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Old 08-21-2012, 11:00 AM
 
Location: Southwest Arkansas
789 posts, read 675,556 times
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Late 1983 or early 1984
Probably 6 to 8 channels
I know we had ABC,NBC,CBS and Showtime and maybe espn and HBO
We thought we had a lot of options lol
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Old 08-21-2012, 11:02 AM
 
Location: Tyler, TX
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Early '80s, I think. Maybe late '70s. Twenty something channels sounds about right, but I was pretty young.
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Old 08-21-2012, 11:27 AM
 
41,046 posts, read 42,771,578 times
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Late 70's and I think it went up to 12 or 13, that included the 4 local stations ABC, NBC, CBS and PBS. The other stations were broadcasts of local stations from Philly and NYC. HBO was on channel 14 or something which actually came to my area very early, the very first HBO broadcast was only about 8 miles from my house. I don't recall any cable specific stations until maybe the mid 80's.
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Old 08-21-2012, 11:38 AM
 
24,497 posts, read 36,433,866 times
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Before I was born. My parents had Cable TV in the 70s in NYC, and got it when they moved to New Jersey in the 80s. I have no idea how many channels. I remember the channel numbers for many of the channels we used to watch in the 80s:

HBO: 18
Showtime: 20
Disney: 28
TMC: 30
MTV 06
VH1: 21
Nickelodean: 34, changed to 36 later on
CNN: 03
Cspan: 15
HLN: 36

Wow it was easier to remember things as a kid.
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Old 08-21-2012, 01:52 PM
 
Location: Pueblo - Colorado's Second City
12,213 posts, read 21,573,064 times
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It was in the early 80's but I could not tell you how many channels we had as I was only about 10. The only channel I remember for sure was Disney lol
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Old 08-21-2012, 01:58 PM
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Location: Ohio
16,976 posts, read 33,982,881 times
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1978... channels were 2-36.

I remember that 2 was HBO and that the (then) 3 network affiliates were at the same channel as they were over the air.
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Old 08-22-2012, 01:25 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
31,490 posts, read 51,050,246 times
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In 1982 a guy I worked with had cable, I remember the first time I saw MTV.

Then we moved, moved again, then we went overseas. I remember working with a guy who was depressed, I tried to talk to him about it. He complained that he was used to having cable, living overseas without cable was boring. At the time, I had never lived anywhere with cable. He and I were from different worlds. He also had never learned to drive, he had grown up in a city where there is no need to drive. So living overseas he was stuck either walking or asking others for rides places.

Then in 1991 we moved into a house that had cable. We lived there until 1993, then moved again, then again, then in 2001 we moved back into the same house we had lived in 91-93, so we had cable then until 2005.

My life with cable has been 91-93, and 01-05.

The town we are in now does not have any cable company here.
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Old 08-24-2012, 04:33 AM
 
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
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First time my parents got cable was in the early 1970s in rural Montana. There was, and I believe still is no over the air stations in that part of the state. But there was a cable TV system

It was a basic four channels (ABC, CBS, NBC and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation). No satellite cable TV stations at that time. Everything was just the nearest TV stations imported by microwave relay links.

I think my parents paid about $5 a month for the service. It wasn't much but it was a big improvement from what we had before that. Before that we lived where there were only two local over the air station. So I was impressed with the four stations.

From what I can remember, and from doing a little research on Wikipedia I think this is what the channel line up looked like. I may be getting some stations mixed up. I can remember the stations, but not the call letters. So I'm just guessing at those.

KFBB-TV (ABC) Great Falls, MT
KXLY-TV (CBS) Spokane, WA
KBLL-TV (NBC) Helena, MT
CJOC-TV (CBC) Lethbridge, AB

The first time I subscribed to cable TV myself, was in the early 1980s. It was about 40 channels, and I paid an introductory rate of $5.95 a month. I canceled the service by the time they jacked the price to around $20. It wasn't even worth that much to me. No way in hell would I pay what people pay for it now.
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Old 08-24-2012, 10:00 AM
 
16,308 posts, read 25,537,677 times
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Got it in 71. We bought a house near the head of a valley and could get nothing (watchable) over-the-air. Distant stations were mostly snow, local station had ghost images upon ghost images (their signal came up the valley like a handful of bb's thrown down a drain pipe)

Probably 10 channels, but we got stations from other market areas (Knoxville, Charlotte) until the local affiliates complained.
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Old 08-24-2012, 12:49 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,662 posts, read 76,342,785 times
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Moved into a house where the cable had been left on, so I had it until the squirrels ate the connections. That was in 1979. Channels 2-13, but my FM radio cold be hooked up to cable, too, since the FM band came in the gap between channels 6 and 7, and the cable company tapped into that too, so it was like having a big outdoor FM antenna. The premium Movie Channel was on one of those, but I was filtered out for that. This was in a town 70 air miles from the nearest off-air TV transmitting tower, so it was fairly essential -- no usable signal with rabbit ears. There were only a couple of cable-only channels then, I think maybe just WGN and TBS, everything else I got was just local stations.

Kaboom and Asheville, your systems were probably Community Antenna systems, where a mountaintop antenna picked up available signals and hard-wired them into individual homes. That technology first became available in 1948.

Last edited by jtur88; 08-24-2012 at 01:01 PM..
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