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james-20013,709 posts since 13 Sep 2015
Central (East) East Midlands Today
It was definitely on there by 1999, ISTR Yorkshire was on Ch 8. (The labels were CENT and YORK, I'm pretty sure).


We had analogue cable from 1999 until 2001, and it was never on there for us in that time.

I'm pretty sure Channel 8 was actually the "guest channel"- which was a different channel every month which was good if it wasn't in your package. I certainly appreciated it the months it was MTV (which was still a worthwhile channel in 1999/2000) and Nickelodeon!
Last edited by james-2001 on 20 July 2016 12:21am - 3 times in total
Interceptor726 posts since 20 Oct 2014
I remember plugging the cable socket into my old CRT back in 2008 and I still managed to get few channels, albeit three. BBC Two, BBC Parliament and Paramount.
And I remember having analogue cable as a young kid back then, possibly with C&W.

Diamond Cable had to provide a basic 'by wire' service to all connected properties accessible without a set top box as part of their franchise.
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London Lite9,729 posts since 4 Jan 2003
London London
I remember plugging the cable socket into my old CRT back in 2008 and I still managed to get few channels, albeit three. BBC Two, BBC Parliament and Paramount.
And I remember having analogue cable as a young kid back then, possibly with C&W.

Diamond Cable had to provide a basic 'by wire' service to all connected properties accessible without a set top box as part of their franchise.


Videotron did too. They gave all of us in our block RF cables to receive the PSB channels.
Worzel4,277 posts since 8 Jan 2008
Anglia (West) Look East (West sub-opt)
Going back to my earlier point, why in some areas were viewers subjected to strange channel numbers and allocations. As I say in Cambridge we had the following:

01: BBC One
03: BBC Two
11: Anglia
24: Channel 4
04: Channel 5

These were how they were at launch during the Cambridge Cable days and the numbers stayed right through the NTL era until we cancelled and joined Sky in 2004.

Was it just a matter of first come first serve when agreements were signed with the broadcasters and the numbers were allocated in that way? If not, it seems incredibly sloppy.

I remember the Scientific Atlanta boxes allowing up to 99 channels, but I think only 40 were ever available - give or take the gaps filled by the channel guide.
VMPhil8,943 posts since 31 Mar 2005
Granada North West Today
Incidentally, whilst we're talking about plugging cable into the aerial socket on the TV, I have a TV set that just happens to have built in support for DVB-C. Out of curiosity I plugged it in and did a scan, and all the channels came up on the EPG. I didn't expect any channels to actually work, but I found that I could watch the BBC channels and nothing else.

So, even in 2016, you can still plug cable into the back of a TV and get some channels!
Mr Kite877 posts since 15 Aug 2007
Granada North West Today
We had Telewest digital here in Liverpool from 2001. I had a friend who still had Telewest analogue at the time and he had Channel One Liverpool on the #1 slot. Can't remember the rest but that stood out as weird at the time. We had Channel One Liverpool on some other relatively low down number. BBC One North West was #1; as it should be.
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Blake Connolly1,683 posts since 21 Apr 2001
London London
We were on Cable London. I'm not sure how I remember this 20-ish years later but I think the terrestrial channels were all in the 30s (BBC1 on 31 etc.). Channel One London was on, well, channel 1, with the likes of UK Gold, L!VE TV, Sky News, VH-1 and CNN in the other opening spots.

There were some good things about being on cable as opposed to Sky, we had lots of channels other people didn't have like The Box and then News 24 when it first launched. But on the other hand, there was the agony of being able to watch the startup menu for the Paramount Channel before the Nickelodeon off-air slide would suddenly appear at 7pm.
BillyH1,284 posts since 4 Jan 2003
London London
Long/occasionally rambling post ahead but these are all the memories that immediately come to mind!

Got Cable & Wireless in September 1998, which became NTL a couple years later and we stuck with it until upgrading to digital in September 2001. We could only afford a limited amount of channels at first (you paid by "packs" I think - Entertainment Pack, Kids Pack, Movies Pack etc) but by Feb '99 I'd persuaded my parents to buy the kids channels, and by the time we got digital we had pretty much all of them except the movie and sport channels. I remember 72 being the channel number limit - Channel One London had just closed when we got cable, and so it eventually skipped to channel 2 which I think was The Box. Terrestrial channels were somewhere around the 30s-early 40s.

From around channel 60 onwards things got quite odd from what I remember, a few foreign channels and something that started out as 'The Local Channel' and eventually became some sort of youth/kids local network called YCTV, which appeared to be from London and mostly just showed various student animations and short films done by schools around the area - along with the occasional extremely low-budget advert for a newsagents in Harlesden or something. The whole thing seemed to be filmed on domestic video-recording equipment and was often a bizarre watch, can't imagine any of it existing in any sort of archive today.

I remember a "trick" where if you switched to a channel you didn't have for a second and then switched back, you were able to hear about a second of the missing channel's audio before the TV Today guide appeared - if you kept switching back and forth as quick as you could you'd get almost uninterrupted audio, meaning I was able to "hear" channels I didn't have - before we got the likes of Cartoon Network this was hugely exciting to hear the audio of whole TV shows you'd never seen before! Seems hilariously archaic now but in the pre-internet days it felt like a big thing to hear the sound of all these mystery channels, particularly as just a couple years earlier we'd only had the four.

Somewhere in a (rapidly decaying) part of the house are video tapes from 1999-2000 which feature some old Cable & Wireless/NTL channel guide footage, recorded on various weekend and half term holidays when I was bored, including messages explaining future downtime as digital cable was due to be installed - I think I also recorded a few "switchoffs" where the channel would end its programming for the day, the picture would flicker and then cut to black/the TV guide, including a long-gone shopping channel called 'Shop!' which ended around 7pm or so. One day in summer 2000 I recorded myself going through every channel, which I suppose would be interesting now - if I ever get all the old VHS/DVD recorders reconnected I'll upload it. Never thought any of that would be worth any interest but I guess it's quite nostalgic now!

One thing I'd really like to hear again is the old C&W TV Today music they'd play over the channel guide, particularly around September/October 1998. From what I remember they'd occasionally advertise the CD album for sale that had all the tracks they used, all I remember is that it was called "Cities" or something similar? Haven't heard it in almost twenty years and wonder if hearing it again will take me back to waking up in the early hours of the morning to catch a 6am showing of The Simpsons, which in those days Sky One would play on startup - usually edited less than today's 6pm showings of the same episodes on Channel 4!
Member since 26 May 2001
dvboy9,473 posts since 11 Jan 2003
Central (West) Midlands Today
Didn't cable TV also provide FM radio channels on bizarre frequencies which you could plug directly into your receiver? Or am I mis-remembering?


See previous page...

I've just remembered FM radio was available down cable too if plugged into a receiver , I can definitely remember Trent FM being available on it (possibly on a different frequency to over the air).


If you look, my 1999 video of the channel guide has the FM frequencies on it.


Ahh sorry I'd not had chance to watch the video Smile
I don't remember quite so many stations being available.
Last edited by dvboy on 20 July 2016 2:00pm
RJG253 posts since 29 Jun 2006
Border (Scotland) Reporting Scotland
Cable television services were common in parts of the UK from the late 50s onwards. I was brought up in Jedburgh where a cable service gave us Tyne Tees TV and STV as well as BBC Scotland and BBC North East. Ironically cable viewers in the town didn''t get Border TV straight away even when the Selkirk transmitter opened. But it replaced Tyne Tees on the service after a number of months. When UHF colour transmissions were introduced from Selkirk in the early 70s the channels were transposed to band 3 frequencies then re-converted with a device on the back of the set. The cable service in Jedburgh was abandoned a couple of years after the opening of the relay transmitter for the town in April 1977 but buildings in parts of the town still have the original cables attached.
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