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I Want My Tube TV

By Julene McCoy in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 29, 2006 2:46PM

Last night Chicagoist took a break from our rock-n-roll lifestyle and turned on the television, mainly to watch Ultimate Fighting ‘cuz we have a slight case of the bloodlust, but came across a channel that we had never seen before on Comcast, Channel 197 (at least at our abode) – The Tube Music Network.

06_2006_tube.jpgNow, a new music network just had to be checked out. Watching for about an hour, we noticed no ads – just PSAs (wear a condom, dammit) and promos for the station itself. The mix of videos was clearly for the over 30 demographic (think XRT, but videos). Here are just a few of the artists we caught: John Mayer, Weezer, The Cure, David Bowie, Red Hot Chili Peppers, John Lennon, Dolly Parton & Norah Jones duet, and Aerosmith. The only new video was the RHCP's “Dani California”.

In a March 9, 2006 article from the New York Times on the Web, we learned that The Tube uses multicasting which allows the broadcasting station to use a secondary signal from their main digital signal – this explains the WGN-DT 9.2 bug that showed up on the screen. We also were wondering just how a channel can exist without advertising revenue? The same article explained that they plan to bring in revenue by selling a one-minute ad each hour and by selling merchandise at The Tube’s website.

It was nostalgic to see all these old videos, plus it was fantastic to not have to watch commercials. Our only complaint was that there were no videos by artists who are not already established – just because someone is over 30 doesn’t mean they don’t listen to new music, Mr. Garland. The Tube’s own promos were quite catchy and fun, a mash up of several artists’ videos edited together with other artists’ music edited over it. And we loved the snark in their slogan, “Think of it as music television. Only with music.”