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NJCTA Cable History

1949: A Philadelphia broadcast signal is captured with greater clarity in New Jersey for the first time-from the top of an Atlantic City hotel-and delivered to a group of convention-goers in the hotel.

1950: By the turn of the decade, 70 CATV systems are serving 14,000 subscribers nationwide.

Early 1950s: Milton Shapp develops the master antenna television system, eliminating the forest of antennas that had developed atop city department stores and apartment buildings.

1962: Nearly 800 CATV systems serve 850,000 customers nationwide.

April 21, 1965: A meeting of cable operators-mostly from Atlantic, Cape May, Camden, and Ocean Counties-is held, at which it was determined that a trade association should be formed. The New Jersey Cable Television Association is incorporated on July 13, 1966.

1972: The "pay TV network" is born as Charles Dolan and Gerald Levin of Sterling Manhattan Cable launch Home Box Office, the first programming service to be delivered nationwide via satellite.

1980: Nearly 15 million households have signed up for what had emerged as cable television service.

1989: 74 cable networks develop national satellite-delivered programming, which is delivered by local cable companies to nearly 53 million households.

1995: 139 cable programming services are available nationwide.

1998-2002: In response to sweeping national legislation that deregulates the pricing of most national satellite-delivered cable program offerings, New Jersey cable companies pour more than $2 billion in infrastructure investments to upgrade their networks to fiber optics. These privately funded capital investments enable cable operators for the first time to offer customers advanced telecommunication services such as broadband Internet access, digital cable television, and more.

2001: Cable introduces a new standard of picture quality known as high definition. Movies, television shows, and other content are made available "on demand."

2003: Digital video recorders allow digital cable customers to pause and record live television.

2004: Cable offers an innovative bundle of video, Internet, and voice at a highly competitive price. The bundle of three services is known as Triple Play.

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