Let me tell you a little story about television. Once upon a time, TV pictures were terribly fuzzy. If you wanted to make them better, you had to wave around an antenna – sometimes it was on top of your TV, and sometimes on top of your house! Then, not so long ago, man invented two excellent ways of getting TV signals to your house without having to bounce them off a whole bunch of buildings along the way. This was the dawn of cable.
Cable TV works exactly the same way as normal TV, only instead of the radio waves coming through the air, they come through a series of fibre-optic cables. Every channel you have available is coming down the cable all the time, and your TV is capable of tuning into a specific frequency to allow you to view the channel you desire. Cable can hold more channels than over-the-air broadcasts, as the frequencies can be more tightly controlled and a wider spectrum can be used.
Originally, the cables were simply connected to a big, local antenna, situated high up on a pole somewhere in your neighbourhood that could get a much better signal than you could even from the roof of your house – this was known as a community antenna. Today, however, the cables stretch all the way make to your cable provider’s central stations, which in turn have cables coming to them all the way from the original broadcasters.
When you ordered cable, it used to very often be the case that a bunch of engineers had to come and lay the cables up to your house. Most houses in large towns and cities are now connected, however, or at the very least there is a cable very nearby that can simply be extended, so it is becoming less of a trouble to switch over to cable.
John Gibb is the owner of Cable TV resources
For more information on Cable TV check out http://www.cable-tv-resources2k.info