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Today in Media History: An interactive TV system in 1977? They called it Qube

On December 1, 1977, Warner Communications began an interactive cable system in Columbus, Ohio, called Qube.

Qube expanded to other cities around the country in the early 1980s, but the innovative cable system began phasing out a few years later.

The Qube glowing logo:

“Warner Communications bet an estimated $15 million to $25 million that the future lay in allowing viewers to ‘talk back’ to their televisions. Qube controllers cost a reported $200 each. A staff of 250 people was hired to make it work. TV Guide called it a ‘marriage between television and the computer.’

During its first day, the service’s estimated 10,000 initial subscribers used the system to boot an Elvis impersonator from a talent show, buy a golf club from Gov. James A. Rhodes in a charity auction and choose items for a time capsule.

The Dispatch reported years later that the interactive service, which lasted six years, was never profitable.

Read more

from Poynter. http://ift.tt/1v3D5Qc

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