A bit of 1990's cable tv history - anyone remember the scientific atlanta 8602 analogue boxes?

wilson85uk

Standard Member
In the 1990's when my parents first signed up for cable tv (nynex in hampshire) they issued the 8602 catv converted to descramble? We initially received some free extra channels via the TV's built in tuner directly connecting to the CATV aerial but also picked up some scrambled channels?

I wonder if a digital tv tuner could pick up anything today via a virgin media feed directly? I'm assuming the analogue signals via virgin media are all turned off now making the 8602 boxes useless.
 

Attachments

  • sa8602.jpg
    sa8602.jpg
    155.5 KB · Views: 87

mike7

Distinguished Member
The original NTL boxes operated similarly. In addition we were able to pick up BBC radio FM signals although on different frequencies to the on-air ones. In addition we got a 24 hour German pop music station. All this has gone and it is forbidden to connect anything other than a Virgin box to the system. There is nothing there today in the way of analogue content. Don't tamper with anything, you'll find nothing.
 

wilson85uk

Standard Member
The original NTL boxes operated similarly. In addition we were able to pick up BBC radio FM signals although on different frequencies to the on-air ones. In addition we got a 24 hour German pop music station. All this has gone and it is forbidden to connect anything other than a Virgin box to the system. There is nothing there today in the way of analogue content. Don't tamper with anything, you'll find nothing.
We switched to NTL digital in 2000 just after it changed from cable & wireless who took over Nynex in Hampshire, we joined Nynex in 1994. These Scientific Atlanta 8602 boxes were pretty well made and decent. If you had a teletext capable TV you even got service for some of the paid cable channels.

The early digital cable days were so buggy and the analogue system was still superior. Were forever rebooting the Pace boxes, NTL came out twice to replace STB. C&W/NTL were trying to push analogue customers over to digital.
 

mike7

Distinguished Member
Thanks for reminding me. It was Cable and Wireless who supplied the service when I moved here. Then it changed to NTL. I still have an NTL email address. Prior to that it was a firm called Cambridge Cable I believe who first wired up Norwich. There were a number of new estates being built in the 70/80s which expressly banned external TV aerials. Mine was one of them. I have an aerial connection in the living room which works but I have no idea what it is connected to. There is no aerial in the loft. Milton Keynes banned TV aerials and believe it was the first place in the UK to have a cable TV network.
 
Last edited:

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
I used to have a Philips wideband TV tuner that covered from about 200MHZ to more than 1GHZ. This was perfect for plugging into hotel systems and watching the premium channels for free! Very few actually scrambled the channels, you just couldn't tune to them with a domestic TV.

Analogue cable was quite similar, just with some channels scrambled. I seem to remember that premium channels were all located at one end of the frequency band, so a passband filter was fitted at the local head to prevent access to those channels. In the US, you could buy fake filters so that it looked like you only had limited channels, but in fact you could receive them all. Very popular back in the 70s!!
 

mike7

Distinguished Member
Of course films were not available 'on demand'. You had to wait until the next starting time!
 

The latest video from AVForums

Movies Podcast: Star Trek in 4K. Is the new boxset worth it?
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom