Prevue Fans

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Prevue Fans

Post by AriX » Wed Dec 09, 2009 4:50 pm

Hey guys... You probably know a bunch of stuff about the Prevue Channel too, so I wanted some people to proofread this history of the channel I just wrote. It's a little bit long-winded, but hopefully it'll bring some non-Prevue devotees up to speed. Thanks!

Prevue Networks, owned by United Video Satellite Group created the first electronic program guide (EPG) in 1985 with the launch of the EPG channel. In 1988, they renamed themselves Prevue Guide and adopted the split screen format we enjoy/loathe today. This format is still used on the TV Guide Network, and will be until Lionsgate decides to pull the plug on the scrolling listings. In 1993, the Prevue Guide design was overhauled, and the channel was renamed Prevue Channel. The previews and Prevue Tonight stayed, but the scrolling listings were now in a grid format, letting you see what was going to be on for the next hour and a half in one glance. In 1996, the Prevue logo was changed. An "eye" design was added to the background of the logo. In 1998, the Prevue logo was again changed. The stylized "Prevue" text was simply changed to a different font.

The Prevue Channel was loved dearly by many of its viewers, and when UVSG bought TV Guide Magazine, things started to go downhill. No one knows exactly when the channel started to become terrible. Some say it happened even before the name was changed to the TV Guide Channel in February, 1999. All we can agree on is that the channel, which now focuses on a couple of celebrity gossip programs and reruns of Ugly Betty and Punk'd, is not nearly as good as it used to be.

In addition to the Prevue Channel, Prevue Networks offered several other products. One of these products was Prevue Interactive. Prevue Interactive started as a joint venture between TCl Cable and TV Guide Magazine called TV Guide On Screen. This name originally referred to both a little known EPG channel carried by few cable networks and an IPG (Interactive Program Guide) that ran on on General Instrument's (now Motorola) DCT cable boxes, starting with the DCT 1000. Prevue Networks ended up acquiring the technology and renaming it Prevue Interactive. It was one of the first IPGs, and while it has gone through many changes over the years, the current TV Guide Interactive/i-Guide product bears a considerable resemblance to the original Prevue Interactive/TV Guide On Screen. The name TV Guide On Screen name was re-used a couple of years ago in a guide embedded into many TVs that gets its guide information through VBI (vertical blanking interval) information in TV signals. This product is also owned by Rovi (formerly Macrovision).

Prevue Interactive, along with most of the other services Prevue Networks offered, has traded hands many times over the years. It was originally developed by TCl, TV Guide Magazine, and Prevue Networks, and then was owned by TV Guide Inc., Gemstar-TV Guide Inc., Macrovision, and now Rovi (the new name for Macrovision). Rovi then sold off the TV Guide Network and the TV Guide Magazine to separate companies.

Another service Prevue offered was Sneak Prevue, a spin-off of the Prevue channel dedicated to previewing pay-per-view content only. Sneak Prevue ran off an Amiga 2000 variant, similar to the Prevue channel, and was a popular barker channel in its heyday. Sneak Prevue ran with the pre-1996 Prevue logo until 2002, when plans to revitalize the channel were cancelled and the channel was folded. This was likely due to increased competition with iNDemand (formerly Viewer's Choice).

Source(s): Wikipedia, Highbeam Research, Rovi, UVSG/Prevue sites from the Web Archive (

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