Cable television

A coaxial cable used to carry cable television onto subscribers' premises
A set-top box, an electronic device which cable subscribers use to connect the cable signal to their television sets. Presented unit is a Cisco RNG200N for QAM digital cable television system used in North America.
A cable television distribution box (left) in the basement of a building in Germany (Kabel BW network, now Vodafone), with a splitter (right) which supplies the signal to separate cables which go to different rooms
Diagram of a modern hybrid fiber-coaxial cable television system. At the regional headend, the TV channels are sent multiplexed on a light beam which travels through optical fiber trunklines, which fan out from distribution hubs to optical nodes in local communities. Here the light signal from the fiber is translated to a radio frequency electrical signal, which is distributed through coaxial cable to individual subscriber homes.

System of delivering television programming to consumers via radio frequency signals transmitted through coaxial cables, or in more recent systems, light pulses through fibre-optic cables.

- Cable television

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Verizon Fios

Verizon Fios, also marketed as Fios by Verizon, is a bundled Internet access, telephone, and television utility that operates over a fiber optical network.

Internet Protocol television

Delivery of television content over Internet Protocol (IP) networks.

M VIEW IPTV device
A simplified network diagram for IPTV
Bandwidth capacity for simultaneously two HDTV streams, two SD streams, additional to HSD and voice

This is in contrast to delivery through traditional terrestrial, satellite, and cable television formats.

Analog television

Original television technology that uses analog signals to transmit video and audio.

Early monochrome analog receiver with large dials for volume control and channel selection, and smaller ones for fine-tuning, brightness, contrast, and horizontal and vertical hold adjustments
Raster scanning is performed from left-to-right and top-to-bottom. Once the screen has been scanned, the beam returns to the beginning of the first line.
Close up image of analog color screen
NTSC composite video signal (analog)
A waterfall display showing an 20ms long interlaced PAL frame with high FFT resolution
Portion of a PAL videosignal. From left to right: end of a video line, front porch, horizontal sync pulse, back porch with color burst, and beginning of next line
Color bar generator test signal
Color signals mixed with the video signal (two horizontal lines in sequence)
Test card showing "Hanover bars" (color banding phase effect) in the PAL-S (simple) signal mode of transmission.
Beginning of the frame, showing several scan lines; the terminal part of the vertical sync pulse is at the left
PAL video signal frames. Left to right: frame with scan lines (overlapping together, horizontal sync pulses show as the doubled straight horizontal lines), vertical blanking interval with vertical sync (shows as brightness increase of the bottom part of the signal in almost the leftmost part of the vertical blanking interval), entire frame, another VBI with VSYNC, beginning of the third frame
Analyzing a PAL signal and decoding the 20ms frame and 64µs lines

Analog television may be wireless (terrestrial television and satellite television) or can be distributed over a cable network as cable television.

High-definition television

High-definition television (HD or HDTV) describes a television system providing a substantially higher image resolution than the previous generation of technologies.

It is the current de facto standard video format used in most broadcasts: terrestrial broadcast television, cable television, satellite television and Blu-ray Discs.

Satellite dish

Dish-shaped type of parabolic antenna designed to receive or transmit information by radio waves to or from a communication satellite.

Satellite dishes above CCTV Headquarters.
A C band satellite dish.
A small satellite truck used by TVNZ news reporters for electronic news-gathering (ENG or DSNG).
Schematics of reflection principles used in parabolic antennas.
Sat finder
Special dish for up to 16 satellite positions (Ku-band).
U.S. residential satellite TV receiver dishes
Geometry of offset parabolic antenna. The dish is an asymmetric segment of a paraboloid; the vertex of the paraboloid is below the bottom edge of the dish. The beam axis, which is aimed at the satellite, passes through the vertex and the focus, so the feed antenna at the focus is outside the beam.
General Electric satellite dish for DirecTV satellite television.
Sky "minidish".
Satellite dishes installed on an apartment complex.
The back side of an old C-band satellite dish showing the pole, mount, motor, and structure of the dish.
A WWE HD satellite truck in a parking lot.
Satellite dish at a hut in East Timor

Lower frequencies are allocated to cable and terrestrial TV, FM radio, etc.

Set-top box

Information appliance device that generally contains a TV-tuner input and displays output to a television set and an external source of signal, turning the source signal into content in a form that can then be displayed on the television screen or other display device.

An Inview Neelix set-top box manufactured in 2012. It allows simultaneous access to television broadcast and internet applications.
A Sky Q set-top box in the UK
A consumer Palcom DSL-350 satellite-receiver; the IF demodulation tuner is on the bottom left, and a Fujitsu MPEG decoder CPU is in the center of the board. The power supply is on the right.
Lenovo A30 set-top box
Set-top box firmware being updated
Pace Micro Technology DC757X Set top box

They are used in cable television, satellite television, and over-the-air television systems as well as other uses.


Telecommunication medium used for transmitting moving images and sound.

Flat-screen televisions for sale at a consumer electronics store in 2008
The Nipkow disk. This schematic shows the circular paths traced by the holes that may also be square for greater precision. The area of the disk outlined in black displays the region scanned.
Baird in 1925 with his televisor equipment and dummies "James" and "Stooky Bill" (right)
Vladimir Zworykin demonstrates electronic television (1929)
Ad for the beginning of experimental television broadcasting in New York City by RCA in 1939
Indian-head test pattern used during the black-and-white era before 1970. It was displayed when a television station first signed on every day.
Samsung LED TV
Color bars used in a test pattern, sometimes used when no program material is available.
A smart TV
A modern high gain UHF Yagi television antenna. It has 17 directors, and one reflector (made of 4 rods) shaped as a corner reflector.
Coaxial cable is used to carry cable television signals into cathode-ray tube and flat panel television sets.
DBS satellite dishes installed on an apartment complex.
RCA 630-TS, the first mass-produced television set, which sold in 1946–1947
A 14-inch cathode-ray tube showing its deflection coils and electron guns
The Christie Mirage 5000, a 2001 DLP projector.
A generic LCD TV, with speakers on either side of the screen.
Comparison of 8K UHDTV, 4K UHDTV, HDTV and SDTV resolution
Television sets per 1000 people of the world
Television was still in its experimental phase in 1928, but the medium's potential to sell goods was already predicted.
American family watching television, circa 1958

Alternatively television signals are distributed by coaxial cable or optical fiber, satellite systems and, since the 2000s via the Internet.

Public-access television

U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater

Public-access television is traditionally a form of non-commercial mass media where the general public can create content television programming which is narrowcast through cable television specialty channels.

Digital video recorder

Electronic device that records video in a digital format to a disk drive, USB flash drive, SD memory card, SSD or other local or networked mass storage device.

Foxtel iQ, a combined digital video recorder and satellite receiver.
V+, a combined digital video recorder and cable TV receiver.
Back view of a TiVo Series2 5xx-generation unit
Side view of an LCD monitor with built-in DVR
Underside of a VESA-compatible DVR
Embeddable DVR with incremental encoder interface for position tracking
Lorex 4K NVR, a security digital video recorder

As consumers have been able to converge increasing amounts of video content on their set-tops, delivered by traditional 'broadcast' cable, satellite and terrestrial as well as IP networks, the ability to capture programming and view it whenever they want has become a must-have function for many consumers.


A DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem
A cable modem termination system (CMTS)

Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS) is an international telecommunications standard that permits the addition of high-bandwidth data transfer to an existing cable television (CATV) system.