European Stars And Stripes, September 6, 1970, Page 16

European Stars And Stripes

September 06, 1970

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Issue date: Sunday, September 6, 1970

Pages available: 44

Previous edition: Saturday, September 5, 1970

Next edition: Monday, September 7, 1970

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Publication name: European Stars And Stripes

Location: Darmstadt, Hesse

Pages available: 603,900

Years available: 1948 - 1999

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European Stars and Stripes (Newspaper) - September 5, 1970, Darmstadt, Hessespects vacating' JPI Stoff Writer Irving B. Kahn. the enthusiastic and lenlerprising head of TelePromTerCorp., which will soon have systems in Ti states from Honolulu, Hawaii, to Hor- seheads. N.Y. and Manhattan, believesthat within five years K5 per cent of the BO million American television homes,vill he on cable. Kahn hopes to file for his own do* ..icstic satellite—TelePromTer is 17 perlent owned by Hughes Aircraft — and lays he could have it aloft by 1972 and - let the rest of the industry hook OfluTJughes is working on a device to let kibje TV antennas pick up satellite sig-|a!s as well as regular commercial on- Isr signals. More conservative cable operators^imate that in five years 54) per cent J the homes will he wired. And they tjmk il will be at least five years be*are any of them gets a satellite. «HE FCC recently Issued a proposed fgulalion that the three major net-rks could not own cable TV systems, >r could broadcasting stations ow«i in their local areas. And it contained one statement thatfought ihe wave of the future to she bresceable present, it said that in the future it intends' |at new .systems be designed to aeco'm- |(H)aie two-way, answer-back com-lunicatiom "for those .subscribers who l;mt it." This will let the housewife|lk back to Ihv bank, eventually, when i bills her by cable, and many outfitstesting these in the field. Tele- h rnpter is. testing in three areas, and «hn says: "1 hojx? to invite the gen- al press to see a working dernonstra-n before the year is out," n also is working with a largetern hospital in testing the possibility wiring homes with the capability ofgnosi ng >!Snesses. e thinks the coming two-wayf .stems open a greater opportunity for jlucation than anything since television k-if. The New York Times reports thate major school system in the East hevf-s it alone could use to advantagecable TV channels. PramTer serves the northernof Manhattan, and Manhattan able Television the southern. Charles s Dolan. head of the latter system,|>s the burglar-fire alarm home-secur- stt-m. is coming soon and "we canIrdly wait for someone to come up th .some hardware" in this talk-back,M he thinks it will be two years. f'The big outfits that are testing seem'suing, for a starter, on a touch-tone, ree-button gadget," Dolan said. "Youss a button to activate, ihen you pe a coded answer to a query the TV The potential of Coble television ranges from armchcir shopping to specie! educaf.:onal programs for children, screen gives you, then press a transmitbutton. Department stores think hard goods, like lawnmowcrs, well-knownitems like food, or travel, will first be offered on commercials. "It could be offered as to price. Thecomputer prints out and stores the in- formation identifying you and your res- ponse, and bills you. Or the bill couldcome right into your home by facsimile and the computer can charge it to yourcredit card." Hfi COUNTRY bumpkin that was 'born in small towns and rural areas in mountain valleys and plains two de-cades ago was called CATV — for Com- munity Antenna Television. It used a big master antenna to pick up television signals thai the home owner could not get on the air becauseof natural obstructions or distance. It delivered'those signals, amplified, to thehomes of subscribers in its remote com- munity, using coaxial cable. Up torecently it was little known to big cities. A coaxial cable can carry 1,000 timesthe capacity of a phone wire — like comparing "Niagara to a garden hose,"in the words of FCC Commissioner Nicholas Johnson ~ and has at least four times the capacity of standard tele- vision transmission. This broadband,wide range of frequencies, provides nu- m e r o u s channels; the New Yorksystems have 12 now and will be provid- ing 24 or more in four years.. Experts believe the cable could be made to carry as high as 80 channels. Some systems have a capability of 40 to50 now. CATV, just barging into the big cities,is growing at a rate of 20 to 25 per cent a year. There are more than 2,500 X systems now serving more than ! 5 mil-lion subscribers. Systems have be»-n sold at a pricing rate of $200 to as highas $700 per home servd. and Wali Street now places a S-iOO-i'oOO value toeach home set. When the subscriber number soon reaches 5 million, using £500 value, it will be a $2.5 billion imluxiry. And atthe average $80 subscription rale it will generate revenue of 00,00 0.0 00 a year.But the revenue will grow with " new services. "Cable television." Harness Weeksays flatly, "is coming down from the mountains and into the big cities; andas it comes it is changing the entire face of American communications. Itwill give new dimension to person- to- person communications, commercialmessages, and myriad services. '" Fortune says: ••The possibilities ofcable are breathtaking." The multiple- channel capacity opens up the screen not only to Leopold Stokowski directinga symphony ( Dolan had them on last season), Gaelic football for an Irish eth-nic section (Kahn tapes the games Sat- urday nights and casts them Sundays), the local mayor, the Little Leaguegames but to almost any group with something to say. Some coble TV stations present progroms from school classrooms. the new FCC 100 Up-markets proposal a "break-through in your in*dustry," Dean Burch told the con- vention: "The heart of this idea is thaidistant signals would be permuted, but with commercials stripped out and re- placed with local I'llF station commer-cials. "The CATV operating in these major markets, in addition to the copyrightpayment specified by Congre-s. would pay five per cent of us subscriber fee-,to public broadcasting." The FCC. in a move to foster added diversity of choice to televiewing andhave CATV "act as an outlet for local expression," has ruled that by next April 1 all CATV stations with 1500 ormore subscribers must originate pro- Cramming as well as pick it up from over-the-air stations. "Operate to a sig-nificant extent us a local outlet," >> the way Burch put it — by pu'.un^ pro-grams right on the cable. It did not say how many hour- or <-v- aetly what type of local prcyramnur;.;But Burch told the convention the FCC and Congress would be waiting forCATV "to prove that it will do more than merely shift the content of broad- cast television onto wires, and at aprice. We will not be moved to much excitement by program originators hustling for the same piece of pie now shared by TV broadcast stations — using the same program sources, same advertisers, seeking the same mass au-dience." Only about 300 systems out of the2,$OQ now operating will be affected by the origination ruling. The average number of subscribers per system is1,880. San Diego is a big one that is nearing 30,000; the Manhattan oneshave more than 20,000 apiece. m not af-, doing two politi- ALMOST ALL ^n-nn nationwide ll'l sur\ey on ihe subject thought local r»ew> and information would play an important part in pro- gram originating. It has been estimated 'ha! about 10 per cent of (.'ATV systems tune been offering live local program-. Some in- terest mg one> Hinted up. In New Krn'iaml. a systp fee ted by the ruling has beerhours daily of high .school •>}> cal meetings, and informational pro-grams. One program had drug addicts from the area discussing their ex-periences ami heartaches: 'It had an impact — kids could see their old friends who may have disappeared;here they were, telling what they'd found out. We're definitely going tohave more of this type." Grand Island, Neb., with under 1,500,originates programming including "an Angus bull Incstock auction, the GoldenGloves, and stock car racing." In Mexico. Mo., a town of 14,000people, CATV has 1,600 subscribers in a system operated from the MexicoDaily Ledger. It has been originating for some tune. Vernon Duffy, a man-ager, said: "We program every weekday live innormal peak season for half an hour at 6 p m,—maybe the sports editor, potentialcandidates; city council and city man- ager once a month: League of WomenVoters: the Ministerial Alliance in Q. and A about problems. j ^!^e>^ -abject. ne\t da i;d of ihe !<•'. mouth. The L,'I.) in depth ' tape it ;.;:•: noon. -e dull il; a: histo v ev>m<' into wh .'i shou rub • on FCC Chairman Dean Burch THE STAftS AND STRIPES Poge V ;

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