TCI OF PENNSYLVANIA OFFERS ADDITIONAL BLOCKAGE TO RESTRICT UNINTENTIONAL RECEPTION OF ADULT PAY-PER-VIEW
PITTSBURGH, Dec. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- TCI of Pennsylvania, Inc. has told Brentwood Borough Councilman Robert Cranmer that it will install, by subscriber request, an additional, enhanced channel-filtering system to eliminate unintentional reception of already-scrambled adult pay-per-view programming by borough residents. TCI plans to meet with borough council representatives to discuss subscriber concerns about access to adult-oriented, pay-per-view programming. Currently, TCI offers The Playboy Channel, a pay-per-view network of adult entertainment programs for men and women. Last week, TCI tested the Spice adult movie channel. Spice offers "cable-cut" versions of adult movies. No X-rated material is presented on either The Playboy Channel or Spice. Spice is not currently offered by TCI as a pay-per-view option. "TCI has never shown any X-rated programming," according to Shawn McGorry, TCI of Pennsylvania, Inc. director of operations. "We are sensitive to the concerns of all our subscribers and we have safeguards in place to prohibit access to our adult pay-per-view programming by an inappropriate audience." Subscribers have requested and TCI has installed 20 audio elimination filters in the South Hills. TCI's enhanced channel elimination filters will totally eliminate reception of even a scrambled adult programming signal. In addition to the enhanced channel elimination filters, TCI safeguards to adult pay-per-view include: -- Pay-per-view order entry system. There are special telephone order numbers for adult pay-per-view that cannot be confused with other pay-per-view options. All pay-per-view services are ordered by event, not as an ongoing cable channel service. Pay-per-view must be ordered each time the service is accessed. -- Personal identification number (PIN). Customers concerned about a child ordering adult-oriented programming can request a PIN from TCI that must be used to order pay-per-view options. Without a PIN, no pay-per-view programming will be activated. -- Pay-for-view converter box requirement. Only subscribers with the converter box can receive the adult pay-per-view channels. -- The converter box can be programmed by the subscriber to eliminate access to adult pay-per-view channels. -- Adult-oriented programming will be offered only after 8 p.m.; -- No adult programming information appears in the pay-per-view guide; and -- The channel elimination filter removes the signal. No signal, not even a scrambled signal, appears on the subscriber's system. "The Playboy Channel is the third-largest pay-per-view supplier of cable programming in the country," McGorry said. "As the supplier of cable programming, we attempt to provide a number of diverse programming options and The Playboy Channel is one of those options." McGorry noted that The Playboy Channel is available in over 250 cable systems across the country and available to 11 million subscribers. In Pennsylvania, The Playboy Channel is on 17 cable systems, including several in the Pittsburgh area, and available to over one-half million subscribers statewide. McGorry said that technical details associated with the introduction and testing of adult pay-per-view programming on the South Hills cable system may have inadvertently enabled some subscribers to discern images of the scrambled picture. In no way is the scrambled signal intended to be used as an advertisement for the actual program. "These technical areas are being addressed and TCI's enhanced channel-elimination filters should solve any problems. "Local surveys, conducted before the launch of The Playboy Channel indicate, overwhelmingly, that our customers believe the decision-making power should remain in the hands of the individual viewer or the head of the household," McGorry said. "TCI will continue to offer programming options for a wide cross-section of the viewing public." -0- 12/13/93 /CONTACT: John Osterhus of William J. Green & Associates, 412-281-5555, for TCI; or Shawn McGorry, director of operations, of TCI, 412-771-8700, ext. 1202/
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