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TV internet precursor

Discussion pertaining to Detroit, Ann Arbor, Port Huron, and SW Ontario
iloveblackpeople
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TV internet precursor

Post by iloveblackpeople » Sun Apr 26, 2020 12:40 am

I was thinking about this the other day and I hadn't thought about it for years. Does anyone remember back in the late '80s maybe early '90s. Some TVs had functionality where you could get news,weather, sports scores, horoscopes etc right on the screen on demand. My grandparents had a TV like this back then and I remember spending hours going through all of that stuff but I can't think of what it may have been called. Of course this was before the advent of the internet so it must have been antenna driven. I figured if anyone knows anything about this it would be someone here. It wasn't through their cable system or anything. It was actually a function of the TV itself. Any help would be appreciated.



sfpcc
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Re: TV internet precursor

Post by sfpcc » Sun Apr 26, 2020 1:27 am

It might have been called Qube.



iloveblackpeople
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Re: TV internet precursor

Post by iloveblackpeople » Sun Apr 26, 2020 1:47 am

sfpcc wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 1:27 am
It might have been called Qube.
No I know it wasn't that. This was more of a teletype news wire type of thing. With very rudimentary graphics. It kind of reminds me of those cable bulletin boards that used to be out there in the '80s



Deleted User 143

Re: TV internet precursor

Post by Deleted User 143 » Sun Apr 26, 2020 2:59 am

You're probably thinking of Teletext. It was widely available in Europe, but never really caught on in North America. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teletext



iloveblackpeople
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Re: TV internet precursor

Post by iloveblackpeople » Sun Apr 26, 2020 4:45 am

Radiofreewill wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 2:59 am
You're probably thinking of Teletext. It was widely available in Europe, but never really caught on in North America. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teletext
Yeah that's a lot closer to what I was thinking about. But I think it was simply called teletext on the tv set I was watching.



km1125
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Re: TV internet precursor

Post by km1125 » Sun Apr 26, 2020 10:05 am

Are you talking about something that was interactive, were you could send information "up" and get something back?

There were several systems that were in use in cable systems in the early 80's, but only the QUBE system was interactive.

The others relied on just character generators for different channels and each would page though several pages of data with things like sports scores or weather conditions or forecasts. I do remember we had one with horoscopes. You could have some channels just with local information and some with national information. In later years some of this capability moved into the cable set top box where it would seem more interactive.



iloveblackpeople
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Re: TV internet precursor

Post by iloveblackpeople » Sun Apr 26, 2020 1:10 pm

km1125 wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 10:05 am
Are you talking about something that was interactive, were you could send information "up" and get something back?

There were several systems that were in use in cable systems in the early 80's, but only the QUBE system was interactive.

The others relied on just character generators for different channels and each would page though several pages of data with things like sports scores or weather conditions or forecasts. I do remember we had one with horoscopes. You could have some channels just with local information and some with national information. In later years some of this capability moved into the cable set top box where it would seem more interactive.
No this wasn't something where you could upload or download or interact with it.



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WOHO
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Re: TV internet precursor

Post by WOHO » Sun Apr 26, 2020 4:54 pm

Columbus Ohio had a two-way cable TV experiment, and Bill Cullen MC'd the show while they were trying it out, so you could respond to game show questions. Might have been Warner Qube?? Anybody else remember that?



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rugratsonline
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Re: TV internet precursor

Post by rugratsonline » Sun Apr 26, 2020 8:24 pm

WOHO wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 4:54 pm
Columbus Ohio had a two-way cable TV experiment, and Bill Cullen MC'd the show while they were trying it out, so you could respond to game show questions. Might have been Warner Qube?? Anybody else remember that?
it was "How Do You Like Your Eggs?", a series of live pilots designed mainly to test out the Qube system in Columbus when it first went online in 1977:

https://www.billcullen.net/how-do-you-like-your-eggs



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SolarMax
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Re: TV internet precursor

Post by SolarMax » Sun Apr 26, 2020 11:43 pm

The original post refers to over-the-air, not cable, delivery of information.
The "Teletext" system, first used in the UK, was later tried out for a short time in the U.S. in the 1970s.
Text-based pages of Information and rudimentary shapes were transmitted by broadcast stations. The information was encoded and inserted in the vertical blanking interval, similar to how closed-captioning was added on line 21.
History, tech specs and screen shots in the Wikipedia article.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teletext



Bobbert
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Re: TV internet precursor

Post by Bobbert » Mon Apr 27, 2020 4:01 pm

An article from the 11/29/81 edition of the Detroit Free Press talks about QUBE, teletext, and other video technologies. A lot of the anticipated benefits ended up on the Internet.

*******

Channel 56's Dennis Dunbar is a believer in the video revolution. "I decided at a very early age," he says, "that television is just great, and that I'd do everything in my power to get into the business." When he lived in Massachusetts, he moved from Springfield to W. Springfield because W. Springfield had cable. He watches TV as much as he can, he gets his news from TV or Compuserve ("I hate getting ink all over my hands"), and the only books he reads are ones on television technology.

Two-way "information utilities" are going to grow like crazy, Dunbar says, allowing us to book airline flights, read our local newspaper, mail letters, bank, shop, play bingo, be polled, and communicate with other subscribers by pushing console buttons in our living rooms. "

There's a natural interface with videotext, teletext, television, cable, Qube (two-way cable), video discs and computers," says Dunbar. "It's all coming together into one super big thing that can do anything . . . We're going to get what we want when we want it. The problem is that it's going to cost, and one fear is that people who can afford this information will start moving apart from people who can't afford it. That's a pretty serious issue."

Another concern is privacy. When two-way cable subscribers push their buttons, cable company computers automatically record their home address and program choice. The companies stress confidentiality, but unlike banks and credit bureaus, they're not subject to federal privacy laws. And although they never use it, many cable companies have the capability to tune a subscriber's set to the channel they want him to watch.



Rate This
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Re: TV internet precursor

Post by Rate This » Mon Apr 27, 2020 4:28 pm

Bobbert wrote:
Mon Apr 27, 2020 4:01 pm
An article from the 11/29/81 edition of the Detroit Free Press talks about QUBE, teletext, and other video technologies. A lot of the anticipated benefits ended up on the Internet.

*******

Channel 56's Dennis Dunbar is a believer in the video revolution. "I decided at a very early age," he says, "that television is just great, and that I'd do everything in my power to get into the business." When he lived in Massachusetts, he moved from Springfield to W. Springfield because W. Springfield had cable. He watches TV as much as he can, he gets his news from TV or Compuserve ("I hate getting ink all over my hands"), and the only books he reads are ones on television technology.

Two-way "information utilities" are going to grow like crazy, Dunbar says, allowing us to book airline flights, read our local newspaper, mail letters, bank, shop, play bingo, be polled, and communicate with other subscribers by pushing console buttons in our living rooms. "

There's a natural interface with videotext, teletext, television, cable, Qube (two-way cable), video discs and computers," says Dunbar. "It's all coming together into one super big thing that can do anything . . . We're going to get what we want when we want it. The problem is that it's going to cost, and one fear is that people who can afford this information will start moving apart from people who can't afford it. That's a pretty serious issue."

Another concern is privacy. When two-way cable subscribers push their buttons, cable company computers automatically record their home address and program choice. The companies stress confidentiality, but unlike banks and credit bureaus, they're not subject to federal privacy laws. And although they never use it, many cable companies have the capability to tune a subscriber's set to the channel they want him to watch.
How quaint... the portable aspect was not yet on the radar and I assume he imagined large consoles... very interesting.. 🧐



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Lester The Nightfly
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Re: TV internet precursor

Post by Lester The Nightfly » Mon Apr 27, 2020 4:57 pm

iloveblackpeople wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 1:47 am
sfpcc wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 1:27 am
It might have been called Qube.
No I know it wasn't that. This was more of a teletype news wire type of thing. With very rudimentary graphics. It kind of reminds me of those cable bulletin boards that used to be out there in the '80s
Thanks for the flashback (I think) of when I was just a wee lad visiting the Oregon Coast where OTA TV wasn't available and seeing the CableCo's bulletin board that was actually a real live bulletin board. The channel had a cheapie TV camera mounted on a motor that would pan back and forth focused on a semi-circle background with paper notices attached. But wait, there's more... it even had a section that had weather instruments displayed for time, temperature, wind speed and barometric pressure. It was the shit!!!!! The audio carried along with it was KBCH 1400 AM (I'm assuming the BCH was for beach. Imagine what those call letters would be worth today if they were available)



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rugratsonline
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Re: TV internet precursor

Post by rugratsonline » Mon Apr 27, 2020 8:50 pm

Lester The Nightfly wrote:
Mon Apr 27, 2020 4:57 pm
The channel had a cheapie TV camera mounted on a motor that would pan back and forth focused on a semi-circle background with paper notices attached... The audio carried along with it was KBCH 1400 AM (I'm assuming the BCH was for beach. Imagine what those call letters would be worth today if they were available)
The call sign does mean "beach", and is still at that station:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KBCH



km1125
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Re: TV internet precursor

Post by km1125 » Wed Apr 29, 2020 2:53 pm

Bobbert wrote:
Mon Apr 27, 2020 4:01 pm
An article from the 11/29/81 edition of the Detroit Free Press talks about QUBE, teletext, and other video technologies. A lot of the anticipated benefits ended up on the Internet.
....
A little trivia:

In some of the early cable franchise agreements (Detroit City in particular) there was a requirement that the cable operator had to provide, upon request of the subscriber, an "A/B switch" or similar disconnect device between the cable and the set top box or the cable and the television so that the subscriber could be protected from the cable company in the event that the cable company used the television or set top box to pick up audio or video from inside the house.



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