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August 15, 1995

On Sept. 1 our local cable TV service will begin offering Perry subscribers a total of 35 channels for viewing, compared with the present 30 choices. Unfortunately, not much is new except for a couple more premium channels.

Three of the new basic channels (19, 20 and 22) are listed as "reserved," which presumably means they will be used later for public access and will contain no programming at first. In time we may get to watch city council meetings and other local entertainers on those channels. But, for now that makes only two new channels available, as best as I can tell.

Both the new ones are "premium" channels, meaning we pay extra if we choose to receive them. One is called "STARZ!/encore 8 (to be on channel 17) and the other is just plain ENCORE (channel 21). Ever heard of either of those? They are not listed in the Sunday Oklahoma's TV magazine and they are not shown in the Daily Oklahoman's daily TV grid. I am told both channels show feature movies without commercial interruption. But, how will we know what's going to be on? The company's 1-800 Customer Service number suggests checking with our local office; our local office says they have had no word on the subject.

In the recent past I have been told that our new cable selection would definitely include AMC (American Movie Classics), which shows high quality old movies that are basically family oriented, and with no commercials. AMC is part of the basic package in Oklahoma City and many other towns, including some in this area, but they are not included here either as a basic or as a premium option.

I happen to enjoy old movies, the good ones like they don't make any more, and you won't find many of that kind on HBO or Cinemax. It's OK to rent videos once in a while, but I had really hoped that with this changeover we would have a better offering.

Perhaps the best we have to look forward to is the end of reruns when the networks begin their new seasons, sometime late in September. Or, as a friend suggested the other day on another subject, maybe I'd better turn the set off and get a life.