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Cable Channel Guide from 1987 (Telaction Coming Soon!)
Back in the day, our cable remote control had this handy sticker slapped onto its back that listed all the channels at our disposal. Now, let's be honest, after about two months of handling and wear, that sticker would start to look pretty nasty – all grimy and worn-out. And if you didn't act quick, in about five months, it became a jumbled mess of illegible scribbles. So, the million-dollar question: if you hadn't managed to get those channel numbers firmly rooted in your brain by then, what on earth were you supposed to do? Were you seriously going to grab that TV guide from the end table? Yeah, right! You've just settled into your comfy spot, and that guide might as well be miles away. That's where the Cable Channel Guide swooped in to save the day! Flip to that guide, and voilà, there's the entire list of channels you could access. Granted, it wouldn't give you the scoop on what was playing on each channel – for that, they had another channel in the works (eventually). But hey, for the time being, this guide did the job. And, to sweeten the deal, they'd loop in that evergreen music we all seem to adore, playing on repeat, over and over and over again.
Curious about your cable lineup? Just give that Cable Channel Guide a glance.
And if you tune in for a while, you'll probably spot something intriguing – Telaction, with a label that reads "Coming Soon". Sounds cool, right? This was like a glimpse into early "online" shopping, a concept that was on the horizon. Here's the lowdown on how it rolled:
Telaction treated viewers to an interactive TV shopping mall escapade. Here's how it played out: Cable TV users would dial up a toll-free number from the comfort of their homes, and that's when the magic began – an interactive shopping experience rolled out across dedicated cable channels. With the help of touch-tone keypads on their phones, viewers navigated this virtual shopping mall and made purchases, all from their living rooms. The cable lines acted as a conduit for "virtual store" visuals, along with audio descriptions of the products on display. It was a shopping adventure that brought a new dimension to the world of cable television.