The Development of Cable

       Although broadcast was improving, there were problems.  Most notably, there were areas that were not reached by broadcast stations.  For instance, towns surrounded my mountains had difficulty receiving stations.  Even in cities some could only receive a few channels.  This lead to a demand for improvement.
    Initially transmitters that repeated signals abated demand in rural and mountainous areas.  One called the translator, utilized a different channel than the one the station used so not as to interrupt the original signal.  By 1995, 7,000 were being used in stations across the country.  In fact some stations had several translators.
    Community Antenna Television was the original name for cable television.  In 1948, Oregon and Pennsylvania were the first stations to use CATV.  A man named Ed Parsons, living in Astoria Oregon, wanted to do something about poor the poor television reception his town received.  So he started building antennas to enhance the weak signals.  First, he built them for his friends and neighbors.  Then his system grew and other communities borrowed the idea.
    In Pennsylvanian town, during the 1940s, a television dealer was having difficulty selling televisions because the town had bad reception.  To help his televisions sell, he decided to improve the town's reception.  The man built a tower on top of a mountain which would receive television signals and send them to individual homes.  This was the beginning of CATV.
    Using a wide-band cable. CATV systems could deliver more than one station to individual subscribers, who bought receivers from the providers .  An antenna was placed on a hilltop or high building in the area and delivered direct signals to individual subscribers.  This way, individuals did not have to incur the enormous cost of building an antenna for themselves.  It was not long before CATV providers began to offer special features such as offering channels from distant locations and delivering special local events and programs.  Microwave relays were used to to offer distant programming 
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Last Updated: May 19, 1999
Created by Diana Waxman , Jessica Bureau &Greg Roeberg