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Document Details


Title: Sidney Topol
Document type: Oral history
Accessibility: Free Only
Repository: Cable Center. Barco Library. Special Collections
Collection: Cable Center Oral History Collection
Description: Sid Topol played a central role in the development of satellite communications for the cable industry. After a career with Raytheon, he became president of Scientific Atlanta (SA), a major manufacturer of antennas and other equipment for the cable industry. He had followed closely the developments in satellite communications and understood that geostationary satellites, positioned in a stationary orbit 24,000 miles above the earth, could serve as a low-cost way to distribute cable programming nationwide. He was involved in the initial tests of this theory in conjunction with TelePrompTer Corp. TelePrompTer and SA developed a portable earth station that moved across the country to test the feasibility of satellite delivery in various regions of the country. In 1973, TelePrompTer, SA and Home Box Office (HBO) demonstrated satellite delivery of programming at the NCTA convention in San Francisco. The following year SA sold earth stations, at $100,000 each, to Columbia Cablevision, which used one of them to receive the first commercial satellite transmission of cable programming, an HBO boxing match, at its system in Vero Beach, Florida. Soon other orders came in and SA became the leading supplier of satellite receivers to the cable industry.
URL: http://www.cablecenter.org/education/library/oralHistoryDetails.cfm?id=176
Original Language: English
Time span: Not indicated ... to 1990 (Year of interview)
Speaker: Topol, Sidney, 1924-
Speaker gender: Male
Speaker date of birth: 28-Dec-1924
Speaker place of birth: Boston, MA; Massachusetts; United States; North America
Speaker race: White
Speaker occupation: Chairman of the board
Age at speaking: 66
Document location: Boston, MA
Document date: 24-Jul-1990
Interviewer: Smith, E. Stratford, 1916-
Locations discussed: North America; United States
Topics discussed - ASP terms: Broadcasting; Cable television--United States; North America; Oral history; Public broadcasting; Television; Television programs; United States
Topics discussed - Other terms: Cable administrators
ASP release: 2005-06
Document code: OHI0022866-24284