Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Cable television is a system of providing television to consumers via radio frequency signals transmitted to televisions through fixed optical fibers or coaxial cables as opposed to the over-the-air method used in traditional television broadcasting (via radio waves) in which a television antenna is required. FM radio programming, high-speed Internet, telephony and similar non television services may also be provided.
The abbreviation CATV is often used to mean "Cable TV". It originally stood for Community Antenna Television, from cable television's origins in 1948: in areas where over-the-air reception was limited by mountainous terrain, large "community antennas" were constructed, and cable was run from them to individual homes.
It is most commonplace in North America, Europe, Australia and East Asia, though it is present in many other countries, mainly in South America and the Middle East. Cable TV has had little success in Africa, as it is not cost-effective to lay cables in sparsely populated areas, and although so-called "wireless cable" or microwave-based systems are used, "direct-to-home" satellite television is far more popular, especially in South Africa.

Cable television deployments

Cable television had its origins in the 1960s, when a CATV service started to operate in Junín.

Cable television is distributed in Brazil by various companies.


Main article: Multichannel television in Canada Canada
The first cable system started to operate in the early 1960s in Monterrey, as a CATV service (an antenna at the top of the Loma Larga, which could get TV signals from South Texas). Most of the other major cities didn't develop cable systems until the late 1980s, due to government censorship. By 1989 the industry had had a major impulse with the founding of Multivisión—a MMDS system who started to develop its own channels in Spanish—and the later development of companies such as Cablemas and Megacable.
Over the past few years, many US networks have started to develop content for the Latin American market, such as CNN en Español, MTV, Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, and others. The country also has a DTH service called SKY (Televisa & News Corp. owned). Recently DirecTV merged with Sky. The dominant company nowadays is Megacable and Grupo HEVI.

The majority of American television viewers get their signal from CATV.

Main article: Cable television in the United StatesJames Reasoner Civil War Series United States

There are many cable operaters as Tbroad, C&M, CJ, etc in Korea. The CableTV subscriber is approximately 14 million. The cable operater provide TPS to subscriber in Korea.

Only one traditional cable provider operates in Hong Kong, i-Cable Communications Limited (branded as "CableTV"). Another three operators offer pay-TV via DSL and Ethernet, they are Now Broadband TV (PCCW), HKBN Digital TV and TVB PayVision.
Many people in Hong Kong subscribe to satellite TV services like STAR TV.

StarHub Cable Vision is the sole cable television operator in Singapore, where private ownership of satellite dishes is banned. StarHub Cable Vision was formed as a result of a merger between StarHub and Singapore Cable Vision on 15 May 2002. The latter first began broadcasting as a terrestrial pay-television operator in 1992 as the first cable network was not completed until 1995. Around 15% of households and offices in Singapore are connected to the StarHub network.

Lanka Broadband Networks is the only pay television broadcaster using cable networks to serve 10,000 customers.

Sri Lanka
Truevisions[2] is only exclusive CATV in Thailand, formerly known as UBC (United Broadcasting Corporation). Truevision is a subsidiary of True[3] provides CATV only in Bangkok area while DSTV (Digital Satellite TV) outside Bangkok.

Mega TV was launched in 1996 by TV3 as the only cable television service. However, it fail to expand its content, and so, it closed down in 2001, replaced by its competitor, the satellite television network Astro.

According the European Audiovisual Observatory, there were 58 million cable households in the European Union as of 31 December 2004, i.e. a rate of penetration of 32 % of the television households. 5.7 millions were connected to digital networks.

Belgium is the second most dense cabled country in the world after the Netherlands with over 99% of all households connected to cable television networks. Cable television was deployed nationwide in 1972 as a measure made by the government to eliminate the millions of antennas. Currently most cable companies are active on the triple-play market, offering television, telephone and internet services. Currently the analogue services are phased out to make way for digital television services and high definition television.

Romania has very high penetration rates for cable television in Europe, with over 79% of all households watching television through a CATV network in 2007 . The market is extremely dynamic, and dominated by two giant companies - Romanian based RCS&RDS and US based UPC-Astral. Both additionally offer IP telephony over coaxial cable and Internet services. The national CATV network is being improved, and most households are being migrated towards digital cable solutions. Digital DTH satellite service is available throughout the country, and accounts for an additional 10-15% of the market, with only about 5% being attributed to terrestrial analogue television. Digital satellite DTH is provided by a number of companies. It is possible that Romania will not migrate to digital terrestrial systems, but completely discontinue this service, since th said investments provide limited appeal.
The reasons for this appeal started in the early '90s. After the fall of the communist regime, in 1989, there were only two state owned TV channels available (see TVR), one only being available in about 20% of the country. Private TV channels were slow to appear, because of lack of experience and high start-up costs (most startups were radio stations or newspapers). Thus, for the first three years, over the air, one would get one or two state channels and one or two local, amateurish private channels, broadcasting only a few hours a day. In this environment, cable TV companies appeared and thrived, providing 15-20 foreign channels for a very low price (at the time 2 USD or less), some with Romanian translation, offering high quality news, entertainment and especially movies or cartoons (one of the ways cable companies advertised was the availability of a cartoon channel, Cartoon Network, appealing to children, which in turn would appeal to their parents). The first two companies to provide CATV were Multicanal in Bucharest and Timiş Cablu in Timişoara, both out of business today. Many small, startup firms gradually grew, and coverage increased (coverage wars were frequent in the early period, with many cable boxes smashed, and new cable networks offering "half off for twice the channels" and immediately wiring the building for any willing persons). However, this period soon ended, with consolidation around 1995-1996. Some large companies emerged: Kappa and RCS in Bucharest, Astral in Cluj, UPC in Timişoara, TourImex in Râmnicu Vâlcea. This consolidation came with gentlemen agreements over areas of control and pricing, with claims of monopoly abounding. This process of consolidation was completed around 2005-2006, when only two big suppliers of cable remained: UPC-Astral and RDS. Internet over coaxial cable has been available since around 2000, and IP telephony (over the CATV infrastructure) since the deregulation of the market in 2003. Currently, cable TV is available in most of the country, including most rural areas (where lives roughly 50% of the population). Satellite digital TV appeared in 2004, providing coverage for the rest of the country, with both RCS&RDS and UPC-Astral having a stake in these companies. IPTV (over DSL) is also planned by Romtelecom through its TV service (Dolce), after offering Satellite digital DTH TV. However, IPTV will not be much of a competition, since the other two big ISPs are also the two biggest CATV providers.
Cable TV is very cheap for all standards, the standard/basic service, offering about 50 channels, is around 20-30 RON/month including VAT (about 7-10 ), with the most expensive service, offering 10-15 channels more, including some pay-per-view such as HBO or Cinemax, costing no more than 60-70 RON/month (around 20-23 €).


Main article: Cable television in the Republic of Ireland Republic of Ireland
In Switzerland, virtually all households have cable TV. Ironically, despite this good coverage, Switzerland has only a few public TV stations (two each for the German, French and Italian-speaking parts of the country); additionally, there is now only one upstart commercial network with coverage comparable to these state-run channels. To watch news or political information, Swiss channels are preferred, but in the entertainment sector (feature movies, comedies, talk shows), private TV stations from Germany, France and Italy are dominant.

In the UK Cable Television had its origins in 1938, when the first Community Antenna TV systems were set up in towns including Bristol and Hull, for homes which couldn't receive transmissions over the air, operating on the national standard 405-line system. In the 1960s Rediffusion Vision was set up to provide cable television in the newer 625-line and PAL formats.
In the early 1980s Rediffusion Vision supplemented its service with other channels including The Music Box, Mirrorvision, Lifesyle Screensport, Sky Channel and TEN. The service was renamed as Rediffusion Cablevision.
In the United Kingdom, the current generation of cable television began in the late 1980s with the issue of franchises to many local operators. These small operations proved uneconomic and there was a continuing process of consolidation and re-financing.
By 2000 the two principal cable operators were NTL and Telewest. NTL's cable service was originally known as CableTel and grew rapidly through the acquisition of, among others, ComTel (which itself had bought Telecential), Comcast, Diamond Cable and finally, in 1999, the residential and small business operations of Cable & Wireless. Telewest acquired local cable operators including Eurobell (Plymouth and Sussex) Cable London (North franchise) Birmingham cable and large franchises in the North East and North West of England. The original Telewest cable company was created after mergers of United Artists and General Cable in the mid 1990's.
In 2005 it was announced that NTL and Telewest would merge, after a period of co-operation in the preceding few years. This merger was completed on 3 March 2006 with the company being named ntl Incorporated. For the time being the two brand names and services were marketed separately. However, following NTL's acquisition of Virgin Mobile, the NTL and Telewest services were rebranded Virgin Media on 2007-02-08 creating a single cable operator covering more than 95% of the UK cable market.
There are a small number of other surviving cable television companies in the UK outside of NTL including Kingston Communications (East Riding of Yorkshire), WightCable (Isle of Wight) and Smallworld (previously WightCable North) (Ayrshire, Carlisle and Lancashire).
Cable TV faces intense competition from BSkyB's Sky Digital satellite television service. Most channels are carried on both platforms. However, cable often lacks "interactive" features (e.g. text services, and extra video-screens), especially on BSkyB owned channels, and the satellite platform lacks services requiring high degrees of two-way communication, such as true video on demand.
However, subscription-funded digital terrestrial television proved less of a competitive threat. The first system, ITV Digital, went into liquidation in 2002. Top Up TV later replaced it, however this service is shrinking as the DVB-T multiplex owners are finding FTA broadcasting more profitable.
Another potential source of competition in the future will be TV over broadband internet connections; this is known as IPTV. Some IPTV services are currently available in London, while services operated in Hull ceased in April 2006. As the speed and availability of broadband connections increase, more TV content can be delivered using protocols such as IPTV. However, its impact on the market is yet to be measured, as is consumer attitude toward watching TV programmes on computers instead of television sets. At the end of 2006, BT (the UK's former state owned monopoly phone company) started offering BT Vision which is digital freeview TV using an aerial, but also incorporates on demand TV, delivered over a broadband connection and displayed on a Television. This service was started due to high broadband speeds in the UK. There are plans for a 100 MB/s to be offered.

United Kingdom

Cable television services have been available in Australia since 1991 or 1992, with Galaxy TV being the first. It became insolvent in 1997, due to decreasing popularity with the launching of Foxtel and Austar in May of 1995, two cable services that offered more variety than Galaxy TV. Foxtel immediately commenced in supplying programming to Galaxy's subscribers on an interim basis. In 1999 Foxtel was able to significantly boost its customer base by acquiring Galaxy TV's subscribers from the Australis Media liquidator and commenced offering its services on a satellite television platform. There are currently two major and four minor cable television providers in Australia - Foxtel and Optus TV. Minor providers include Austar, TransACT, Bright Telecommunications and Neighbourhood Cable, which only operate in limited areas.
Like the United Kingdom, cable is a minority means of receiving access to subscription television in Australia. Satellite distribution is more common.
Due to its history, financial backing and market dominance, most local versions of channels are either owned directly by Foxtel and Austar or through related companies.
In terms of coverage, Foxtel's cable network covers parts of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, and Perth. Optus's network covers small parts of Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane, though its restrictive subscription rules means that many people living in apartments or confined living areas may be unable to be connected.
Austar is available by satellite in most of regional and rural Australia, but does have a small cable network in the city of Darwin. TransACT is only available in the city of Canberra, where a custom cable network was developed. A similar situation used to exist in Perth where a small area was covered by Bright Telecommunications (however they closed down after lack of funding) as well in parts of Geelong, Ballarat and Mildura that are reached by Neighbourhood Cable.

Cable TV Australia
TelstraClear operates a cable television network in Wellington, Kapiti and Christchurch. Customers can subscribe to plans incorporating between 25 and 95 channels. Most content is offered on behalf of Sky Network Television, however, some channels such as TBN, Discovery Travel and Adventure and Deutsche Welle are broadcast exclusively through TelstraClear.

Other cable-based services

North American cable television frequencies

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