Cable television abbreviated as CATV which means Community Access or Antenna Television is a form of television broadcasting in which signals are sent through Radio Frequency (RF) cables. This form of broadcasting is not common in Africa. This could be due to cost of set-up and maintenance.
CATV broadcasting was is use to augment over the air (OTA) broadcasting when signals have reduce due to distance or obstruction by mountains or trees. But one limitation associated with it was its inability to carry more than seven channels at a time. This has been solve over the years with the introduction of transfer of signal of light pulses through fibre-optics cables. This method allows for the transmission of more than five hundred channels at a time.
How Cable Television Works
Signals from cable television are mostly re-broadcasted signals from terrestrial or satellite television. A big antenna is mounted at a spot where possible signal is getting weak or if from a sub-station. The received signal is then distributed via local utility poles or underground utility lines from the antenna location to nearby cities. To be able to receive the digital signal, One have to own a television that is cable or reading digital signal or get a set-up box that helps to transmit the signals from digital to analog. Also the set-up box is to decrypt encrypted pay channels.
One of the major advantage of cable television over other broadcasting means is that some providers give a portion of their bandwidth available for other digital services such as cable internet and cable telephony. Also the signals remain almost the same over long distance since it is not affected by weather, obstruction and other vices like distance from source. This could be attributed to the signal amplifier included some equal distance apart.
Countries where it is very common include North America, Europe, Australia East Asia and less in countries like South AMerica And Middle East.