Noun (Merriam-Webster): a system of television reception in which signals from distant stations are picked up by a master antenna and sent by cable to the individual receivers of paying subscribers —called also cable TV
First Known Use: 1951; Community Antenna Television (CATV) began in 1948 and was popular in regions where traditional transmission of television was inhibited by the terrain. Essentially, a large “community” antenna was erected and the transmission was delivered to people’s homes via a coaxial cable. Naturally, someone figured out that money could be made and subscription delivery began in 1949. Home Box Office came into being in 1972 with the broadcasting of the Paul Newman-Henry Fonda movie, Sometimes a Great Notion.
Example: I don’t know if it is because I grew up in The Entertainment Capitol of the World where we had great reception and lots of channels or what, but cable television didn’t cross my radar until I was in college and people were talking about watching movies on HBO.
Your turn: What is your memory of cable television? Did you have it growing up? Do you have it now or are you a dish user or, like me, have foregone television altogether?