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European Stars and Stripes: Sunday, September 6, 1970 - Page 16

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   European Stars and Stripes (Newspaper) - September 5, 1970, Darmstadt, Hesse                              spectsvacating'JPI Stoff WriterIrving B. Kahn. the enthusiastic andlenlerprising head of TelePromTerCorp., which will soon have systems inTi states from Honolulu, Hawaii, to Hor-seheads. N.Y. and Manhattan, believesthat within five years K5 per cent of theBO 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 — andlays he could have it aloft by 1972 and -let the rest of the industry hook OfluTJughes is working on a device to letkibje 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 centJ the homes will he wired. And theytjmk il will be at least five years be*are any of them gets a satellite.«HE FCC recently Issued a proposedfgulalion 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 shebresceable 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 whol;mt it." This will let the housewife|lk back to Ihv bank, eventually, wheni 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 possibilitywiring homes with the capability ofgnosi ng >!Snesses.e thinks the coming two-wayf .stems open a greater opportunity forjlucation than anything since televisionk-if. The New York Times reports thate major school system in the Easthevf-s it alone could use to advantagecable TV channels.PramTer serves the northernof Manhattan, and Manhattanable Television the southern. Charless 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 upth .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 youpe a coded answer to a query the TVThe 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 hardgoods, like lawnmowcrs, well-knownitems like food, or travel, will first beoffered 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 facsimileand the computer can charge it to yourcredit card."Hfi COUNTRY bumpkin that was'born in small towns and rural areas inmountain valleys and plains two de-cades ago was called CATV — for Com-munity Antenna Television.It used a big master antenna to pickup television signals thai the homeowner could not get on the air becauseof natural obstructions or distance. Itdelivered'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 — likecomparing "Niagara to a garden hose,"in the words of FCC CommissionerNicholas Johnson ~ and has at leastfour 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 bemade 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 centa year. There are more than 2,500Xsystems now serving more than ! 5 mil-lion subscribers. Systems have be»-nsold at a pricing rate of $200 to as highas $700 per home servd. and WaliStreet now places a S-iOO-i'oOO value toeach home set.When the subscriber number soonreaches 5 million, using £500 value, itwill be a $2.5 billion imluxiry. And atthe average $80 subscription rale it willgenerate revenue of   00,00 0.0 00 a year.But the revenue will grow with " newservices."Cable television." Harness Weeksays flatly, "is coming down from themountains and into the big cities; andas it comes it is changing the entireface 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 screennot only to Leopold Stokowski directinga symphony ( Dolan had them on lastseason), 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 withsomething to say.Some coble TV stations present progroms from school classrooms.the new FCC 100 Up-marketsproposal a "break-through in your in*dustry," Dean Burch told the con-vention: "The heart of this idea is thaidistant signals would be permuted, butwith commercials stripped out and re-placed with local I'llF station commer-cials."The CATV operating in these majormarkets, in addition to the copyrightpayment specified by Congre-s. wouldpay five per cent of us subscriber fee-,to public broadcasting."The FCC. in a move to foster addeddiversity of choice to televiewing andhave CATV "act as an outlet for localexpression," has ruled that by nextApril 1 all CATV stations with 1500 ormore subscribers must originate pro-Cramming as well as pick it up fromover-the-air stations. "Operate to a sig-nificant extent us a local outlet," >> theway Burch put it — by pu'.un^ pro-grams right on the cable.It did not say how many hour- or   and informationwould play an important part in pro-gram originating.It has been estimated 'ha! about 10per cent of (.'ATV systems tune beenoffering live local program-. Some in-terest mg one> Hinted up.In New Krn'iaml. a systpfee ted by the ruling has beerhours daily of high .school •>}>cal meetings, and informational pro-grams. One program had drug addictsfrom the area discussing their ex-periences ami heartaches: 'It had animpact — kids could see their oldfriends who may have disappeared;here they were, telling what they'dfound out. We're definitely going tohave more of this type."Grand Island, Neb., with under 1,500,originates programming including "anAngus bull Incstock auction, the GoldenGloves, and stock car racing."In Mexico. Mo., a town of 14,000people, CATV has 1,600 subscribers in asystem operated from the MexicoDaily Ledger. It has been originatingfor some tune. Vernon Duffy, a man-ager, said:"We program every weekday live innormal peak season for half an hour at 6p 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 dai;d of ihe ! m<'into wh.'i shourub• onFCC Chairman Dean BurchTHE STAftS AND STRIPES Poge V  

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