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Hollywood (TV Guide Channel)

  • Compaq Professional Workstation EW1006
  • Intel Pentium II @ 440 MHz
  • 262 MB RAM
  • 30 GB SCSI HDD
  • STB 1X0-0751-407 (Tulsa)

Hollywood was the last known version of the Prevue Channel software. Development began in 1997 and continued into the TV Guide acquisition/rebrand. This version was built for and ran on Windows NT with a SQL Server and a custom DirectDraw graphics card created by the defunct STB Systems. This incarnation would go through various different design revisions throughout the years it was in service, beginning with a tan theme in 1999 with an optional blue variant, a 'marble'-colored theme in 2003, a more stylized velvet & monochrome theme sometime in 2005-06 and a monochrome-only flat variant in 2010. A PC Prevue equivilent of this was released around the same time, which was most likely upgraded as often as well. The service was discontinued in 2019, thus ending the long run of what once was the Prevue Channel.

As of November 2020, we currently have three former Hollywood units, with each unit's hard drive imaged and dumped onto the internet. All of these units utilize the last version of the software, with the 2006 theme applied, sporting Pop branding, and listings that date as far back as September 2018. This program has been tested to function on Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, and Windows XP under VMware, however is only functional in Software Mode. You can install this on Windows 10, however the only version of SQL known to support this (SQL Server 7.0) cannot be installed on modern versions of Windows, including 10.

Preserving Hollywood is still a very major work-in-progress, and as such a lot is still needed to be done. One example are the listings, which are stored in the SQL databases. However, one of the most important features of this is actually getting the listings to actually scroll as seen on older versions of the Prevue Channel software excluding PC Prevue. As mentioned before, Hollywood ran on a custom-built STB Systems card built in-house specifically only for use on the TV Guide Channel, referred to as the Tulsa card. Hollywood was built specifically to run on this particular card, considering that support for some of what Hollywood utilized, such as MPEG playback and genlock weren't the best back then compared to now.That said, as of February 2021 there is currently no way to get the program to scroll listings or function at all under its normal mode, as the card is paramount for any scrolling or displaying to be done at all. The closest anybody can get to running it at this time is under its Software Mode, which can be chosen during installation of the software. There may be underground production of an emulator that can bypass these, but as of right now I cannot confirm nor disclose any proof of this happening. It's also because of these that I have refrained from writing any guides on getting Hollywood functioning. I plan to write some in the future, however as of right now, the only resource I can recommend is TWCKelby's guide on how to set up the software mode for Hollywood in Windows XP under VMware, which can be found here. [c] Copyright 2021 PajamaFrix -- pajamafrix.neocities.org