cable television

(redirected from Cable service)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal.

cable television,

the transmission of televised images to viewers by means of coaxial cables. Cable systems receive the television signal, which is sent out over cables to individual subscribers, by a common antenna (CATV) or satellite dish. Early cable systems developed in the late 1940s to improve reception of commercial programming in rural areas. In the 1960s, cable systems expanded to large urban areas, where reception can also be poor, and the cable television industry began introducing its own networks, such as Home Box Office (HBO), founded in 1972, to provide programming exclusively to subscribers. Beginning in 1975, cable networks began distributing their shows to local cable operators via satellite, thus increasing the amount of programming available nationally. Heavily regulated in their early years, cable systems in many instances were required to provide channels for community access programming, and rate increases were controlled by local authorities. The financial problems caused by the high cost of wiring cities for cable led to legislation deregulating the industry in 1984. Cable operators were able to set their own rates until 1992, when complaints about the industry's monopoly power led to new legislation that gave the Federal Communications Commission the authority to limit rate increases.

During the 1980s and early 90s, the growing number of cable networks, improved programming, increased channel capacity (which reached 150 in some systems by 1992), and greater freedom in terms of programming content greatly expanded the industry. There now are more than 5,200 operating cable systems and some 660 cable operators in the United States serving some 53 million television subscribers. Viewers pay a monthly fee for a package of cable television programming, known as basic cable, and additional monthly fees for networks such as HBO, which are known as pay TV services. Cable television offers a wide variety of specialized programming, including channels devoted to specific interests, such as news, sports, movies, business information, weather, cooking, home shopping, and family viewing. It can also transmit programs from foreign cities, such as the proceedings of the British House of Commons. The industry finances its programming from subscriber fees and advertising revenue. New technologies, such as fiber optics, digital compression, and interactive television, allow cable operators to offer more programming choices and services. The cable lines installed by cable operators are also used to provide broadband Internet access, telephone service, burglar- and fire-alarm protection, and high-quality radio broadcasts to the homes of subscribers.

Bibliography

See G. Mair, Inside HBO (1984); T. Baldwin, Cable Communications (1988).

cable television

[′kā·bəl ′tel·ə‚vizh·ən]
(communications)
A television program distribution system in which signals from all local stations and usually a number of distant stations are picked up by one or more high-gain antennas amplified on individual channels, then fed directly to individual receivers of subscribers by overhead or underground coaxial cable. Also known as community antenna television (CATV).
References in periodicals archive ?
Adelphia plans no immediate changes in its cable service but wants to expand service in coming months.
As of today, AT&T Cable Services serves approximately 570,000 Basic cable customers in metro Pittsburgh, of whom 100,000 (17%) now enjoy digital services via AT&T Digital Cable.
She explained that when a co-op corporation is required to permit a number of vendors to provide cable service, "the residents may obtain the benefits of price competition as well as the benefits of receiving cable stations which are offered by one competitor but not the other.
NEW YORK -- Samsung, Time Warner Cable and Advance/Newhouse Communications announced that interactive digital cable services are now live on the Samsung HL-S5686C Open Cable Application Platform (OCAP(TM)) compliant DLP HDTV and SMT-H3050 High Definition Set-top Boxes (HDSTB) in Time Warner Cable's New York City systems, and will soon be expanding to other Time Warner Cable cities, including Milwaukee, WI, and cities covered by Advance/Newhouse's Bright House Networks cable systems.
We are thrilled to be working with our local teachers to bring Cable in the Classroom into our schools," said Mike Lovett, AT&T Cable Services vice- president.
Since consumers would be paying extra for cable service, they would be forced to choose TCI's Internet service over our current Internet service provider.
Thanks to an ambitious technical, customer care and marketing program, Denver is just the second service area ever where AT&T Digital Cable service has reached the 100,000 customer plateau.
TCI of Ventura County will offer 56 channels with its expanded basic cable service.
The new cable systems, which will initially offer basic cable service, are being designed by Union Television with the assistance of Scientific-Atlanta to eventually be 750 MHz two-way systems.
NewStep Networks is keenly aware of the needs of cable service providers to capitalize on their broadband network investments, and to differentiate their service offerings against traditional fixed operators," said Neil Baimel, president and CEO for NewStep Networks.
Zimring noted, however, that Falcon has supported education in the region for years, benefiting Calabasas schools in neighborhoods where it provides cable service to thousands of homes.
The introduction of j-Guide will enable consumers to purchase TVs and set top boxes at retail and receive benefits of two-way digital cable services including Video On Demand from their Cable service provider.