Updated: 03/10/2024 by Computer Hope
community access television

CATV originally stood for Community Access Television but is now commonly known as Cable TV. CATV is one of the most common methods of transmitting television signals to a consumer's home, using radio frequency signals transmitted through coaxial cable. More recently, CATV can also transmit over optical fiber, which utilizes light pulses to send and receive signals.

CATV origins date back to 1924 when some cable broadcasting was done using cable in European cities. In 1948, community antennas were built where over-the-air signal reception was limited. The community antenna received the over-the-air signal and then transmitted it to households by cable. Today, CATV offers analog and digital channels (including high definition). Receiving digital channels requires a cable box for conversion.


Don't use CATV to describe Cat 5 networking or cable.

Cable, Computer abbreviations, Hardware terms, TV