what's the difference between a cable television network like HBO and a commercial broadcasting like CBS?

I have read wikipedia articles about these but can't get it, does cable television available via sattelite or that's something else?

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  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox and your local stations are "over the air" stations theoretically renting a bandwidth from the "public" broadcasting spectrum. You can pick up their signal with the proper antennae and pay nothing.

    HBO, ESPN, CNN etc are exclusively broadcast over cable. You proactively choose to buy the cable service and tune to that station.

    Because anyone can "stumble" upon an over the air station they must adhere to more stringent FCC rules. Cable stations don't have to adhere to those because their viewers are making active choices to tune in to Bill O'Reilly, Rachel Maddow, Madmen, or AxMen.

    You just happen to be watching NCIS on cable because your local CBS affiliate has chosen to be part of your local cable line up.

  • 9 years ago

    In the Beginning there was Broadcast...

    -- if you had a decent antenna, and a TV (heck if in the right area just a TV) you received free TV... ie ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and local signals depending on where you are and who's sending the signal...

    -- the signals are transmitted over the air, just like a Radio.. in fact, prior to 2009 all Radio signals aired in the channel one bandwidth, which is why no TV channels used channel one

    -- Broadcast signals were transmitted on 2 levels VHF (2-13) and UHF (14-69)...

    -- the 'Network would be based on a US Coast, and local affiliates would carry the networks programs when offered and fill the remaining space with locally chosen material, either reruns or syndicated offerings

    ---- meaning that if you're watching Ellen on CBS at 4pm in Iowa and talking to your friend in NYC they could be watching Nate Berkes on CBS at the same time

    -- in 2009 with the Digital conversion, you needed to add a set top box to receive TV signals... and while they might appear as numbers between 2 and 13, reflecting their old numbers to avoid confusion, the signals actually transmit in the UHF spectrum leaving the VHF spectrum free for other transmissions

    After Broadcast came Cable

    -- with Cable you need a 3rd party company (Charter, Xfinity, comcast, bresnan, Time Warner Cable etc.) to install a cable, and possibly a cable box to receive the signal

    -- also if you fail to pay your bill the cable companies can limit the number of channels that YOU and only you receive

    -- so if You're watching Dexter on Showtime, and call that same Buddy in NYC and they turn on Showtime they'd be seeing Dexter as well

    -- however due to Cable companies having local offices and relays they can add 'broadcast' TV stations to your cable package

    After Cable came Satellite

    -- for the most part Satellite is exactly the same as Cable, save that the 'relay' is a Satellite in space, that beams you're signal via Dish, instead of a building on Avenue X and a Cable

    -- as far as I know any Channel available on Cable is also available to Satellite, IF they are willing to pay the Provider to carry them

    -- however I do think that there are a handful of Satellite exclusive Channels such as Channel 100 on DirecTV, which they have used for original episodes of Damages and Friday Night Lights... and this is specific to DirecTV (not sure if Dish Network or any other Satellite providers have there own channels)

    so CBS IS Broadcast, but can be found on both Cable and Satellite

    HBO is Cable, but is also on Satellite Systems

    Channel 100 is exclusive to Satellite, and more specifically to DirecTV Satellite

    I hope that helps

  • ?
    Lv 4
    9 years ago

    They are different types of networks and are subject to different rules. Think of premium cable networks like a private club. You pay for content you cannot get on a standard broadcast network like ABC. Mostly adult content and no commercials.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    cable television is your normal type. while commersial bradcasting is worldwide or globaly.

    Source(s): trust it
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