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Introduction to Cable Television (CATV) Book

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   CATV Contribution Network

A contribution network is a system that interconnects contribution sources (media programs) to a content user (e.g. a television system). CATV systems receive content from multiple sources through connections that range from dedicated high-speed fiber optic connections to the delivery of stored media. Content sources include program networks, content aggregators and a variety of other government, education and public sources.

Connection Types

CATV connection types include satellite connections, leased lines, virtual networks, microwave, mobile data and public data networks (e.g. Internet).

Satellite communication is the use of orbiting satellites to relay communications signals from one station to many others. A satellite communication link includes a communication link that passes through several types of systems. These connections include the transmission electronics and antenna, uplink path, satellite reception and transmission equipment (transponder), downlink path, and reception electronics and antenna. Because satellite systems provide signal coverage to a wide geographic area, the high cost of satellites can be shared by many broadcasting companies.

Satellite content distributors that provide television programming to CATV networks via satellite lease some or all of the transponder capacity of the satellite. Satellite content providers combine multiple programs (channels) for distribution to broadcasters.

Leased lines are telecommunication lines or links that have part or all of their transmission capacity dedicated (reserved) for the exclusive use of a single customer or company. Leased lines often come with a guaranteed level of performance for connections between two points. Leased lines may be used to guarantee the transfer of media at specific times.

Virtual private networks are private communication path(s) that transfer data or information through one or more data network that is dedicated between two or more points. VPN connections allow data to safely and privately pass over public networks (such as the Internet). The data traveling between two points is usually encrypted for privacy. Virtual private networks allow the cost of a public communication system to be shared by multiple companies.

A microwave link uses microwave frequencies (above 1 GHz) for line of sight radio communications (20 to 30 miles) between two directional antennas. Each microwave link transceiver usually offers a standard connection to communication networks such as a T1/E1 or DS3 connection line. This use of microwave links avoids the need to install cables between communication equipment. Microwave links may be licensed (filed and protected by government agencies) or may be unlicensed (through the use of low power within unlicensed regulatory limits). Microwave links are commonly used by CATV systems to connection remote devices or locations such as a mobile news truck or a helicopter feed.

Mobile data is the transmission of digital information through a wireless network where the communication equipment can move or be located over a relatively wide geographic area. The term mobile data is typically applied to the combination of radio transmission devices and computing devices (e.g. computers electronic assemblies) that can transmit data through a mobile communication system (such as a wireless data system or cellular network). In general, the additional of mobility for data communication results in an increased cost for data transmission.

The Internet is a public data network that interconnects private and government computers together. The Internet transfers data from point to point by packets that use Internet protocol (IP). Each transmitted packet in the Internet finds its way through the network switching through nodes (computers). Each node in the Internet forwards received packets to another location (another node) that is closer to its destination. Each node contains routing tables that provide packet forwarding information. The Internet can be effectively used to privately transfer programs through the use of encryption.

In additional to gathering content through communication links, content may be gathered through the use of stored media. Examples of stored media include magnetic tapes (VHS or Beta) and optical disks (CD or DVDs).

When content is delivered through the content network, itsí descriptive information (metadata) is also delivered. The metadata information may be embedded within the media file(s) or it may be sent as in separate data files. Some of the descriptive data may include text that is used for closed captioning compliance.

This figure shows a contribution network that is used with a CATV system. This example shows that programming that is gathered through a contribution network can come from a variety of sources and that include satellite connections, leased lines, virtual networks, microwave links, mobile data, public data networks (e.g. Internet) and the use of stored media (tapes and DVDs).

CATV Contribution Network Diagram

CATV Contribution Network Diagram

   Cable Television - CATV Books

Introduction to Cable Television (CATV) Book

more details

Introduction to Cable Television (CATV)

This book provides an overview of cable television system technology including cable modems, digital television, HDTV, along with how cable systems are converting from analog systems to digital networks so they can offer advanced services such as ultra broadband, video on demand (VOD) and addressable advertising.

$19.99 Printed, $16.99 eBook

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