What's the Difference Between Cable TV and Satellite TV?

Cable TV began the journey for satellite TV in the late 1940s. Cable TV exploded into the scene in the 1990s in the United States. We shall take a close look at the battle between cable TV and satellite TV.

Cable TV pushed its way to urban America by way of the rural mountainous areas in the US. Not enough signals were being received by people who lived in the remote mountainous areas, so the next best thing they could do was put up aerial antennas and run cables in their homes to get better picture qualities from existing TV stations.

1. How cable TV started

Today this same technology lets viewers all over the United States access a wide variety of channels to their hearts’ desires. The earliest cable systems use antennas and cables that run to their television sets giving over 80 million people access to multiple channels.

Amplifiers were added later on to boost the signals to make viewing better. But in the next three generations, limitations to these amplifiers crippled the cable system. Cable was deemed not a good source of best picture quality and being unreliable due to the fact that the pictures disappear when one of the amplifiers failed to function.

There was a lot of noise and distortions too as the signals go through 30 -40 amplifiers before reaching the homes. When the cable systems started experimenting with ways to use microwave transmitting and receiving, cable was used to enrich television viewing for the first time.

The addition of the community antenna television (CATV) led manufacturers to add a switch enabling people to tune to channels based on FCC allotted frequencies. With all these developments, a new viewing was put in place. A cable provider started with the pay-per-view service called Home Box Office (HBO) until it began transmitting signal from a satellite in 1975.

This service began the architecture for modern cable systems. After a year, a new system using fiber optic cable eliminated the need for many amplifiers. Another great thing came out of this when cable providers found neighborhood grouping ideal for a local-area networking to provide internet access thorough modems.

2. Satellite TV

Satellite TV first hit the market in the 1990s with huge expensive metal units. Today, you see small compact dishes in homes with small yards and even apartment buildings. The remote places where homes cannot be reached by cable providers are all sporting satellite dishes.

Satellite TV is luring a lot of cable TV customers as it promises good picture quality and sound. Satellite TV is a wireless system for delivering television programming to viewers. Satellite TV eliminates the problem of distortion and range by sending broadcast signals from satellites circling the earth. This system transmits and receives radio signals by using specialized antennas called satellite dishes. The only glitch here was that subscribers are able to get wild feeds due to the fact that the dish gave them a tool to access programs and feeds on their own as they are not listed as regular broadcasting.

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