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Quite a few launched 2001, when satellite capacity increased (Starchoice/Cancom had Anik to themselves), and some 2012, when Anik G1 came online, but mostly HD versions of existing channels were launched then.

SunTV came online in 2009 or so, went away 2015 or so.
 

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Here is some history from 1970s-1995

1977-78 - Saskatchen began operating a co-operative programming network that provided entertainment, PBS and HBO programming to various systems in Saskatchewan. Sometime in the early 80s, HBO was dropped in favour of Showtime programming. This was all discontinued by 1983 when national and regional Pay-TV launched.
1980 - Reseau-Inter-vision (A French language cable only broadcaster) launched several channels including; TEQ Ethnic, TVEQ (Educational), TVIQ (Information employment), TVAQ (Arts), TVSQ (Sports), TVJQ (Children's Programming), TVCQ (University courses), TVRQ (Reporting), TVFQ 99 (Programming from France). TVIQ, TVAQ, TVRQ were phased out in 1983.
1983 - First Choice, Premier Choix, C Channel (all nationally available). Star Channel (Maritimes Only), TVEC (Quebec only), Superchannel (Ontario, Alberta only) and Worldview (BC Only) launched. C Channel was off-air as of July 1 1983. Star Channel (Maritimes) stopped operating around November 1983.
1984 - In early 1984 Premier Choix and TVEC merged. Superchannel purchased a yet to be launched AIM Pay TV license in BC and launched in BC, Yukon. They also got permission to expand into Saskatchewan. In September 1984 Frist Choice and Premier Choix were changed to Eastern Canada only (Premier Choix rebranded as Super Ecran in Oct 1984). Superchannel consolidated all of their regional licenses Manitoba and West. September 1984 also saw the launch of TSN and Much Music nation wide. Chinavision and TLN launched in October 1984. I believe Chinavision was predominately available in Calgary and Toronto at that time while TLN was mostly limited to Toronto and some other Southern Ontario communities.
1985 Life Channel launched in October and was available nation wide. World View in BC had its license amended to become a predominately Chinese channel and rebranded as Cathay International Channel.
1986 Life Channel ceased operations at the end of November. TVCQ was replaced with over-the-air service CFTU.
1987 CHSN (Shopping) launched nationally on January 15. TFO (formerly La Chaine Francaise) launched as a French language TVO service for Ontario on January 1st
1988 Family Channel launched as a Pay-TV service on Sept 1st. YTV, Vision TV and Weather Network (Formerly Weather Now) launched nation wide. MuchMusic made its way to basic cable for many providers in Sept 1988. Sept 1988 also saw the launch of Canal Famille which replaced TVJQ, TV5 which replaced TVFQ 99 and MeteoMedia.
1989 CBC Newsworld launched July 31st, TSN moved to basic cable in September 1989 on most systems outside of Quebec. RDS Reseau des Sports replaced TVSQ
1990 Home Theater PPV begins operations in Western Canada (5 channels plus preview channel)
1991 Viewer's Choice PPV begins operations in Eastern Canada (4 channels plus preview channel)
1992 In May 1992 First Choice expands to 3 channels (1 24 hours, 2 evenings only). In Oct 94, First Choice expands to 4 channels (1 24x7, 3 evenings only).
1993 First Choice rebrands as TMN (Feb 1). In Sept 93 Fairchild acquired Cathey International Channel and Chinavision and rebranded under Fairchild TV. Fairchild also launched a second Chinese language channel, Talentvision.
1994 TMN launched Moviepix in Eastern Canada (Oct 1). Superchannel launches MovieMax in Western Canada (Oct 1)
1995 Women's Television Network, New Country Network, Discovery Channel, Life Network, Bravo!, Showcase launch nationally (Jan 1st). Two French language channels, RDI and Canal D also launch Jan 1st.
 

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One thing that I remember is the crazy high prices for some of these channels when they first launched. The one that I remember being particularly high priced was C Channel, a channel dedicated to cultural programming such as concerts. Almost no one subscribed to it, and it’s no wonder that it failed. I can’t recall the exact price, but it was around $40 or so. First Choice debuted with a price in the $25 range, and there was a similar price for Star Channel, a similar channel to FC, but Maritime provinces only. I actually subscribed to Star Channel for a while, and it wasn’t bad, but since it was regional and had a small subscriber base, it failed after a few months.

I think that TSN debuted at around $10 a month, and Much Music around $7 or so, when they launched.

TSN and MM never actually made it to the Basic tier on my cable system, Eastlink (Halifax Cablevision at that time), but they were made available as part of a package of channels called “Value Pak” in the late 1980s, which contained a package of both Canadian and US discretionary channels for a decent enough price, and no descrambling equipment was needed to get them. That package contained US channels such as CNN, The Nashville Network, and The Learning Channel, and I think the French TV5 as well as MM and TSN.
 

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The pricing likely depended on the cable service providers. I believe here in Ontario, many cable systems were selling First Choice, C Channel and Superchannel for $15.95-$19.95 each. Still very expensive when you consider the adjustment for inflation over the past 4 decades.
 

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When the Canadian Home Shopping Network launched, in order to get around licensing rules they would use a frame rate of one still picture every 5 or so seconds. I believe TheScore started as a ticker channel around the same time as well (No highlights only the scores and betting lines.)
 

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Possibly my memory is playing tricks on me, since after all, it is almost 40 years ago. I don’t know why that $40 price is in my mind, and possibly it was a package price for the three channels available in Atlantic Canada. Also, my memory of the $25 price for Star Channel and $25 for First Choice could be wrong as well. I remember the channels being on channels 25 and 26 on my cable system, and maybe thats why that 25 is in my mind, lol.

One thing that I remember is those horrible and awkward cable descramblers that we had to use. That was back in the days of the VCR, and those converter/descrambler combinations meant that only one channel could be recorded at a time.

Also, when one wanted a subscription, it was only available for one TV in the household, due to having to use those descramblers.
 

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I was to young to remember the initial launch of Pay-TV but I do remember mid-late 1980s. I remember our cable system in Hamilton carried First Choice (27), MuchMusic (29) and TSN (30) and they were scrambled. In September 1988 MuchMusic and TSN moved to an extended basic tier along with the additions of A&E, CNN, Headline News and TNN. Family Channel launched a month later than most other cable systems in October 1988.

For reasons I never understood, Southmount Cable didn't carry YTV, Vision TV or Weather Now. Vision TV would not get added until 1990. YTV was added in 1992 and the Weather Network was added in 1998. Even CBC Newsworld (launched in 1989) didn't get added to Southmount until 1994. Southmount was by far the smallest cable system that served Hamilton but even for the size of territory that it did serve (around 12-14k subs) they seemed to be exempt from carrying certain channels.

I remember in 1995 when Bravo, Showcase, Life, NCN, WTN and Discovery launched, Southmount didn't carry any of them. They did end up adding NCN (CMT) in the fall of 1995. Then in Oct 1997 another set of analog specialties launched...again Southmount carried none of them.

It wasn't until the winter of 1998 that they finally added The Weather Network along with a premium tier of specialties; Bravo, Space, Life network, HGTV, Headline Sports, Speedvision and Golf Channel. These new channels required a descrambler. They were not in a tier like what other cable systems of the time did. You could pick and pay for just the channels you want but often at higher overall price than what Rogers, Cogeco or Shaw were charging at the time.

In the winter of 1999 Southmount finally launched a 2nd extended basic tier (likely due to pressure from consumers that now had satellite and MDS options) that included History, WGN, Discovery Channel, Teletoon, Showcase, Prime. Family Channel moved off of Pay-TV to the second tier 15 months after other cable systems did so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Here is some history from 1970s-1995

1977-78 - Saskatchen began operating a co-operative programming network that provided entertainment, PBS and HBO programming to various systems in Saskatchewan. Sometime in the early 80s, HBO was dropped in favour of Showtime programming. This was all discontinued by 1983 when national and regional Pay-TV launched.
1980 - Reseau-Inter-vision (A French language cable only broadcaster) launched several channels including; TEQ Ethnic, TVEQ (Educational), TVIQ (Information employment), TVAQ (Arts), TVSQ (Sports), TVJQ (Children's Programming), TVCQ (University courses), TVRQ (Reporting), TVFQ 99 (Programming from France). TVIQ, TVAQ, TVRQ were phased out in 1983.
1983 - First Choice, Premier Choix, C Channel (all nationally available). Star Channel (Maritimes Only), TVEC (Quebec only), Superchannel (Ontario, Alberta only) and Worldview (BC Only) launched. C Channel was off-air as of July 1 1983. Star Channel (Maritimes) stopped operating around November 1983.
1984 - In early 1984 Premier Choix and TVEC merged. Superchannel purchased a yet to be launched AIM Pay TV license in BC and launched in BC, Yukon. They also got permission to expand into Saskatchewan. In September 1984 Frist Choice and Premier Choix were changed to Eastern Canada only (Premier Choix rebranded as Super Ecran in Oct 1984). Superchannel consolidated all of their regional licenses Manitoba and West. September 1984 also saw the launch of TSN and Much Music nation wide. Chinavision and TLN launched in October 1984. I believe Chinavision was predominately available in Calgary and Toronto at that time while TLN was mostly limited to Toronto and some other Southern Ontario communities.
1985 Life Channel launched in October and was available nation wide. World View in BC had its license amended to become a predominately Chinese channel and rebranded as Cathay International Channel.
1986 Life Channel ceased operations at the end of November. TVCQ was replaced with over-the-air service CFTU.
1987 CHSN (Shopping) launched nationally on January 15. TFO (formerly La Chaine Francaise) launched as a French language TVO service for Ontario on January 1st
1988 Family Channel launched as a Pay-TV service on Sept 1st. YTV, Vision TV and Weather Network (Formerly Weather Now) launched nation wide. MuchMusic made its way to basic cable for many providers in Sept 1988. Sept 1988 also saw the launch of Canal Famille which replaced TVJQ, TV5 which replaced TVFQ 99 and MeteoMedia.
1989 CBC Newsworld launched July 31st, TSN moved to basic cable in September 1989 on most systems outside of Quebec. RDS Reseau des Sports replaced TVSQ
1990 Home Theater PPV begins operations in Western Canada (5 channels plus preview channel)
1991 Viewer's Choice PPV begins operations in Eastern Canada (4 channels plus preview channel)
1992 In May 1992 First Choice expands to 3 channels (1 24 hours, 2 evenings only). In Oct 94, First Choice expands to 4 channels (1 24x7, 3 evenings only).
1993 First Choice rebrands as TMN (Feb 1). In Sept 93 Fairchild acquired Cathey International Channel and Chinavision and rebranded under Fairchild TV. Fairchild also launched a second Chinese language channel, Talentvision.
1994 TMN launched Moviepix in Eastern Canada (Oct 1). Superchannel launches MovieMax in Western Canada (Oct 1)
1995 Women's Television Network, New Country Network, Discovery Channel, Life Network, Bravo!, Showcase launch nationally (Jan 1st). Two French language channels, RDI and Canal D also launch Jan 1st.
1996 Canal Indigo Launches
 

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Oh, I forgot that A&E was also part of that discretionary tier added in the late 1980s on Halifax Cable. These channels weren’t scrambled, which was nice. The way that cable companies decided who would get them was that if you chose not to subscribe, that some sort of blocking device was added on the pole to prevent reception of the channels from 14-22. One thing that tended to happen was that the cable company sometimes took a long time to install these blocks for someone not choosing to subscribe, so that people would often get them free for several months, until the cable company finally got around to install the devices.

Since it was a decent deal at the time, $5.99 or something, I chose to subscribe at the time.

More extended packs were added later, such as the “Super Pak”, which included channels such as Bravo, HNN, Fox (it was a discretionary channel here), HGTV, and a couple of others. A third discretionary tier was added still later, at which time channels such as Space, Golf TV, and others had come on line.
 

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Southmount in Hamilton had two tiers. The first tier started in 1988 with Much, TSN, A&E, TNN, CNN and Headline News. That tier expanded to include Telelatino and The Learning Channel in 1994. This used a negative trap that you described rather than requiring a decoder. A second tier launched in 1999 that included History, Family, WGN, Discovery, Teletoon, Showcase and Prime.

The FM Cable service also used a trap in the 80s/early 90s. This trap was what's known as a positive trap. Essentially the headend inserted interference and the trap installed at the home would remove the interference (similar to how a Pay-TV descrambler works except not addressable). Eventually FM was just included in the basic service. Cable systems from small towns would often use positive traps in place of descramblers for First Choice/TMN and other premium channels as it was a low cost way to block pay-tv channels. Only thing was, it was very easy to circumvent.

The video link below will give you an idea of what the scrambling looked like for systems that used a positive trap to unblock.

 

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I definitely remember The Canadian Home Shopping Network and SportScope as a kid! wow time flys
 

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I remember on Rogers in Toronto we never had Sportscope (we eventually got it when it became Headline Sports) and I would always love watching the scores tick through the screen at my grand parents house as they lived in Markham and had Shaw (Before they swapped territories). I also loved watching baseball as a kid and Shaw had WPIX long before we did on Rogers and I used to watch Mets games when visiting my grand parents as well. I think at one point Shaw also had WWOR channel 9 from New York but not 100% sure. I'm sure someone on here can confirm whether this was true or not.

You still see the remnants of the old Shaw days in York Region as our channels are different than city of Toronto. I moved out to York Region 3 years ago and it still feels weird watching Fox on channel 21 instead of 28 and TSN being on 26 instead of 30!
 

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I also loved watching baseball as a kid and Shaw had WPIX long before we did on Rogers and I used to watch Mets games when visiting my grand parents as well.
I believe Markham was previously Classicom Cable which sold their systems to Shaw Cable in 1995. Scarborough and Pickering was Trillium Cable which also sold to Shaw around the same time. Shaw Cable bought Graham cable which served parts of York in 1992. The York system was sold to Rogers in 1994 in a system swap that gave Rogers Victoria and Rogers Calgary to Shaw Cable. Downsview was Newton Cablevision which sold to Rogers in 1992/93. Maclean Hunter serviced Etobicoke which was absorbed by Rogers in the buyout in 1994.

I'm not sure if Classicom ever carried WWOR. It appears they carried TBS, WGN and WSBK from '91-'94. Classicom added WPIX and KTLA in December of 1994.
 

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I believe Markham was previously Classicom Cable which sold their systems to Shaw Cable in 1995. Scarborough and Pickering was Trillium Cable which also sold to Shaw around the same time. Shaw Cable bought Graham cable which served parts of York in 1992. The York system was sold to Rogers in 1994 in a system swap that gave Rogers Victoria and Rogers Calgary to Shaw Cable. Downsview was Newton Cablevision which sold to Rogers in 1992/93. Maclean Hunter serviced Etobicoke which was absorbed by Rogers in the buyout in 1994.

I'm not sure if Classicom ever carried WWOR. It appears they carried TBS, WGN and WSBK from '91-'94. Classicom added WPIX and KTLA in December of 1994.
It very well could've been WPIX. I lived in a Rogers area and we always had TBS (Channel 47), WGN (Channel 53) and WSBK (Channel 46) and they added KTLA around 1994 (Channel 49 I believe). I just recall WPIX came to Rogers much later than Shaw I think maybe in 1997 or 98.
 

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Rogers carried TBS (44), WGN (45) from September '91 - April '92. In April '92 WSBK was added (43) and WGN and TBS moved to 39, 40 respectively. In the fall of '92 TBS and WGN moved to 52 and 53 to make room for the multi-channel First Choice/TMN channels. They moved again in December of 1994; WSBK (46), TBS (47), WGN (48). WPIX (45) and KTLA (49) were added in the spring of 1996 along with a crazy amount of extra Viewer's Choice cannels. For about a year and a half Rogers had anywhere from 17-20 Viewer's Choice channels on analog cable. This was scaled back in late 1997 when channels like Comedy and HGTV launched. The full suite of PPV channels didn't come back until digital cable was introduced.
 

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It seems that the so called “negative traps” used by my cable system basically removed all signal from channel ranges such as from 14-22, basically turning the signal to snow, although traces of the signal could sometimes get through at the upper and low end of the frequency range. Those positive traps that you describe, bigoranget, seem to allow at least some video and audio to get through, although it would be very irritating to try to actually watch something.

When my cable company used the actual scramblers, such as for First Choice, the video was scrambled, although you could still make out something. The audio came through quite clearly.
 

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Most cable systems used some type of sync suppression encryption (Usually Zenith or General Instrument/Jerrold). This was used pretty much from when pay-tv started in Canada on most systems. There were a few notable exceptions. QCTV in Edmonton used the positive trap for the first year and a half or so before going to one of the addressable sync suppression encryption systems. I believe in Saskatchewan they also used positive traps for the HBO programming on CPN (Co-operative Programming Network). I recall reading years ago that positive traps were really only usable on low-band (2-6), mid-band (95-99, 14-22) and high-band (7-13). They were largely in-effective on channels 23 and up.

The video link below is the best example I can find with the old school analog scrambled signal.

 
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