Cable Television
Television and Video

When and how did cable television start?


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2004-12-10 17:29:20
2004-12-10 17:29:20

Cable television first saw the light of day in 1948. It took shape in the mountains of Pennsylvania and was earlier known as Community Antenna Television or CATV. In the 1940s there were only very few television stations and that too in big cities like Philadelphia. People living out of big cities and in places where the reception from cities was not available, could not enjoy television. At this time John Walson and his wife Margaret Walson started the Service Electric company to fix, set up and trade in General Electric machines, in the Mahanoy city area of Pennsylvania. Soon they started selling television sets too. But they had a rough time selling television sets as the service which was available in the area was not very good because it was a mountainous region. John Walson decided to do something about this and so he erected an external antenna and mounted it on a huge utility pole on one of the mountain tops in the area. This improved the quality of the television services tremendously. John Walson then connected this antenna to his store with the help of cables. Seeing the excellent results of his endeavor, people started buying more television sets. Soon the responsibility to provide television services also fell on John. So he developed signal boosters and for the first time in 1948 connected them to his customers' television sets. The customers could now receive signals from the nearby Philadelphia stations. Thus, cable television was born in this fashion in June 1948 due to the efforts of John Walson. It further evolved when the different antennas for various television sets started resembling a crammed jungle of wires and connections. Milton Shapp developed a master antenna which could connect all the antennas in one and so an apartment complex or a building needed just one of these master antennas to provide cable services to all the sets in the entire building. John Walson has, since then, been recognized as the founder of the cable television industry by the US Congress and the National Cable Television Association.


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