How Cable Television Works

Cable television, as we know it today, was originally developed in the 1940s to help towns in remote and hilly areas receive better reception of network channels that were broadcast via airwaves. Community antennas were placed on higher areas to receive the broadcast and the signals were transmitted via cables to houses unable to receive quality reception through personal antennas due to blocked signals.

Transmitting television signals through cable wires gained popularity throughout the 50s and 60s as modern architecture brought more reflective surfaces and tall buildings into cities. Airwaves were easily blocked and reflected by the tall buildings and surfaces so transmitting signals via cables became one of the preferred methods for receiving television service — whether network or cable stations.

While the method was originally used to help distribute the basic network channels in remotes areas, the process was ultimately utilized to widely distribute modern-day cable channels to subscribers in both urban and rural cities. Now, the use of transmitting television signals via cables has become the norm, with cable television being used in a majority of households and businesses across the country.

It might seem that transmitting multiple television channels would require a lot of space, but in reality each television signal is given a 6-megahertz channel on the coaxial cable. These cables can carry hundreds of megahertz of signals, making cable transmission relatively inexpensive considering the number of channels that can be received.

Now cable television service is widely available across the country, although service options, prices and channels vary by companies and locations. The development of transmitting television signals via cable has allowed what was once a rare luxury in homes to become a mainstay in many American homes.

Allconnect is a free online resource to review and compare the costs and choices for essential home services, including cable TV, home utilities, high speed Internet, phone, satellite TV, and home security systems.

 

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