SelecTV (US TV channel)
|Type||Pay television network|
|Availability||United States, national|
SelecTV was a subscription (Pay TV) television service formed in 1976, and first broadcasting in 1978  The service focused entirely on televising movies, and ended in 1991. The service originally allowed subscribers to pay only for programs "selected" during the month, with the first several minutes free (the decoder box included a phone hook-up to transmit information back to the billing office). It later went to a flat-fee basis.
SelecTV was transmitted via scrambled signal from a local UHF television station. A decoder box was required to unscramble the signal and permit normal viewing. SelecTV was available in at least three markets: in Milwaukee on WCGV, channel 24 (now MyNetworkTV), KWHY channel 22 in Los Angeles (now a Spanish-language independent), and WWSG channel 57 in Philadelphia (now CW affiliate WPSG). On WWSG, the service utilized the gated-pulse scrambling technique for the video and using technology that would later be used to enable Multichannel television sound moved the audio to a different subcarrier, freeing the standard audio channel for use as a "barker" (sales promotion) channel. In 1984, New Jersey based WHT began offering SelecTV on its affiliated television stations after it stopped programming its own network, but the affiliation with SelecTV would not last long, as within a year, WHT ceased operations. This occurred following a massive financial collapse, as a result of a majority of their subscribers defecting to cable television services which offered more channels, including pay-tv services like HBO and Showtime.
In 1983, the service went national via satellite and was later purchased by Starion Entertainment, which eventually dropped the SelecTV branding in the late 1980s and renamed it Starion Premiere Cinema. The service ceased operations in 1991.
Unlike rival service ONTV, SelecTV specialized in airing movies and did not air sports events. Foreign films were often shown in dubbed and subtitled versions, indicated in the monthly programming guide. In the early '80s, the Los Angeles affiliate simulcast some shows from Z Channel. During Oscar season in the Los Angeles market regular programming would often be preempted for special "Academy Consideration" screenings of films in contention for Oscar nominations. By 1985 (if not earlier), SelecTV aired softcore versions of pornographic films in their "Adult Theater" programming block.
Another thing making the channel unique was their policy of screening R-rated movies throughout the broadcast day, at a time when other pay services restricted R-rated content until after 8pm. SelecTV also transmitted its C-band satellite "in the clear" (unscrambled) for a longer time than rivals HBO and Showtime.
In 1986, SelecTV produced one original, non-sports series, a half-hour comedy, Channel K.  The title of the series was chosen to mock one of SelecTV’s early competitors, Z Channel. Each half-hour episode was composed of shorter segments, averaging five minutes, spoofing television programming. There were two comedy spin-offs from Channel K, both also airing in 1986, presented in ten minute segments in order to be used when fill time was needed between movies. The first was Bachelor Pad, where a self-proclaimed ladies man gave not-so-helpful tips to single men looking to be more successful at dating women. The second, Handy Dan, gave do-it-yourself lessons that always led to disaster. In 1987, Channel K returned to the network briefly with the new title, Son of Channel K. Three VHS volumes, including episodes of both Channel K and Son of Channel K, and segments of Bachelor Pad and Handy Dan, were released on home video in 1989 and 1990, as the SelecTV network, eroded away by the advancement of cable TV, went dark.
- ONTV, an over-the-air subscription service that served Los Angeles, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas/Fort Worth, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Phoenix, Salem/Portland and San Francisco.
- PRISM, an over-the-air and cable television subscription service that served Southeastern Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey, Delaware and the Delmarva Peninsula.
- Spectrum, an over-the-air subscription service that served Chicago and was a direct competitor to On-TV.
- SuperTV, an over-the-air subscription service that served Washington, D.C., the Capital and Central regions of Maryland and Northern Virginia.
- Wometco Home Theater, an over-the-air subscription service that served New York City, Northern New Jersey, Long Island and Fairfield County, Connecticut.
- SelecTV Animated ID from 1981 at The Museum of Classic Chicago Television (www.FuzzyMemories.TV)
- SelecTV Station ID & Break from 1981 at The Museum of Classic Chicago Television (www.FuzzyMemories.TV)
- SelecTV Short Subject, Previews & IDs from 1981 at The Museum of Classic Chicago Television (www.FuzzyMemories.TV)
- SelecTV End Of Film & Preview from 1981 at The Museum of Classic Chicago Television (www.FuzzyMemories.TV)
- SelecTV Promo & Station Sign-Off from 1981 at The Museum of Classic Chicago Television (www.FuzzyMemories.TV)