Cable Tv Essay, Research Paper
The history of cable television has had a great jump from houses being
able to have 12 channels in 1948 until modern day inventions like directv, which
can offer you up to 600 channels. In 1950, 14,000 homes nationwide had cable
television, while in 1996, more than 64 million households chose to subscribe to
cable. Cable has went through many changes over the years, from antennas to
satelites, and much more.
Originated in 1948 as a service to households in mountainsor geographically
remote areas where reception of over-the-air television signals was poor. Antennas
were erected on mountain tops or other high points, and homes were wired and
connected to these towers to receive the broadcast signals. By 1950, 70 cable
systems served 14,000 subscribers nationwide. In the late 1950s, when cable
operators began to take advantage of their ability to pick up broadcast signals
from hundreds of miles away, access to these “distant signals” change the focus of
cable’s role from one of transmitting local broadcast signals to one of providing
new programming choices.
By 1962, almost 800 cable systems serving 850,000 subscribers were in
business. In the early 1970s, the FCC continues its restrictive policies by enacting
regulations that limited the ability of cable operators to offer movies, sporting
events, and syndicated programming. In 1972, Charles Dolan and Gerald Levin
of Sterling Manhattan Cable launched the nations first pay-TV-network-Home Box
Office (HBO). This Venture led to the creation of national distribution system that
used a newly approved domestic satellite transmission. Satellite changed the
business dramatically, paving the way for explosive growth of program networks.
By the end of the decade, nearly 15 million households were cable subscribers.
While the delivery of programming via satellite was evolving, the 1984 cable
act effectively deregulated the industry, stimulating investment in cable plant and
programming on an unprecedented level. There can be little doubt that
deregulation had a strong positive effect on the rapid growth of these cable
services. From 1984 through 1992, the industry spent more then $15 billion on
the wiring of America, and Billions more on program development. This was the
largest private construction project since World War II. By the end of the decade,
nearly 53 million households subscribed to cable, and cable program networks had
increased from 28 in 1980 to 74 by 1989.
Cable also promises to be a major player in online services, data delivery
and high speed access to the Internet. Due to cables use of fiber optic and
coaxial cable, cable systems using, using high speed cable modems, can offer
access speeds hundreds times faster than traditional telephone lines. In addition,
many cable companies offering high speed Internet access have also developed
local content to give users access to community information. Cable networks have
also led the way in development of top quality Internet sites, including such
offerings as ESPN Sports Zone, Discovery Online, and CNN Interactive. By the
end of 1995, there were 139 cable programming services available nationwide, in
addition to many regional programming networks. By the Fall of 1996, the number
of national cable video networks grew to 162.
Today cable television is available to approximately 97% of television
households in the United States. More then six in ten television households, more
than 64 million households, have chosen to subscribe to cable. The average
subscriber now receives more than 40 channels, and over 45% of all subscribers
receive 54 channels or more. Americas thirst for quality television has been the
driving force behind the cable industry’s growth. The willingness to invest in new
technologies and programming has made cable television more than just an
antenna service. It is now an integral part of American culture.