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Community Antenna Television

  • Last Updated : 13 Nov, 2020

Cable Television was introduced in a way to provide better reception to people living in rural or mountainous areas. Initially, the system consisted of a big antenna on the top of a hill to get the television signal out of the air, an amplifier, called the headend, to strengthen it, and a coaxial cable is used to deliver it to people’s houses.

An early cable Television system

Terminologies for cable television system :

  1. Antenna –
    It is placed over some heights like a hill so that it can receive distant signals. It converts electromagnetic waves into electric signals. It is the key element.
  2. Headend –
    It is equipment that is used to receive communication signals to distribute them to the local region. It accepts the signals and processes them into cable signals.
  3. Tap –
    They are used to connecting drop cables with distribution cables.



  4. Coaxial Cable –
    It is an electrical cable that has an inner conductor surrounded by a conducting shield which is separated by insulating material. They have protective outer covering. They transmit signals with low losses.
  5. Drop Cable –
    They are used to connecting individual homes with the coaxial cable so that cable can reach a person’s home. In the early years, cable television was called Community Antenna Television.

Features of cable television system :
It was designed to provide cable TV services to the people living in rural areas and high terrains. People who want cable TV services have to pay monthly charges and establishment charges.

The whole system comprises an antenna on the hill so that it can receive signals. The headend amplifies, corrects, and strengthens the signals. Signals were transmitted through coaxial cable. With the help of drop cable, we can connect coaxial cable with the individual homes and establishments. As the number of subscribers grew, additional cables and amplifiers were added as needed. The transmission was from the headend to the users.

Time Inc. started a new channel, Home Box Office, with new content distributed on cable. Another cable only channels were focusing on sports, cooking, and many other topics.

This development gave rise to two changes in the industry. i.e. large corporations began buying up existing cable systems and laying new cable to acquire new subscribers and there was now a need to connect multiple systems. The cable companies began to lay a cable between the cities to connect them all into a single system.

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