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Thread: General Instrument Infocipher 1000R ?

  1. Default General Instrument Infocipher 1000R ?

    I just found this on eBay, and I was curious if anyone here knows what it is. It appears to be some kind of early cable modem.

  2. #2


    If it's for the ][e it wouldn't be "early". The PlayCable is much earlier.

  3. #3


    This is a cable modem, but not the cable modem most of us use today. In the early to mid 1980s, news and information used to be transmitted through the (once was the) analog cable TV system. Digital data was transmitted over one of the channels. This box intercepts the channel and demodulate the signal into text. It is then sent through a serial cable to the computer. The computer ran special software which would take the data, format it, and cache it so it can be read later. And this is because the transmission wasn't on-demand. I think the transmissions was once per hour or something like that.

  4. #4


    Even if the box is functional, the X-Press service is no longer available, as the Internet replaced the need for it. However, the box itself might be an interesting study on how cable TV channels are broadcast, intercepted, and then processed. I owned and used one of these boxes during the day, and it got me thinking at the time if there was a way to both receive and transmit over cable - sort of like a pre-Internet or a BBS if you will. The short answer at the time was a "yes," but soon enough the cable companies installed filters and such to prevent someone like myself from doing such a thing (actually, it was to prevent pirating of premium channels, but it was more than that.)


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