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How Does Cable TV Work?

Cable television is a common feature in most homes. People who subscribe for service from their local cable company, which could be one of many companies around the globe, know that they are paying for cable television and they know that cable television streams on their television. Most do not know what happens in between those two steps.

What Is Cable TV?

Cable TV, also known as CATV, is unique from antenna and satellite television because of the way it is broadcast. Cable television signals are transmitted through a radio frequency, or RF, by using coaxial cables or fiber optic cables to carry the signal. Telephone services as well as high-speed internet services can be provided in this manner as well. The concept of cable TV has been used as far back as the 1920’s in Europe, when radio programming was broadcast and distributed in this way

Can Everyone Receive Cable in Their Home?

Unfortunately, everyone cannot receive cable television in their homes until cable lines exist on local utility poles or underground in utility lines. This work is performed by the cable provider, which is the local company offering cable services in any given area. Not only do cable lines need to exist as utility lines do on roads forming connection throughout the community, but there must also be a cable “drop” at the home or business of the subscriber, wherever they want to receive cable service. That means that a physical cable must be run from the pole or line to each home or other location requesting service. Once this drop is made, the subscriber will have no problem receiving the signal that is sent through the coaxial or fiber optic cable from the broadcaster.

How the Cable Receiver Works

Digital cable signals, which is the technology used these days, are encrypted into an unreadable signal, which is broadcast through all the coaxial or fiber optic cable from the cable provider. The trick is that only those who subscribe to cable will have a box or other type of decoder activated to decode the symbol. Without some type of decoder, the signal is useless. This way the cable provider ensures that they are getting paid by all those cable television watchers. Previously when analog signals were used more frequently, it was easier to receive a cable signal without paying for it. With new technology advances, this is no longer the case.

Cable television is definitely very common in most cities and towns. Most people have easy access to this type of television, because of the huge network of lines and poles in existence. New areas of development may have to wait for a short time until the cable company catches up to development just as utility poles and lines must be catch up as well, but the cable television is a quality, trusted method to get programming.

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