- cable television
a system of broadcasting television programming to private subscribers by means of coaxial cable. Also called cable TV, pay cable.
* * *Cable television systems originated in the U.S. in the early 1950s to improve reception in remote and hilly areas, where broadcast signals were weak. In the 1960s they were introduced in large metropolitan areas where reception is sometimes degraded by reflection of signals from tall buildings. Since the mid-1970s there has been a proliferation of cable systems that offer special services and which generally charge a monthly fee. Besides providing high-quality signals, some systems can deliver hundreds of channels. Another feature increasingly offered by cable operators is two-way, interactive communication by which viewers can, for example, participate in public-opinion polls as well as connect to the Internet. Cable operators are also involved in the development of video compression, digital transmission, and high-definition television.
* * *generally, any system that distributes television signals by means of coaxial or fibre-optic cables. The term also includes systems that distribute signals solely via satellite. Cable-television systems originated in the United States in the late 1940s and were designed to improve reception of commercial network broadcasts in remote and hilly areas. During the 1960s they were introduced in many large metropolitan areas where local television reception is degraded by the reflection of signals from tall buildings. Commonly known as community antenna television (CATV), these cable systems use a “community antenna” to receive broadcast signals (often from communications satellites), which they then retransmit via cables to homes and establishments in the local area subscribing to the service. Subscribers pay a specified monthly service charge in addition to an initial installation fee.Since the mid-1970s there has been a proliferation of cable-television systems offering special services. Besides bringing high-quality signals to subscribers, the systems provide additional television channels. Some of these systems can deliver 50 or more channels because they distribute signals occurring within the normal television broadcast band as well as nonbroadcast frequencies. A frequency-conversion device is connected to the television set of the subscriber to accommodate these signals of nonbroadcast frequencies. The increased number of channels allows expanded programming, including broadcasts from distant cities, continuous weather and stock-market reports, programs produced by community groups and educational institutions, and access to pay-TV program materials such as recent motion pictures and sports events not telecast by other broadcasters.Another feature offered by more and more cable operators is two-way channel capability, which enables subscribers to communicate with programming facilities or information centres within the system. Using the cable connection, home viewers can, for example, participate in public-opinion polls or call up various kinds of written and graphic materials (e.g., citations from reference books, concert schedules, and recipes). The latter feature is offered by systems called videotex (online system), which were first introduced in Great Britain and West Germany. Two-way cable-television systems increasingly allow subscribers with home computers to link up with computer networks, giving the subscribers access to data banks and permitting them to interact with other online users. Cable operators have also experimented with video compression, digital transmission, and high-definition television (HDTV).In the United States, government deregulation of the cable-television industry in the 1990s allowed cable companies to experiment with telephony and allowed telephone companies to distribute cable-television programming.
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cable television — UK US noun [U] (also cable, also cable TV) ► COMMUNICATIONS the system of broadcasting television programmes using underground cable: » cable television companies »a cable television channel/network/station »Some of the proceedings will be… … Financial and business terms
cable television — or ,cable T V noun uncount a system for broadcasting television programs in which signals are sent through underground wires. Cable television is often simply called cable … Usage of the words and phrases in modern English
cable television — UK / US or cable TV UK / US noun [uncountable] a system for broadcasting television programmes in which signals are sent through underground wires. Cable television is often simply called cable … English dictionary
cable television — cable T V a system of broadcasting television programmes by ↑cable →↑satellite television … Dictionary of contemporary English
cable television — ► NOUN ▪ a system in which television programmes are transmitted to the sets of subscribers by cable … English terms dictionary
Cable television — CATV redirects here. For CAT5 cable, see Category 5 cable. Coaxial cable is often used to transmit cable television into a residence. Cable television is a system of providing television programs to consumers via radio frequency (RF) signals… … Wikipedia
cable television — noun 1. television that is transmitted over cable directly to the receiver • Syn: ↑cable • Hypernyms: ↑television, ↑telecasting, ↑TV, ↑video 2. a television system that transmits over cables • Syn … Useful english dictionary
cable television — Since the early 1990s, when cable television networks were first introduced to China, they have become one of the principle modes of television reception in China’s major cities. The significance of cable television is enhanced by the fact that… … Encyclopedia of Contemporary Chinese Culture
cable television — N UNCOUNT Cable television is a television system in which signals are sent along wires rather than by radio waves … English dictionary
cable television — noun Cable television is used before these nouns: ↑operator … Collocations dictionary