Long back before starting video games, in the year 1984, the industry was in a different phase of Cable TV. Lets start the blog of Computer Games with a small remembrance of initial age of Cable TV in a small town in US.
With the technology behind cable / dish television continuing to progress at a stupefying pace, the industry now finds itself wrestling with having to curtail its own potential.
It recognizes it cannot afford to become a monster run wild.
As Grant Pisko, the vice-president and general manager of a limited company of Cable TV, puts it: The emphasis now is for the cable companies to build and use what they already have (to secure the foundation).
With that in mind, the main priority of most cable companies is to present that potential monster as nothing more harmful than a family pet.
Consider the following:
– In 1982, cable subscribers in the town had access to two Canadian channels, one community channel and four American channels.
– In February 1983, pay TV arrived and the availability of networks jumped by three.
– In October 1984, the second wave of pay stations hit, and Hat subscribers had access to 14 stations.
– A cable TV Company in the town that was using the low-channel band (2 to 13) and the mid-channel band (14 to 32).
– Some U.S. cities using the super channel band and beyond have access to 120 channels.
– In those days it was supposed that Cable TV might some day be used for banking, shopping, home security, video games, voting. But what the cable companies recognize is that all this potential, all this advancement is useless if the subscribers aren’t buying. As a result, these companies have made it a point of staying very in touch with the mood of the public toward change.
“We’ve become more customer-aware than ever because we got involved in offering discretionary services,” says Pisko. “We have to make certain our staff stays on top of things so they can properly explain what’s happening to the public. “With the whole scenario changing so quickly – since the initial arrival of pay TV – there’s been a slower and more methodical approach taken to marketing new channels.” Alex Hall, a Calgary marketing consultant working with Cablevision, says cable companies are now trying to establish themselves as being more community- conscious than ever before.
This, in the face of the industry taking off into outer space, is not as easy as it may seem.
“When cable TV first came into being, it was the community antenna,” says Hall. “Now, it’s becoming the community satellite. That sense of community is still very important to cable companies. The community, after all, is who they serve.” Hall points out cable companies have always done both little and big things to maintain a favorable status in the community.
But perhaps the biggest community oriented facet of Cablevision is Hat Cable 10, the town’s community channel operating out of a facility on Factory Street S.E. “Every cable company has to provide a basic channel for community programming,” says Pisko. “Hat Cable 10 has a good profile. It has its place. It provides people in the community the opportunity to see something which would normally not be covered.” Cable 10 program director Leah Tarling has established an open-door policy, which she believes, is necessary when operating a community station.
“People can just phone me up, say they want to do something, and if we can, we’ll do it,” says Tarling. Cable 10 is run by a staff of two full timers, two part-timers and as many volunteers as are willing to work.
“ You can’t expect CHAT-TV to come and cover your Christmas concert or your high school basketball game. We can. We’re here for the community good – to promote a service which other stations can’t offer.” Tarling has tried to maintain a balance in her schedule by airing programs of interest to all age groups.
Primetime, which airs twice weekly, is about seniors, produced by seniors.
A stage flight is answer to Much Music, produced largely by teenagers.
Kids ‘N’ Safety is aimed to educate pre-schoolers.
“All the people who work on these shows are learning,” says Tarling. “They’re getting better at editing, filming, and they’re getting a larger viewing audience.”
“For a city this size, running 30 to 33 hours a week is pretty good for a community channel,” says Pisko. “Cable 10 has established some good regular programs that people watch and come to expect.”
While community television isn’t likely to go through any major change in the next while, Pisko says cable subscribers in the town will see a lot of new things being offered in the next decade: growth of more channel availability, addition of different services, change in the structure of basic TV.
“A good stable growth will exist. The technology is moving fast, but we recognize we can only move as fast as the public and the industry can cope with change.”