Posts Tagged 'Satellite'

History of Cable/Satellite Television

Cable Television:

Cable television, formerly known as community antenna television (CATV), originated in Pennsylvania, in the spring of 1948. The Service Electric Company was started by John Walson and his wife in the 1940s to sell, install, and repair General Electric appliances in the Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania area. The Walsons began selling television sets in 1947. Mahanoy City residents had issues with receiving the three nearby network stations with local antennas because of the region’s surrounding mountains. Due to this, John set up an antenna on a utility pole on a nearby mountaintop that enabled him to demonstrate the televisions with good broadcasts coming from the three stations. Using a cable and signal booster, John connected the mountain antennae to his appliance store. Mid-1948, John Walson connected the mountain antennae to both his store and his customers’ homes located on the cable path, creating the nation’s first CATV system.

Satellite Television:

The origin of satellite television would have to be traced back to the days of the space race between the United States and Russia. Six years later, the first communications satellite was launched. Arthur C. Clark can be attributed to the beginning of satellite television, when he wrote an article called “Extraterrestrial Delays”. The article said that by placing three space platforms into orbit 22,300 miles above the equator, worldwide satellite communication could be achieved. The first to actually explore this idea were the Russians, who launched Sputnik on October 4th, 1957. The United States answered with their launch of Explorer 1 on January 1st, 1958. In 1976, HBO made became the first to deliver satellite delivery of programming to cable with a heavyweight-boxing match. In the same year, the first consumer direct to home satellite system was created in the garage of Emeritus H. Taylor Howard, a professor from Stanford University and former NASA scientist. He used a large dish-shaped antenna that picked up programs that cable TV content providers offered for their subscribers.


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Andrew Lynch