How Long Has Cable TV Been Around?

The cable TV made its first breakthrough in the United States in around the 1940s and 1950s when it began providing broadcast signals and seemed a good solution for more reliable signal transmission. Back in the times, these cable providers would construct large antennas for better TV reception.  It will be true to say that the cable industry is nearly fifty years old and has evolved to have such immense market penetration. It is now more stable with a robust infrastructure and better capable of delivering high-quality TV services to cope up with the increasing demands in the market. We see Spectrum cable plans or Cox cable TV packages making waves in the market and standing among the most prominent providers of the digital television. Nowadays, users have many options and want to enjoy high-quality video content. Having said that, let us look at the journey of the emergence of cable TV to the point we see it today.

How Long Has Cable TV Been Around?

The 1940s-1960s

It was the time when cable TV originated in America. In the 1950s, the cable systems had thousands of subscribers nationwide. They begin to consider providing new options as they were already picking broadcast signals. The ability to receive distant signals allowed providers to look for other options.

By this time in the 1960s, around 800 cable providers were serving the users. Numerous well-reputed cable systems rose and started investing more in the business.

The 1970s-1990s

In the 1970s, FCC came in action and applied certain restrictive policies to limit the cable operators to show movies or various sports events. A policy came in 1972 where restrictions were modified. It was by the end of this decade that as many as nearly 16 million households were able to access cable TV. In the year 1984, the Cable Act came into existence where a framework was designed for the cable industry.

2000 and Onwards

The new millennium followed new plans and hopes. The cable companies started testing services like video on demand, subscription video on demand, interactive TV, and much more. Cable became a quick choice for internet services, as there was a growth in broadband data. The digital TV made a big leap forward in terms of the provision of HDTV, VOD, and other advanced features.

The Recent Times

Nowadays we observe that cable is used as a medium of not only video entertainment but also internet and phone services for millions of users. It will not be wrong to say that the cable providers recreated television entertainment and took it beyond merely broadcast channels. It is possible to carry TV wherever you go with the help of various app services offered by the providers.

There have been huge investments in the cable infrastructure that has resulted in more and more users been able to access cable TV services and also resulted in providing job opportunities to a large number of resources.

Developments in Cable Systems

The main motivation behind the primary changes up-gradation involved in cable TV is more linked to business rather than technology. For instance, during the 1980s, it was because of the business that coaxial cable distribution was replaced with fibre optics. The reason was obvious – optical fibre was more capable of carrying signals to greater distances. This way fewer amplifiers were needed. The outcome was a reduction in maintenance cost and improved signal quality.

HDTV or High Definition Television

High definition television or HDTV was a successful attempt to provide a clear picture display and a three-dimensional experience. Because of its higher resolution as compared to the standard TV systems, it can deliver an improved image quality based on nearly five times greater pixels per frame.

Wrapping Up

The aforementioned discussion gives a brief outlook on how cable television has evolved and reached heights of success as we see it today. There have been collective efforts among the providers and the government in terms of infrastructure, investment, and policies that have resulted in cable TV to reach almost every household and for subscribers to enjoy high image quality. However, the internet has taken the world by storm and has become a platform for countless online video streaming services. But still, television remains to occupy central attention and is a part of every home when it comes to entertainment.

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About Dequiana Jackson

Dequiana Jackson, Founder of Inspired Marketing, Inc., helps overachieving women entrepreneurs conquer limiting beliefs and create marketing plans that win. This includes one-on-one marketing plan development, digital product creation, web design and content marketing. Dequiana is the author of Know Your Business: How to Attract Ideal Clients & Sell More and runs the award-winning blog,

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