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Qube Turns 25

Pioneer Electronics' Qube, the world's first commercial interactive TV system, turned 25 years old this week. The anniversary was marked with birthday cake and candles at Broadband Plus.

Introduced Dec. 1, 1977, Qube debuted in Columbus, Ohio. Initially operated out of a remodeled appliance store, Qube offered 30 channels of television divided equally among ten broadcast TV channels, ten premium and pay-per-view channels and ten channels with original interactive programming. The idea for Qube came from Steve Ross, president of Warner Communications who discovered Pioneer's closed circuit TV system in a Tokyo hotel two years earlier.

Qube expanded to several other U.S. cities, but its adoption was hindered by its high costs. The last Qube box went silent in 1994.