Digital the new generation of cable
More and more, old-style analogue cable is falling by the wayside – many cable providers have even turned it off altogether. It’s being replaced by digital cable, the new generation of cable that allows up to ten times as many channels to be sent down that same line, with a much higher picture quality to boot.
Instead of sending those old-fashioned radio waves down the line, digital cable providers send compressed, digital data, much like an Internet connection (in fact, in many cases, they do just go ahead and use a cable Internet connection for the TV signals). As each channel takes up less space, many more channels can be put onto the service. There is also scope for all sorts of interactive services, as data can be sent both ways through the line.
Many digital cable providers are starting to offer the long-held holy grail of video on demand – old episodes of TV series, pay-per-view films and the like, offered for you to download and watch any time. However, the growth of these services has been inhibited by copyright and licensing considerations, as each cable company must get permission from the original TV or movie companies before it can do this with their programming.
So why get digital cable? Really, it’s all about choice. The greater number of channels means that it’s less expensive than ever to start a channel, and so new channels are springing up all over the place, catering to all sorts of niches. If you’re really interested in a specific subject – cars, maybe, or animals – then the chances are that you’ll find a channel suited for you. Digital cable makes it harder than ever for there to be nothing to watch, because if you want to, you can waste hours just flicking through the channels and sampling the amazing amount of stuff out there.
About the Author: John Gibb is the owner of Cable TV resources
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