days. Especially when HBO was unscrambled. Just wish there was a major channel on analog but due to bandwidth which is money that won’t be happening. Oh well...
 
N

Need2learn

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Aug 13, 2018
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We use to able to watch the AFC football games on K1 and K2 satellites those were the days.
 
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MikeI

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Sep 25, 2004
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Way too many to list or even really remember. I started in college right when it was about 50/50. Very few sports channels were scrambled at the beginnlng in 1988.
Prime Ticket, Sportschsnnel LA _(when it was $20 month on local csble) Nostalgia, Disney (wasn't full time yet) come to mind. Backhauls, Primetime prefeeds. Sports feeds in general, Lakers backhauls for KHJ/KCAL. Basically anything.

Sent from my LM-G710VM using the SatelliteGuys app!
 
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mwdxer1

mwdxer1

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I installed my dish back in July 1985, just before scrambling hit 1/1/86. I did not get it for free HBO or Showtime, but for access to regular channels COX Cable did not carry at the time. Being an old TV show fan, I loved CBN. They ran back to back old 50s/60s shows including Burns & Allen, Jack Benny, Bill Dana Show (which I wish we could find again), and many more. Then there was the Nostalgia channel. I missed that one too. A lot of TV casts of TVRO too. It was a very fun time. I had a Uniden 6000 receiver for a number of years, until I bought a Maspro. Great years.
 
S

Sammughal

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Feb 7, 2020
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Toronto Ontario Canada
Does anybody have old channel surfing footage they recorded onto their VCRs ? That would be interesting to see...when I was a kid (well I’m probably a lot younger than most of you) recorded stuff onto my parents vcr when I was a kid in the early to mid 2000s but that was all off cable. I still have some of the tapes and it brings back a lot of memories for me. Does anybody have any old footage they taped off satellite in the 1980s onto their VCRs and they still have ?
 
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TNGuy84

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May 27, 2018
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I've only seen footage on YouTube regarding C-band surfing. On a side note, I enjoy watching old vids of channel surfing on analog cable. I never had C-band as a kid, but I remember surfing analog cable channels in the 80s and 90s. I especially like to see footage of old analog encryption techniques, like flipping by negative and positive trapped channels. Much of my Disney watching in the 80s involved trying to make sense of what was behind the black and white rolling lines accompanied by a high-pitched beeping noise.
 
D

danderson500

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May 15, 2017
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My first receiver was a Luxor with C-Band only, an LNA and downconverter. Back then HBO was only East and West. There was another movie service called SelecTV, now long gone. Later I upgraded by myself by adding a dual feedhorn and Ku and C-Band LNB's and a Uniden receiver. I was then able to get TVO (TV Ontario) and Showcase from Canada. TVO had interesting and educational programs with a movie on Saturday nights. I remember the British series "The Darling Buds of May" with my first exposure of a young, lovely Catherine Zeta-Jones. Also a crazy British series called "My Hero" where a superhero from the planet Ultron comes to Earth. Showcase introduced me to the Australian comedy series "Fast Forward" and the British comedy team of Hale & Pace.

Still in the old analog days the PBS feed channel transmitted "The Best of Your Show of Shows" with intros by Sid Caesar. They were 30 minute programs with full length sketches. I never saw that program broadcast over the air.

Finally, once a week I would watch the 90 minute feed of NCTV (National College Television) only for the chance to VHS tape the reruns of "The Spike Jones Show". Ahhh, memories.


NBC's AFC telecasts on K1/K2 in the late 80s/early 90s. Dick Enberg, Don Criqui, Marv Albert, Charlie Jones, Jim Lampley, Mel Proctor, Joel Meyers, Drew Goodman, Jim Donovan . Bob Costas was in studio then with OJ and Parcells.
 
truckracer

truckracer

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Sep 17, 2004
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I miss 1985. My whole family was still living, analog TV, snow, ghosting over the air tv, sparklies on the big dish, no internet,
Cars sucked and were slow but we loved them anyway.
Myrtle Beach trips, girls, rock music and hair bands.
I certainly don't belong in this age now.

Sent from my SM-G960U using the SatelliteGuys app!
 
NYDutch

NYDutch

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My wife loved getting the day ahead Canadian feed of her favorite soap so she could tell her friends what she "thought" was going to happen on the US network feed the next day. She was never wrong... ;)
 
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Carroll A

Carroll A

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Dec 6, 2004
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Man oh man I loved the old C Band days. I was 13 years old when my dad got our Satellite dish. The Rcvr was a Drake ESR-324 with a 10 foot Paraclips dish. Was cool watching HBO unscramble. Watching wrestling on Saturday nights on WTBS. Watching westerns on CBN. My dad eventually got a Houston Tracker Actuator, and by that time I started finding unique things to watch and listen to. I remember in 85 finding this audio channel with a guy talking about HBO scrambling. I kept listening and really like this channel called FM America with Keith Lamonica. I later found this other guy named Chuck Dawson who had an audio channel called K-SAT satellite radio. I later found this crazy channel called Borsight with Greensheet and ways to defeat the old VCII. Lots of backhaul feeds to watch races on CBS and ESPN. Those were the days.

Sent from my SM-S205DL using the SatelliteGuys app!
 
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telstar_1

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Boresight News was news about the home sat industry, each episode followed by Greensheet, which was a shopping show for used c-band sat gear, and consumed most of the program time (I sent stuff to be sold). Then as the night wore on, there was a final segment- Yellow Rain. it started off by showing a man emerging from a restroom zipping up his fly. The camera proceeds into the restroom to find a urinal with a VCII box in it. This was the latest hack news regarding the VideoCipher. All the brainchild of Shaun Kenny.

Backhaul feed scrambling and cable net scrambling were not the same deal, and did not proceed along the same timeline. HBO was one of the main instigators in getting "subscription scrambling" started in the mid-80s (using VCII). It was very badly received by the sat community; system sales plunged, system owners vowed never to pay, etc. Very adversarial. But they left a back door wide open in the decoder, and that spurred a whole new industry.

As the VCII phased in, nat'l network feeds, backhauls and most other stuff that wasn't a subscription cable channel remained in the clear (however, PBS oddly scrambled, using VCII). When those did finally go, it was from a combination of various mechanisms, from use of oddball forms of scrambling to switching to Ku.

Changing in-clear adjacent channels (on same sat) was instantaneous, though sometimes you could see a second's worth of sparklies as the feedhorn servo rotated to go from an odd to even ch. #. Had a Drake 324, couldn't believe the analog pic quality.
 
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Sammughal

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Feb 7, 2020
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Toronto Ontario Canada
Really interesting to hear your stories. Did anybody receive any PAL feeds in the USA or Canada ? When did the 2 degree spacing happen? What was the spacing of satellites like in the mid 1980’s ?
 
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N5XZS

N5XZS

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Jan 23, 2005
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Yes I do remembered picking up PAL video 625i system by seeing black & White pictures rolling. :)

If you are lucky to have a Vertical hold knob back of your TV set you can stop the picture from rolling.

The picture will be stretched from top to bottom and that how you can get rare BBC news feed and even rarer soccer sport feeds at that time.

Getting a multi System TV in the US and Canada is pretty hard to get, you have to special order it. :hungry

As for 2 degrees apart spacing not what year they agreed on assuming it was from ITU, maybe someone's might have answers for 2 degrees system.

Hope that will answer your questions . :hatsoff,
 
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