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How Modern Cable Television Works

November 17th, 2011 Posted in Television

Cable television is considered the most popular system used to provide consumers with television programming today. This system utilizes radio frequencies to transmit signals through coaxial cables through fixed optical fibers that are located on the consumer’s property, much like the older method of broadcast television which used radio waves and a television antenna. Along with the television programming, high-speed internet, FM Radio and telephone services may also be provided.

Most modern television sets come cable-ready with a cable television tuner that is capable of receiving cable TV in an analog signal, already built-in. Companies also offer a premium service which requires that the user obtains a set top box, also known as a cable converter, which processes digital signals. Most of the basic cable channels can be viewed on a television without the help of a converter or digital television adapter – the cable companies will typically charge for these adapters.

In most western countries including the United States, cable television is a common form of television delivery, and is usually issued by subscription. Data shows that as of 2006 more than 58% of all American homes were subscribed to a basic cable television service. Most of these viewers tend to be middle class, living in the suburbs – cable television is not as common in the lower income areas such as the inner city.

Most larger cable television service providers in the United States offer several packages that include both internet and telephone services bundled in; Competition is pretty fierce in the West between cable operators, and companies find themselves having to greatly diversify their offers in order to maximize their revenue streams – often times they’ll offer their own content in addition to third-party content to customers, and even subscribers of competing cable services, as is the case with Comcast cable TV.

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