Cable television, making its first worldwide appearance in America in the 1950’s, was the response to provide an ameliorated method of data transmission to areas that couldn’t receive it which quickly became the most prosperous method of mass communication ever invented. This peaked interest was fed by the publics excitement to be part of the ‘information superhighway’ as it was called. Today, we are living in the middle of the movement away from cable television and progressing towards the digital, with modern streaming services, such as the ever familiar and dominating Netflix, are taking over when it comes to the world of television. But what about the digital eras ancestor?
How does cable television work? It is a system of distributing television signals through coaxial cables, which are the cornerstones making the distribution of this data possible. Cable television originated in the late 1940’s rising to prominence mainly in the United States after the Second World War, with nearly half of the homes in the U.S. acquiring cable television by the 1990’s. Its design was meant to increase reception of network broadcasts in more remote, rural areas which have previously remained disconnected. In the years prior to the 1990’s, cable television was not meant to be more than a method of providing entertainment to the public eye, and thus the transmission cables were rather simple, one-way paths that would submit the same information to each subscriber. But with the ever-growing interest, cable television was required to expand, and soon satellite transmission came into play as well in the 1970’s. More recently, however, modern cable television has altered greatly from the traditional, allowing much larger quantities of signals to be sent and received much more quickly, feeding the demand. The amount of signal space that is readily available is called bandwidth, which is a representation of your own connection, accompanied by that of your neighbors and other cable connectors on the block.
The development and use of fiber optic cables have also greatly altered the playing field, as they are being installed, ultimately slowly replacing the old systems. Fibre optic cables come with many benefits, such as speed and quality of performance, that are quick out-competing the previous forms of data transmission. Another factor, recently making cable television rather unwanted, is the rise of the Internet, with streaming services becoming easily available to produce the same services but with greater quality and speed.