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Chapter: Computer Networks : Physical Layer

Cable TV Networks

1. Traditional Cable Networks 2. Hybrid Fiber-Coaxial (HFC) Network



The cable TV network started as a video service provider, but it has moved to the business of Internet access.


1. Traditional Cable Networks


Cable TV started to distribute broadcast video signals to locations with poor or no reception. It was called community antenna TV (CATV) because an antenna at the top of a tall hill or building received the signals from the TV stations and distributed them, via coaxial cables, to the community.


The cable TV office, called the head end, receives video signals from broadcasting stations and feeds the signals into coaxial cables. The signals became weaker and weaker with distance, so amplifiers were installed through the network to renew the signals. There could be up to 35 amplifiers between the head end and the subscriber premises. At the other end, splitters split the cable, and taps and drop cables make the connections to the subscriber premises.


2. Hybrid Fiber-Coaxial (HFC) Network


The second generation of cable networks is called a hybrid fiber-coaxial (HFC) network. The network uses a combination of fiber-optic and coaxial cable. The transmission medium from the cable TV office to a box, called the fiber node, is optical fiber; from the fiber node through the neighborhood and into the house is still coaxial cable.


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