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By the late s, nearly all of the areas of the U. Growth in the cable industry all but stopped.

Cable Broadband Technology Gigabit Evolution

This technology was satellite delivery of signals to cable systems, which added more channels than were available from terrestrial broadcasters. While satellites and earth stations were very expensive investments, these programming pioneers understood that the costs could be spread over many cable operators who, in turn, serve many subscribers.

Starting at the home, the objective is to deliver at least 0 dBmV, but no more than 10 dBmV to the terminal on the television receiver. If a converter or a descrambler is used, its noise figure must be taken into account. There are two reasons for staying toward the low side of the signal range: cost and the minimization of interference in the event of a signal leak caused by a faulty connector, damaged piece of cable, or defects or inadequate shielding in the television receiver.

What is Network Cabling?

Low signal levels may cause poor pictures for the subscriber who insists on unauthorized splitting in the home to serve multiple receivers. Working our way back up the plant, we need a signal level of 10 to 15 dBmV at the tap to compensate for losses in the drop cable. Energy diverted to the subscriber is lost from the distribution cable.

This loss is called flat loss because it is independent of frequency. Loss in the cable itself is a square-root function of frequency Cable Properties and is therefore contrasted to flat loss.

Introduction to CATV

Because of flat losses, relatively high power levels are required in the distribution part of the plant, typically 48 dBmV at the input to the distribution plant. These levels force the amplifiers in the distribution part of the plant to reach into regions of their transfer characteristics that are slightly non-linear. As a result, only one or two amplifiers, called line extenders, can be cascaded in the distribution part of the plant. These amplifiers are spaced to feet apart depending on the number of taps required by the density of homes. Because the distribution part of the plant is operated at higher power levels, non-linear effects become important.

Network Topology -- Distribution Plant

The television signal has three principal carriers, the video carrier, the audio carrier, and the color subcarrier. To minimize these effects, the audio carrier is attenuated about 15 dB below the video carrier.

In the days when cable systems only carried the 12 VHF channels, second-order distortions created spectrum products that fell out of the frequency band of interest. Cable companies have to reserve a portion of their cable bandwidth just for TV services.


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Cable boxes have to be distributed to homeowners, and technicians have to run a physical wire to everywhere you want to watch cable. Want an analogy? So from a purely technological standpoint, cable TV as a way of consuming your pay TV package seems doomed.


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  • But pay TV bundles as a concept are also being challenged. The traditional model — which sees cable companies negotiating with the major rightsholders to offer customers one single package of channels — seems increasingly uncertain. The logical conclusion to all this is customers buying individual channels or content directly from the company that owns the rights, then using a set-top device like Apple TV or Chromecast to stream on demand. But assuming that the current slow decline of cable will just continue is downright naive.