Cable Television: The Coming Medium

September 9, 1970

Report Outline
Challenge Posed by Cable Television
A New Medium: Its Origin and Growth
Debate on How to Regulate Cable Tv
Special Focus

Challenge Posed by Cable Television

Television of the Future in the ‘Wired Nation’

Imagine a television' set with 40 working channels. Suppose further that each channel transmits a picture of uniformly high quality, free of “ghosts,” “snow.” and interference from aircraft and electrical appliances. A dozen or more channels offer entertainment programs. Others regularly show meetings of the city council and school board, high school sports, lectures from a nearby university, courses in automobile repair, and language lessons. One channel shows nothing but stock quotations, another displays continuous weather information, while still another focuses on a wire-service news ticker.

And that is not all. By turning to a newspaper channel, the viewer scans the latest headlines and presses a button to order a printout of stories he wants to read. Through a similar hookup by cable—the same cable that brings him this cornucopia of news and entertainment—he sends and receives mail and telegrams, reads his utility bills, orders his groceries and does his banking.

The television set described above is not a figment of a science fiction writer's imagination: it or something very much like it may well become standard equipment in the American home in a decade or so. The technology required for such a complex communications system already exists and has been operative in numerous communities for years. In its present state of development, it is known as community antenna television (CATV). or cable television. CATV differs from conventional telecasting only in that signals are transmitted via a cable rather than through the air. The potential of cable television barely has been scratched. Many experts feel that cable television inevitably will become the country's dominant communications medium and thus make the United States a “wired nation.”

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Aug. 27, 2010  Reality TV
Jun. 20, 2008  Transition to Digital TV
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Mar. 18, 2005  Celebrity Culture
Oct. 29, 1999  Public Broadcasting
Aug. 15, 1997  Children's Television
Dec. 23, 1994  The Future of Television
Mar. 26, 1993  TV Violence
Sep. 18, 1992  Public Broadcasting
Oct. 04, 1991  Pay-Per-View
Feb. 17, 1989  A High-Tech, High-Stakes HDTV Gamble
Dec. 27, 1985  Cable Television Coming of Age
Sep. 07, 1984  New Era in TV Sports
Sep. 24, 1982  Cable TV's Future
Apr. 24, 1981  Public Broadcasting's Uncertain Future
May 09, 1980  Television in the Eighties
Oct. 25, 1972  Public Broadcasting in Britain and America
Mar. 26, 1971  Video Revolution: Cassettes and Recorders
Sep. 09, 1970  Cable Television: The Coming Medium
May 15, 1968  Television and Politics
Mar. 01, 1967  Financing of Educational TV
Dec. 16, 1964  Community Antenna Television
Oct. 21, 1964  Sports on Television
Feb. 28, 1962  Expansion of Educational Television
Aug. 28, 1957  Television in the Schools
Jan. 18, 1957  Movie-TV Competition
Sep. 06, 1955  Television and the 1956 Campaign
May 18, 1954  Educational Television
Sep. 03, 1953  Changing Fortunes of the Movie Business
Apr. 20, 1953  Televising Congress
May 31, 1951  Television in Education
Jan. 26, 1949  Television Boom
Jul. 12, 1944  Television
Radio and Television