13. How Television Viewing has Changed

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Television viewing is very different in the United States today than it was 20 or 30 years ago. In those days, network television was the only option available to most people. There were three major TV networks at the time: NBC, CBS, and ABC. All these networks still exist, but have been joined with several other TV viewing options over the years. One of the first alternatives for television viewing is cable TV. It has been in existence for quite some time. Cable TV served much of the country's rural areas during the time the networks ruled TV. Network TV is broadcast through airwaves, and private homes receive the broadcast using an antenna affixed on the home's roof. Cable TV is a system where the cable company used cable to link several homes together to receive broadcast signals from a central antenna.

Cable TV offered more than network channels did. Soon the demand for cable TV grew in populated areas. Cable TV was allowed to show more graphic content also, which was attractive to some viewers who did not agree with the censorship network TV was subjected to. Needless to say, cable TV became quite popular because it offered more channels than over-the-air broadcast TV. Some of these channels were designed to attract specific audiences such as sports, movies, and uncensored TV fans. Soon cable TV was in nearly all the homes in the United States.

Following the popularity of cable TV, satellite television came onto the scene. It offered multiple channels, just like cable, but was delivered via orbiting satellites making it possible to view live programming from virtually any part of the world. Today, streaming services are popular. These services offer TV content through Wi-Fi connections, which costs substantially less than either cable or satellite service. All that needed is a device and a good Wi-Fi connection.

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