My grandparents lived on top of a hill, in very very rural NY. There was no cable TV, and the choices for broadcast TV were slim. So, in the early 80s, as soon as the tech was available, they got a satellite dish. It was huge: 5 feet across, mounted on a steel pole anchored by cement in the back yard. A giant crank on the back could be used to aim the dish at the different satellites (you lined up part of the crank mechanism with little scratches my grandfather had made in the metal - one scratch for each satellite he'd found). Each satellite carried a handful of channels so you'd plan your TV watching for the evening around the particular satellite you were looking at - cranking the disk around during winter nights was miserable. But, even given the hassle, they could pick up all the networks, including HBO (it was unscrambled then). It was even better than cable!

Well, We just got a dish mounted on our roof. It's about 16 inches across. We get like 250 channels in HD. Hooray for technology.

3 thoughts on “Dish

  1. Rob Caldecott

    Cable TV never really took off in the UK (I tried it once in the 90s and it was awful.) so satellite dishes have become ubiquitous: in Calne where I live the terrestrial digital TV signal is crap so almost every house has a dish.

    The only real player in the UK satellite TV market is Sky who are notorious bastards (they are owned by Rupert Murdoch) and the prices are high. They charge you extra for HD ffs: in 2016. Sheesh. Plus if you want to pause and record live TV, that’s extra too. And so on. But they carry all the latest US stuff, movies plus all the Premiership football so many people see them as a necessary evil. However, there are a bunch of free-to-air channels so all the terrestrial stuff is available once that fugly dish is fitted. Once you have the dish and a set-top box you can get 30 or 40 channels for free.

    When our dish was installed the guy told me within a decade it will all be streamed over fibre.

    Did your Netflix price go up btw? I’m paying £7.50 a month now. Still worth every penny: I’m binging “Stranger Things” at the moment and it’s excellent.

    1. cleek Post author

      yep, we get Netflix. we’re currently watching Turn and Orange… heard good things about Stranger Things.

      we got 90 days of free HBO with the dish so we’re going to try to catch up with Game Of Thrones and all the other HBO things we haven’t had access to.

      fiber would be so nice … towns around us are getting Google’s fiber service. but not us. we can’t even get coax.

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