Jump to content
DVDVR Message Board
Sign in to follow this  
RandomAct

Your memories of the "Big Ugly Dish"

Recommended Posts

This is so weird and random, but tonight I kinda fell down the rabbit-hole online, reading about those old C-band satellite dishes.  My grandparents had one when I was a kid, as did I when I lived with my mother and her 2nd husband as a teenager. 

 

I have always been fascinated with how those things worked.  How you had to turn it towards different satellites in the sky, or having to manually adjust it at times if the picture was a little off.  I remember seeing the raw feed from news broadcasts.  My biggest memory however, was seeing All-Japan for the first time.  I had NO idea at the time what I was looking at.  I just remember grandma turning it, and I'm like "oh cool, wrestling".  It wasn't until years later that I put the pieces together from remember the two-colored ring and the foreign language.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is something I've never really looked into.  Was there a dial or was it set up with a remote?  I used to hear stories how you could pick up foreign channels but I'd love to hear more about it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was weird having one.  I have to talk to my wife's stepdad about it.  Back then you could watch CNN and the depending on the satellite the feed would stay on the studio when they went to commercial so you got to hear the chit chat which is what started the Howard Stern-Chevy Chase feud.  A friend had one when I was in high school and he would tape NWA/WCW PPV's for me in the late 80's but they would have no sound

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh man, I loved watching those Raw satellite feeds.  (On tape, that is.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Growing up in Northern Michigan, there were a few family friends that had the big dishes since they lived just outside of town and cable didn't extend all the way out. Was kind of awesome seeing just the wide variety of stuff you could pick up. Though probably the most fucked up thing me and a friend ever picked up through the big dish was stumbling across some channel from Central America that was actually broadcasting cockfighting, complete with voiceover commentators.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My friend had one, and I have a question.  Did you have to watch the same thing on all TVs at the same time, or was this some weird quirk of theirs?  I remember wanting to watch Chip n Dale, Power Rangers or Star Trek in his basement with him, but once Full House or some crappy soap came on, the channel on both TVs would turn to whatever was being watched on the upstairs TV.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My friend had one, and I have a question. Did you have to watch the same thing on all TVs at the same time, or was this some weird quirk of theirs? I remember wanting to watch Chip n Dale, Power Rangers or Star Trek in his basement with him, but once Full House or some crappy soap came on, the channel on both TVs would turn to whatever was being watched on the upstairs TV.

They were all like that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember a house that had a big ass satellite dish with a cubs logo on it. They kept it for years even after they got a regular one. One of those local landmarks like a really dumb zebra print jeep. 

 

Also, TerrorVision and Stay-Tuned.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

My friend had one, and I have a question. Did you have to watch the same thing on all TVs at the same time, or was this some weird quirk of theirs? I remember wanting to watch Chip n Dale, Power Rangers or Star Trek in his basement with him, but once Full House or some crappy soap came on, the channel on both TVs would turn to whatever was being watched on the upstairs TV.

They were all like that.

 

I believe if you had 2 receivers, they both had to be on the same "satellite", but either receiver could independently go to any channel on that satellite.  I could be remembering that wrong.  I don't think I knew anyone that had two. 

I definitely wished grandma did.  She watched her "stories" every afternoon on local tv, but if she was still working in the garden, or passed out for her nap, she would get up and watch the west coast feed on the dish.  This sucked for me, because it meant no cartoons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My uncle had a "modded" receiver, which meant that he could get ANY encrypted channel for free, so he taped all the WWF PPVS for me.  He would record the replays and then just let the tape keep recording until it ran out of room, so there was a LOT of interesting "content" a couple hours after the PPVS went off the air.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Growing up, I had a friend down the street who had one and that meant getting to watch WWF PPVs for free. Seemed pretty cool, if just for that. Later on, they re-purposed the dish in a really cool way. For years they had this big ugly dish on the side of their house and then they took it down, dug down deep enough in the ground for the dish to lay in that hole, ran a water line through the center, lined the surface of the dish and put in some nice landscaping around it to turn it into a fountain/small pond.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We used to pile into a friends basement to watch WWF (and eventually WCW) pay-per-views back in the day, but there was no sound, so we had to hook up another television to the regular cable, and get the sound via scramblevision. Good times!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We used to pile into a friends basement to watch WWF (and eventually WCW) pay-per-views back in the day, but there was no sound, so we had to hook up another television to the regular cable, and get the sound via scramblevision. Good times!

 

Man that's some strong TV metagame right there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How much did the big dishes cost? I didn't know anyone who had one of those when I was a kid, so back then I assumed that only rich people could afford one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The early ones were in the 5,000-10,000 range.  I know they came down quite a bit in the 90's, since, by then, you also had to pay for the channels.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now, for a while I knew someone ( :ph34r: ) who had a black box and it was the same deal as Mike was saying.  All the WWF/WCW and ECW PPVs that were offered and if someone just so happened to keep the tape running some interesting shit would be recorded afterwards.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First time I ever saw one was when my neighbors got one in their front yard in 1984. I do remember going to a local grocery store and while looking at wrestling mags in the magazine aisle I would notice the ginormous satellite programming guides they sold. Imagine TV Guide but a lot larger.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh man, the phone book sized programming guide was incredible.  It even had a glossery for all the movies airing that month.  Made it easy to find the ones with titties.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

20 or so years ago, I helped a friend set up his dish outside of the deck at his apartment. Thing weighed a ton.

Took us nearly two hours to get it pointed right, but when we finally found the signal we were looking for everything was good in life.

We were both big NHL fans and seeing the feeds for all the games was something special. This was long before they had the season packages like today.

Trivia: Catcher Bo Diaz was killed working on a satellite dish, at his home, when it fell over on him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As recently as 2008, a local dive bar in town still had a giant C-Band dish on the roof so they could get out of market pre-season NFL games.  This was before NFL Network made nice with Time-Warner/Comcast/Charter and showed every game on tape-delay.

 

Also, this:

 

http://assets.amuniversal.com/c8d212402128102d94d7001438c0f03b

 

 

[For some reason, the board won't let me imbed images from GoComics.com]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Those raw news feeds were great. As a kid I remember seeing an anchor eat a booger while they were on commercial break and one caught a bug and ate it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was always partial to the field reporter losing his shit at someone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I was in high school we had one for our technology class,, we used it to watch tv. Best time of the year was during the NCAA basketball tournament we would get the out of market games, the teacher didn't care unless the principal came in, then we had to pretend we were doing work, great times

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was always partial to the field reporter losing his shit at someone.

 

EDIT: This gives me an idea for a whole other thread. Let's go there now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...