I’ve always been obsessed with music TV channels, ever since my family first got cable in the mid-’90s and my school friends and I all discovered the wonders of “The Box” channel, where, because it was advertised as “music television you control”, you could waste your parents’ phone bill on requests for videos that were inevitably ignored by whoever was controlling the channel. I believe the channel still exists, but I don’t know if you can still request videos by dialling up on your landline. It’s probably all done through social media nowadays. I bet the requests still get ignored though.
I watched a lot of different music channels as a student and later a semi-employed graduate, because when we lived in Scotland, Geth and I were still able to get Virgin TV with all its delicious, delicious choice. Since we moved down to England, however, we’ve never been able to get Virgin TV in our area, so for years the only music channels available to me were 4Music and Viva, the former of which I tend to avoid due to too much reality content and the latter of which I only really watch for the chart once a week. (Except at Christmas, when I traditionally watch music TV all day long. I’m easily pleased at that time of year.)
About three years ago, however, either Freeview or our BT package decided to grant us access to Vintage TV, first as a streaming channel and then as a normal channel where you could actually set recordings and everything. I can’t tell you how much I love this channel. I have it on in the background whenever I’m not watching anything else, and I actually record the ’80s playlists (it typically shows stuff from the ’60s to the ’90s) so that I can watch them later with the adverts fast forwarded. Geth wants to look into switching from BT to plain Freeview when we move into the new place, so I’ve made sure he knows Vintage TV is non-negotiable (my mother-in-law doesn’t have it on her Freeview package, but I think it depends on location).
For a throwback like me, it’s pretty much the perfect music channel. They even have interview shows and live performances with all their most featured 20th century artists so you can
see how well they’ve aged find out what they’re up to nowadays. Just a shame it doesn’t have Top 100/50/20 etc. countdowns like the more modern-focused music channels do, but you can’t have everything!