The abbreviation CATV is often used for cable television. It originally stood for Community Access Television or Community Antenna Television. CATV origins date back to 1924 when some cable broadcasting was done using cable in European cities. In 1948, community antennas were built where over-the-air signal reception was limited. The community antenna received the over-the-air signal and then transmitted it to many households by use of cables. Today, CATV offers analog and digital channels (including high definition). Receiving digital channels typically requires a cable box for conversion.
CATV (originally "Community Antenna Television," now often "Community Access Television") is more commonly known as "cable TV." In addition to bringing television programs to those millions of people throughout the world who are connected to a community antenna, cable TV is an increasingly popular way to interact with the World Wide Web and other new forms of multimedia information and entertainment services.
Cable Television is a system of delivering television programming to paying subscribers via radio frequency (RF) signals transmitted through coaxial cables, or in more recent systems, light pulses through fiber-optic cables. This contrasts with broadcast television, in which the television signal is transmitted over the air by radio waves and received by a television antenna attached to the television. FM radio programming, high-speed Internet, telephone services, and similar non-television services may also be provided through these cables. Analog television was standard in the 20th century, but since the 2000s, cable systems have been upgraded to digital cable operation.
To hook up a television to cable service, a coaxial cable must be plugged into the TV. The same type of cable is used to connect a cable modem to cable service. These cables use a standard "F" style connector often called a CATV connector, although these are same connectors that were commonly used with analog TV setups over the past few decades before cable TV existed.
A "Cable Channel" (sometimes known as a "Cable Network") is a television network available via cable television. When available through satellite television, including direct broadcast satellite providers such as DirecTV, Dish Network and BSkyB, as well as via IPTV providers such as Verizon FIOS and AT&T U-verse is referred to as a "satellite channel". Alternative terms include "non-broadcast channel" or "programming service", the latter being mainly used in legal contexts. Examples of cable/satellite channels/cable networks available in many countries are MTV, HBO, Eurosport, E!, Cartoon Network and CNN International.
Cable providers either operate directly or lease network capacity to support their customers. CATV traffic typically runs over fiber optic cables on the provider's end and over coaxial cables on the customer's end.
The same cabling infrastructure that supports cable TV also supports cable Internet. Many Internet service providers (ISPs) offer their customers cable Internet service together with television over the same CATV lines.
CATV Glossary Term
- Cable TV
- Cable Television