The Changeover is Beginning

I got this note tonight from a TechTV viewer who watches on his C-Band satellite dish:

I have been watching on C-Band satellite since the network started. There was a message on the screen tonight saying that the signal was going to digital and after some searching on the web, it will be using PowerVu technology and only available to cable head ends.

I had always taken it as a point of pride that TechTV was in the clear on the big dishes. And many of our first viewers were C-Band users. This is likely the first of many changes Comcast will be making as they assume control of TechTV and merge it with G4.

At least one Charter subscriber reports on the message boards that starting May 1 TechTV is being moved to digital channel 998 in his area – the cable equivalent of invisibility.

The Hart-Scott-Rodino regulatory period ends in the next few days. Things should start happening very quickly after that. No one at G4 has told us what their plans are but rumors are flying that there will be some serious changes to the lineup. I’ll keep you posted here as the story develops.

47 Replies to “The Changeover is Beginning”

  1. I have Charter Digital Cable here (San Bernardino, CA) and TechTV is still on the same channel it’s always been on… And, to the one guy with Charter, there is no channel 998 for me. Weird, huh?

  2. I am a charter customer, and i do not have digital cable, i do not plan on getting digital cable. I will mess the entire crew at TechTV. I do not plan on getting digital cable, just because i do not feel like it is worth the money for one more channel. I hope i will get the new G4/TechTV channel when the merger is over.

  3. I’ve been watching TechTV/ZDTV since day 1 of broadcasting back in 1998, when we were using a C-band dish at the time. Long since moved to Dish Network, but I’ll always have fond memories of growing up with the big dish in the back yard.

  4. I can confirm the Charter channel so far, its still up in the air, but my wife, who works with Charter was mentioning to me today that the channel would be very high up. Apparently, its not quite the final word, but its quite probable. Im not sure about Dishnet or Direct though.

  5. She works WITH Charter, not for them, so please no Charter comments, lol, we have heard them all before

  6. Well I asked Charter in my area. There is a commitment for them to carry the channel for a while, but it will be moving off analog to digital. They consider the extended analog range prime real estate. I live in a resort area though, electronic gaming would be considered as low of a priority as you could get. I will be loosing the channel also. In my opinion I over pay them for extended basic. I’ll not be paying $10 more per month plus $5 per digital box for every TV. I would pay for TechTV as I know it, but not this G4 thing. Besides, Comcast has announced they don’t want my demographic anyway, screw them.

  7. I’ve been stuck in Digital tier with my local company with regards to TechTV for some time now. Unfortuately that also means that it’s Macrovision encoded by my cable company and I can’t get any of the real helpful ScreenSavers episodes / specials off of my TiVo. I saw G4 when it first went on air with Comcast when I lived in Pittsburgh, and there weren’t many shows that I actually liked. Now I’m not sure what their old demographic was and I am not sure what the new combined one is, But I hope they keep the core “body” of TechTV shows, as I’m sure the BBC rerun stuff will be one of the things to hit the floor.

  8. I left early – it wasn’t much fun, frankly. Michaela was there, though. And Sumi. So that was kind of neat. It was too dark for pictures, anyway.

  9. It’s my solemn hope that the merger takes away more of G4’s content than TechTV’s. I’m a gamer myself, and G4 disappoints me… they talk down to gamers and a good chunk of their content is irritating to watch. Let’s just hope they keep everything at TechTV intact.

  10. Thanks Leo.
    We will all continue to wait, watch, and listen for your suggestions of what we can do next as loyal viewers of you and the rest of the staff.

  11. Back around 1982 my neighbor had C-Band. I remember a religious type that would sit in a chair on a cheesy set, and would just pontificate for hours, whatever came across his mind. He smoked big cigars, and would rattle on forever. Satellite time must have been cheaper then! My neighbor had the dish mounted on a tower so he could get European feeds. It was interesting to watch in those days, nothing was scrambled, or he had decoded it easily. He provided half the town with tapes of hard core porn feeds, before it was outlawed. He told me a while back he found a box of beta-max tapes of the bootleg porn in his attic. Sadly no player no. 😉

  12. Leo, since Comcast is our cable provider here, I’m pretty sure that TechTV/G4 will be carried but I also hope Comcast doesn’t put it on digital since now it is still on analog channel 69. Only G4 is on digital. I also hope they get rid of a lot of the G4 content and keep much of Tech TV. G4 was really lame.

  13. Leo,
    Hey. I am 17, so kind of the computer geek in high school. I don’t think anyone knows what the plans for Tech Tv’s future are, but it has been a privelage and a pleasure to record call for help daily. Will pray for the best!

  14. Sorry to see the c-band feed go, as this is the only method I have of watching TechTV.
    There is no cable here, wher I live.
    I will miss it very much as this is mostly all I ever watch.
    But besides you (Leo) and Patrick, there’s not much left to watch anyway.
    I too started watching back in 1998 or 1999, when it was zdtv.
    Goodby TechTV!
    Bobby

  15. I have Charter’s digital cable but it’s only on one TV. It’s a scary thought about what’s going to happen with TechTV. I remember when I first watched you guys on ZDTV. It was the first day I got digital cable. Good luck to all you guys!

  16. Who cares if you can not get g4/techtv on analog cable, just go out and get Directv or Dish and all your channels will be digital. Plus you can get the boxes and dish for free if you keep the service a year. Then your set.

  17. Here are 4 things i’ve been wondering.
    1. What will the new name be? TechTV? G4? Tech4? GTV?(oops that’s golf TV)
    2. What shows will still be left of TechTV/what G4 shows will be added?
    3. What will happen to non-techtv shows like Spy School and Robot Wars?
    4. Will I be able to still get (insert new techtv/g4 chnnel name here) on Directv?

  18. I’ve been a c-band viewer since nearly the beginning of zdtv. I am sad to see it go.
    By the way, that preacher that used to smoke cigars is still on. His name is Gene Scott http://www.drgenescott.com/home.htm It’s fun to watch him sometimes. Its jsut him 24-7 with footage from the last 30 years or so.

  19. This whole merger just fills me with bile. Comcast isn’t being very clear at all what they intend, either to viewers or their new employees, and I’m not looking forward to the next couple of weeks.

  20. And so it begins.
    I am thinking it’s going to be a bumpy ride over the next few weeks or so for you all at TechTV. Good luck, and don’t forget to keep us updated!
    🙂

  21. I am a DirecTV subscriber in Los Angeles & as of 5:30pm on May 1st, I am still getting TechTV with fingers crossed that it remains that way. I hate what is happening with the cable subscribers & wish Comcast would make things clear about their intentions.
    Leo, any chance you will be able to post the audio for the 4/17 & 4/18 radio shows soon?

  22. how will this effect Canadian viewers? I have Illico Digital cable provided by Vidéotron in Québec. The current channel is 152- will this change, or more importantly- will TechTV still be offered? Thanks everyone!
    Rob Lynch

  23. how will this effect Canadian viewers? I have Illico Digital cable provided by Vidéotron in Québec. The current channel is 152- will this change, or more importantly- will TechTV still be offered? Thanks everyone!
    Rob Lynch

  24. Oy! This is going to be very bad I just know it.
    I agree with the person who suggezsted you start your own tv station and bring whoever wants to come to it with open arms. I’m tired of these inspid, ruthless head games big business is doing
    and we the viewers as well as you, Pat and Cat have all become liabilities because of their greed.
    This has to stop. I’ve been through this before and I’m not about to have another nervous breakdown because of it.

  25. I guess you’ll all have to start downloading TSS from alt.binaries.multimedia like the rest of us 😉

  26. If they manage to redirect the wandering direction TechTV programming has added in recent months, the merger may turn out to be a good thing. I refer to certain programs promoting abuse of alcohol, sex cam girls and that sort of thing. TechTV has predominantly occupied my television viewing time. If the new channel holds as much interest as the old, only time will tell. I wish it well.
    The following article is over a month old, but is short and to the point.
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2004/03/26/BUGK95RA371.DTL

  27. I echo most of the sentiments here on the TechTV/G4 merger. Admittedly I am not a hard-core gamer, but I have watched G4 on occasion and I find they are generally a bunch of foul-mouthed goth punks who are filling time until Fuse calls them for an interview. On the other hand, I frequently watch X-Play on TechTV and the Adam/Morgan combination is both intelligent, funny, and appealing to gamers of all levels.
    Comcast would be wise to simply phase out the majority of G4’s content in favor of the core TechTV lineup. In order for it to remain popular, you need the mix of people like Leo, Patrick, Kevin, Morgan, Sarah, Cat…and especially Martin Sargent who rivals any other late night entertainment currently on the air, IMHO. Going into a strict, hard-core niche network will only kill it.
    I am a Comcast customer in the Southeast, and so far I’m very impressed with their decisions. Their digital cable offerings here with On-Demand are a good value. They essentially came in and took over a cable system that had been run into the ground with Mediaone and AT&T, and turned it into something great. I only hope the are as smart in handling this merger.

  28. I have Charter here in Montrose, Michigan, and as far as I know, it’s staying at channel 18 (Yes, Analog Basic) for the time being. So far, no notice has come down about it being moved.

  29. leo, i’m on the east coast and have just discovered this whole mess about yall being taken over. we have cox digital cable and you’re still on. all my music students and then some watch all of the fantastic shows. what is going on. this company doesn’t even know what you and yours have meant to regular folks like ourselves. have they lost their minds. Teaching is the most valuable and enjoyable profession there is. you have taught and made everyone laugh all over the world literally. if their competence is for only seeing the green of money then they have lost but in the end all the people have lost much more. thank you for all the fun of teaching. my students now have and hopefully will continue to have the privilege of you and yours’ knowlege.

  30. Well, according to the G4 website on the TechTV merger (http://www.g4tv.com/techtvmerger) is that
    “The G4 programming day will showcase many existing G4 and TechTV series such as G4’s ICONS; PULSE; JUDGMENT DAY; PLAYERS, and CHEAT! as well as TechTV’s ANIME UNLEASHED; X-PLAY; SCREEN SAVERS; FRESH GEAR; and ROBOT WARS.”
    I am getting worried because the line up mentions nothing about a little show called “Call For Help”, which according to the previously mentioned SFgate.com (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2004/03/26/BUGK95RA371.DTL) is one of the highest rated shows of TechTV. If they really want to kill this channel in the eyes of the loyal dedicated viewers, they will maintain this creedo that they are getting rid of all but these mentioned shows.
    Thank you for reading my little rant.
    Josh Dufresne

  31. I got about half way down and just had to comment, since I shoujld be working right now. 😉 I have to agree with the people who are down on G4TV. I basically had this to say about it (http://recently.rainweb.net/hive/502/) After reading the interview (http://www.gamingnexus.com/Article.asp?ID=53) I almost started crying. That guy makes it sound like G4 is the greatest channle ever and TechTv should be lucky with the merger. I’m 25 and I have two brothers, 21 and 13. None of us have watched more than about an hour total of G4. My parents have Comcast. My youngest brother plays games as much as my middle brother and I used to. MY understanding is we’re their target demographic. We all HATE that channel. None of the shows are good. Personally I do watch TechTV at my house and think x-play is better than all of g4’s lineup combined.
    I’ll be praying they don’t screw this up completely and drive two channels into the ground. Good luck Leo.

  32. Merging G4 and Techtv into a channel for gamers and the gaming lifestyle. I’m a gamer but I don’t need awhole channel based on it I watch Techtv for the tech info not for gaming even though I like xplay. I wanna know about new developments in computers the internet I want the info on new viruses and security threats which techtv has done a really good job on. I hear these G4 morons saying this is good for Techtv really how is that considering most of the Techtv employees will probably lose their jobs. I want Call for Help I want The ScreenSavers. If they screw the techtv people I will switch from comcast cable to DirectTv I won’t give them my business. These people are nothing but money hungry wastes of society. No Matter what happens Leo I wanna tell you that you and the rest of Techtv have done a fantastic job over the past 7 years or so you have all taught me alot Goodluck to all of you and Goodbye.

  33. Well Leo: Just like all good things in life, once you discover them, they are taken away. Loved you on TSS, started watched CFH when it was moved to 6 PM EDST, love it. Now Comcast has reared its ugly head and is taking the channel off of c-band. Figures. I know they could sell the current channel content on a 4dtv subscription and make money, but they think they can increase subscribers to their cable… Not me, I hate cable, don’t care for the small dish, either. Think I’ll buy an mpeg receiver next and just get by with it and 4dtv (currently have over 50 movie channels, plus most basic channels for about $400 per year, beat that). Hope after the dust settles that all of you good folks there at TechTV will find a happy new home. I like the idea of starting another channel, that’s how all of this started anyway.
    Thanks Leo, and all of the others!!

  34. Well, so far it is still on C-band satellite and running fine.
    By the way, the contract that ZDTV/TechTV signed for the Satcom C4 transponder was a NON-REVOCABLE LEASE for 10 years, signed in late 1998. That means that they have to pay for the transponder even if they don’t use it!. The digital feed is on the same transponder, so in order to keep it up and running, something has to be on the analog side as well, and a 4dtv stream would really screw up the new digital stream since both use the same bandwidth in the channel spectrum.
    This information came from GE Americom, the owner of Satcom C4.

  35. Been watching all the shows on (C-band: If you have a C-band satellite dish, look for TechTV on GE Americom Satcom C4, transponder 12, 135 degrees west, 40 degrees elevation)for many years.
    Now its gone.
    Bye Leo and the gang.

  36. Signs, Signs, All I can do is sit here and look sad. I have Charter Cable in Eastern Washington and so far we do not seem to have a channel chage. I am sorry for all of the C-band users, I hope we all get through all this. The layoffs, the channel changes, the destruction of TechTV, every new turn in the murger brings worse news and worse results. I have learned alot in the 3-4 years we have had TechTV here, back when it was more news, I have to thank all on “The Screen Savers” for everthing! Good luck everyone, I hope we don’t get a trash channel like the rest of TV these days
    Hoping For the Best
    Good Luck Leo and Pat and Sorry Everyone Who C-Band

  37. Leo,
    I have Been watching all the shows on ZD/TECH TV, on C-band satellite dish, on Satcom C4, transponder 12, Since it aired as ZDtv, I have never heard of G4 whatever that is. My dish has been on this channel for so long now I can’t find the remote to change the channel, and all I see is SNOWWW…
    Something is going to have to happen, you and all of the tech tv crew have a very loyal following, I know we will all support you whatever happens, I just hope someone will support us C-Band viewers even if we have to go to 4DTV. I will find away to move my dish (I may have to break it loose).
    Hope to see you and the rest of the gang again soon.
    Don’t forget us C-Band Viewers!!…..
    Jim

  38. Hey, I read on TechTV messageboard yesterday that TechTV is on C-4, Tr 12 in digital format viewable with a DVB reciever. My reciever is on its way to the manufacturer to be fixed so I cannot verify that info at this time. Anybody out there see it?

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