Hit or Miss
Hit or Miss: Pay TV
"Piped radio" had been popular from the very early days of radio in the 1920's, so it was quite natural when the burgeoning TV market adopted "Piped TV" as well. For those areas that were not well covered by the few, weak transmitting stations, receiving the signal via a cable (or re-diffusion) was a sensible option. Only one step further then to the option of producing further material above and beyond the limited number of channels available - and what better way to fund this exercise than getting the consumer to pay for watching it - in bite sized-chunks? This article form 21 October 1961 describes just such a suggestion. Hit or Miss, you tell me?
|Choiceview Pay-TV Demonstrated Company Seeks Field Test|
The Choiceview Pay-TV system
was demonstrated at the Gaumont Theatre, Camden Town, this week, by
Choiceview Ltd., the company in which the Rank Organization Ltd. and
Rediffusion Ltd. are equal partners. On the previous week it had
been demonstrated to the Committee on Broadcasting.
|Payment can either be by coin
box or credit meter with accounts sent to the customer periodically.
Payments might range from 6d to £1, and three programme periods would
probably be offered daily - one in the afternoon and two in the
evening. Programmes would be announced in the Press and in a
publication sent to subscribers. An announcement channel on the system
would give programme details during the day and would also give five- and
two-minute warnings of the start of each programme.
Two distinct Pay-TV units have been developed - one for use in relay networks and the other for aerial receivers (which would not need to be modified in any way). Each type would be provided with either coin box or credit meter as desired.
Four Programmes Demonstrated
Choiceview Ltd. are now asking for
permission for their system to be given a practical test. At this
week's demonstration four different types of programme were shown, signals
being obtained from videotape and film. The fee for a comedy film
was announced as 5s, and for a boxing match 10s. "A Tale of Two
Cities" was 7s 6d.
Choiceview coin unit for use with an aerial receiver. Controls are the channel selection buttons, TV/Pay-TV change-over switch, announcements control, credit dial, coin register control and reject coin release button.
Left: A Choiceview
coin box unit with an aerial type receiver. The user can switch to Pay-TV A and B or to his "free" signal. Right: