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

Chnlsrfr

New Member
Jun 8, 2020
2
4
Midwest
Favorite story from the "early days" of C-Band.: There used to be a LOT of unscrambled "wild feeds" (have old VHS tapes of Disney movies being edited over satellite feeds to two or more different parties and such) but one of the best was the mid-morning feed for Wheel of Fortune.

Back in the early Eighties, I would end up at our favorite watering hole after work where they would broadcast the Wheel of Fortune OTA at 6:30P.M. Well, after watching a few times, I realized that the morning "feed" was the broadcast of that night's show. Sooo, with my partner in crime/wingman we proceeded to bet our fellow barflies for the next round of beers on being able to "guess" the answer to the puzzle first. Won many times and didn't abuse it so they never figured it out! One time I even guessed the right answer with no letters and just the category and number blank of letter boxes on the screen (not too hard when you've already watched the episode). Good times.
 
  • Like
Reactions: k.r. and FTA4PA

N0QBH

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 13, 2006
206
57
Central MN
Started C band in the early 1990's.
We used to get together here to watch the Star Trek feeds on UPN a couple days before they were broadcast.
Great one up on the co workers who were fans too.
 
  • Like
Reactions: iBoston and FTA4PA

JFOK

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 12, 2012
847
606
Cape Cod - MA.
Hi All,

I put up my first BUD in April of 1991. It was a Radio Shack 9 foot with a Memorex receiver. The BUD memories that first come to mind...
Watching the Ch.7 (WSVN) Miami feed during Hurricane Andrew. At one point the anchors said we have to move to a safer studio we’ll be back shortly. Then for about 15 minutes or so the WSVN “slide” was aired and you could see the higher gusts affecting their dish as the sparklies came and went. I remember recording this, it was so eerie to watch.
Watching a CBS live feed from Miami, again, during Hurricane Andrew and Dan Rather (prior to his Evening News) asking the cameraman to pan down to show two men holding on to his legs to help prevent him from being blown off his feet. Something the average home viewer wouldn’t see.
Watching a live CBS feed showing the David Koresh compound in Texas as the bulldozers moved in and then hearing the cameraman yell out to an assistant, “call New York, call New York” as a fire erupted.
Seeing feeds of prime time shows a day or two ahead of their network airing, commercial free.
A lot of good, early dish memories.

John
 
  • Like
Reactions: k.r. and FTA4PA

ChrisPC24

Member
Apr 17, 2020
5
4
TN
I remember my aunt and uncle had one of the first BUDs, when I was a young kid. I remember staying over at their house and watching The Disney Channel the first year it was on.

Their dish originally had a hand crank, with notches on the pole! I once found the barker channel for XXXtasy! It was the first hardcore channel, and it was shut down soon after.

Years later, I was at their house, and I found wild feeds. I remember Joey Lawrence’s makeup lady fixing his hair between interviews.
 
  • Like
Reactions: k.r. and FTA4PA

N5XZS

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 23, 2005
3,220
1,140
Albuquerque, NM, USA
Now that's interesting to see certain states that, you have to be 21 instead of 18 and older for buying a house and satellite dish.

I remembered by going to Colorado from New Mexico which is 21 you can buy a beer or wine at age of 17 years or older back on 1981! :biggrin
 

cyberham

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 16, 2010
3,154
1,019
Nova Scotia
In 1971, we drove from Mexico back into Texas with a bottle of unopened tequilla en route home to Canada.

My older 20-year old brother was legal in B.C., but I guess the Texas age was 21. We watched as the border officer dumped it down the drain. Tough to take watching that waste of $ for us.

Sent from my SM-G950W using the SatelliteGuys app!
 
  • Like
Reactions: N5XZS

telstar_1

SatelliteGuys Pro
Pub Member / Supporter
Jul 14, 2020
1,322
1,323
61529
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 ?
I don't recall their being PAL-formatting on any feeds from the North American arc. Trying to remember about the spacing-they went from 3 to 2 degrees on c-band, right? Still plenty, given the narrow beamwidth of the larger dishes.

VideoCipher II, despite the name, was audio encryption. The video was untouched other than reversing polarization and removal of sync pulse. Simple to overcome from a tech perspective, but the average Joe isn't going to have a clue. Maybe they figured it was more important to secure the audio than the video, but I doubt the porno channels would have agreed. More likely it was just a whole lot easier to digitize that.
 
  • Like
Reactions: N5XZS

N5XZS

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 23, 2005
3,220
1,140
Albuquerque, NM, USA
Yes, I do remembered the PAL 625i 25 FPs video and yes is somewhat rare to see in the North America region.

Sometimes BBC and others passings news feeds, sports is little rarer than anything else. :) :hatsoff
 

Sammughal

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Feb 7, 2020
61
11
Toronto Ontario Canada
I was browsing YouTube and as some of you know I have an analog obsession. I collect vintage audio video equipment. Fascinated with analog cband but at the same time very much interested in the new 21st century modern HD and 4K stuff. Saw some early bob cooper and Shaun Kenny stuff. Saw Shaun Kenny videos of the videochiper bible and very cool stuff. Think someone digitized the VHS tapes and posted them on YouTube and the show was called bore sight news. Stuff about satellite with a news room type of show with commercials on satellite equipment etc. In the last ep they announce the passing of Shaun. Of course I just discovered this stuff. Too late of course the last episode of the show was recorded years before I was even around. Watched most of the uploaded videos. Anyone else recall watching it back in the days ? I just discovered it almost 30 years after the final ep aired. Wish I was around in the 80s to see all this stuff in its heyday. Most people think somethings wrong with me including my mom thinking why I would even buy a 10 foot dish. I’m very fascinated with the cband technology. There was a restaurant in Brampton Ontario (Canada) where I went to as a kid. Maybe 2005 ish and I remember seeing two cbands and it was a restaurant and they were in use. Not sure if it was analog or digital but I’d imagine analog. Back in the crt tv days. The restaurant closed in 2008 but the dishes remained till 2017 and the installation was unique they stuck a pole in the middle of the parking lot with cband dish on top and ran a large cable into the restaurant. Never seen such an install. Really wish I could go back in time and see more of the cband analog era. Especially the heyday of cband 1985 ish. Oh well thanks to technology we had vcrs and now I can watch old cband feeds people recorded and some of them made it to YouTube. If I’m not mistaken TWC was using videochiper as late as 2014 ? That’s really cool.
 

iBoston

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 15, 2014
1,940
1,189
North Central
When i was a boy in the eighties, i thumbed through catalogs of satellite dishes and dreamed of getting one. I was looking at ones i could afford which the dish support was a ring that sat on the ground and you could manually rotate the dish to hit the different birds. But, for a kid at 14, my eyes sparkled.

Around 1997, I finally scored a used dish someone wanted off their property for free. It was a 10 footer.. Gosh, i knew nothing back then, and i remember it took me a WEEK to get that tracking the arc correctly. It was really hard finding resources, unlike the Internet today. I don't remember the brand of receiver, other than it was analog, and it came with a UHF remote. I had one receiver ported to two TV's in the house. One in the living room, and one in the Bed room, and i could just take the remote with me and I remember i printed out a channel list and taped it to the back of the receiver, so i could just type in the channel # and it would move the dish and pull up the channel.

I specifically remember two feed channels i always loved to watch. One i believe was on Sunday night, and it aired the entire week of Rosanne (5 episodes) in a row. I was binge watching before binge watching was a thing! ;) I also watched the UPN Star Trek Feeds. I also had fun catching the news feeds.

But, i also loved the Ala Cart that they offered for pay subscription. I had a great line up that the cable companies couldn't compete with. for 18.00 a month, i got all the hbo/cinemax channels, and all the cable channels I wanted, but it didn't include History which i wanted. So, i had to fork over an extra .70 cents a month to catch history channel. - I loved it.

But, they didn't have many 24/7 free channels at that time that i cared about. Today they have far more 24/7 FTA channels than they did in the mid 90's. So much so, that i don't have any paid subscriptions today. No cable/no Satellite, no Internet Subscriptions. I am a happy camper with all the FTA stuff that exists.
 
  • Like
Reactions: cyberham and FTA4PA

Fragpole

New Member
Nov 13, 2020
2
0
49th Parallel
VideoCipher II, despite the name, was audio encryption. The video was untouched other than reversing polarization and removal of sync pulse. Simple to overcome from a tech perspective, but the average Joe isn't going to have a clue.
This brings back a memory: I understand that DirecTV's encryption was on the *video* only. The audio would come in the clear with the right equipment. So somebody in the early 2000s rigged a system to play the video from one source and the audio from another source. The only problem was that they had different delays, so they had some other box that would delay one of the sources to get them to match.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top