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#1 2013-08-31 10:25:42

Sal
Member
Registered: 2009-08-03
Posts: 2979

Television Reception in NYC prior to Cable

Prior to Cable one of the major complaints by Tenament residents was poor television reception.

The norm was to buy a TV and a rabbit ear antena. When that didn't pick up all 13 channles,we would install a roof antena with the permission of the landlord.

One simple fix was to run a antena wire to the roof and hook onto an existing antena.

Then you had the new highrise go up and block reception.

Mango- No remote in those days,each station required moving the rabbit ears.

Last edited by Sal (2013-08-31 15:07:16)

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#2 2013-08-31 11:50:01

Mike
Member
Registered: 2008-05-15
Posts: 1920

Re: Television Reception in NYC prior to Cable

Some of the more "modern" buildings, 1950s, were built wired to roof antennas. I lived in Electchester and there was a co-ax wall jack in every single apartment in the living room to hook to the roof antenna and I got pretty darn good reception.

I moved there about 1982, and BQ Cable (now time warner) had already covered all the surrounding neighborhoods in Queens but not Electchester. Why? Electchester has ZERO overhead wiring in it or around the perimeter, and was not going to allow it. After years of negotiating with BQ, we got cable in the late 80's, under ground.

Pomonoker, did Pomonok have the antenna wall jacks too? I know it was built at the same time in the deal Harry van Arsdale, Jr. of LU#3 made with the City of New York to buy the old golf course that both Pomonok and Electchester were built on to provide affordable housing for the working class.

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#3 2013-08-31 13:05:14

Pomonoker
Member
Registered: 2008-05-12
Posts: 424

Re: Television Reception in NYC prior to Cable

No antenna wall jacks in Pomonok. It was either rabbit ears (with the ball of aluminum foil, lol), or if I remember right an antenna that attached to the window.

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#4 2013-08-31 13:55:00

mango
Member
Registered: 2008-05-13
Posts: 565

Re: Television Reception in NYC prior to Cable

Rabbit ears it was and constantly moving it about in order to get the best reception.
When I moved to a house, I had a roof antenna which was great.

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#5 2013-08-31 15:14:45

Olivia
Member
Registered: 2009-03-01
Posts: 1318

Re: Television Reception in NYC prior to Cable

I lived in a house from school age on. But my Mom was deathly afraid of lightening, so we had rabbit ears. I remember when they would eventually break, we would use coat hangers stuck in an empty ear. (ear of the rabbit, that is).

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#6 2013-09-01 07:08:59

Pomonoker
Member
Registered: 2008-05-12
Posts: 424

Re: Television Reception in NYC prior to Cable

Olivia, that last comment gave me a good laugh!

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#7 2013-09-01 09:21:29

jimbo
Member
Registered: 2009-07-28
Posts: 3300
Website

Re: Television Reception in NYC prior to Cable

Sometimes I think the coat hangers worked best.

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#8 2013-09-02 12:34:54

reege
Member
Registered: 2010-02-27
Posts: 159

Re: Television Reception in NYC prior to Cable

First TV when I was about 7. The thing had problems - vertical hold, horizontal hold, snaps, snow, all kinds of stuff. One day, I happened to grab the antenna and the damn thing gave perfect reception. My father said to my mother, "I knew that kid was good for something". So that was my job until high school. Paid 50 cents a week. I channeled Sid Caesar, Jackie Gleason, Ed Sullivan, and Martin & Lewis. Never could get the Yankee games too good.

(Just kidding, just kidding).

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#9 2013-09-02 15:22:48

michael
Member
Registered: 2008-05-12
Posts: 1415

Re: Television Reception in NYC prior to Cable

I remember reception being fine until 1990 when I got cable

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#10 2013-09-04 02:29:22

Herb
Member
From: Hudson Valley
Registered: 2008-05-13
Posts: 1521

Re: Television Reception in NYC prior to Cable

Great subject. TV reception for us was lousy with the rabbit ears in our garden apartment. Things changed when we moved into a house in Bayside My Dad was into radio, TV and antennas, like I am. A new 'Color TV' antenna, by Winegard gave us great reception on the regular VHF Channels. He also had a 'Hi-Gain' antenna installed with a rotor on it, so we could watch the blacked out NY Giants home games, on Channel 3 from Hartford I think it was. The games came in kinda snowy, but we still saw them most of the time. The real fun for me was, the summer we got that big antenna, I stayed up late sometimes to see what out of town stations I could get. Quite a few up and down the east coast, as I rotated that antenna with the control on top of the TV..

The most eerie thing about TV reception was when we lived in Cambridge Hall apts in Queens. There was a 'Master Antenna' on the roof, so signal strength was excellent but, there were two faint shadows on the left side of the screen. They were side by side vertical images. If I fine tuned the Sony Trinitron to peak signal, they were just barely there but I could never completely remove them. Those shadow images were the World Trade Center. This was back in the late 70's, and I believe the TV broadcast antennas were still on the Empire State Building. Obviously The WTC was taller, and it created this small problem. For some reason it never really bothered me that much, Did anyone else see this?

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#11 2013-09-04 10:56:50

Pomonoker
Member
Registered: 2008-05-12
Posts: 424

Re: Television Reception in NYC prior to Cable

Herb, I think you are right about the WTC causing causing a reception problem, although I would have described it as a double image.
Where were the Cambridge Hall apts? Did you mean Campus Hall? Which was in Flushing next to Queens College.

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#12 2013-09-04 11:43:20

Herb
Member
From: Hudson Valley
Registered: 2008-05-13
Posts: 1521

Re: Television Reception in NYC prior to Cable

Pomonoker...I agree, it was a double image, looked just like the WTC towers. Left side of the screen.

Cambridge Hall apts is a development at Union Turnpike and Springfield Blvd. Can be seen from the GCP.

And the next big thing on TV before cable was WHT/Wometco Home Theatre, on channels 67 and 68. (Uncle Floyd, and movies!).

Last edited by Herb (2013-09-04 12:44:28)

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#13 2013-09-12 16:53:15

DrSteve
Member
Registered: 2008-05-13
Posts: 950

Re: Television Reception in NYC prior to Cable

Hello Herb...Never knew that you lived in Cambridge Hall Apts. I recall you living in Alley Pond Apts (how was the view of Union Turnpike from a different vantage point?(LOL). When I lived on Springfield Blvd we were able to get most of the NY channels with simple rabbit ears. Here in the boonedocks (Syosset) you really need cable tv in order to receive good reception. Despite having Cablevision and some 200 channels, there is still nothing worthwhile to even watch! DrSteve

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