Mixed Signals The Choice Between Cable or Satellite

Ever since the government deregulated the telecommunications market nearly ten years ago, more and more cable and satellite TV providers have been vying for our attention, constantly improving technology, service, and convenience.

Today, digital cable and satellite dishes mean never having to spend a boring rainy day indoors with nothing good to watch on TV. Companies like Time Warner Cable offer a multitude of new technologies to please even the most discerning entertainment junkie, and co-op and condo boards have a wide array of options when it comes to choosing which option is best for their building community.

Warmer Reception

Before cable and satellite service were on the radar, most people's TVs were wired to a master antenna on the roof of their building and picked up a few local stations. With the advent of cable however, scores of channels were wired right into the TV - along with perfect reception and more choice.

The first cable TV franchises appeared in Manhattan in 1970 and hit a high note in 1989 when Time Inc. and Warner merged to create Time Warner. The government's 1996 deregulation of the industry allowed other companies to enter the market as well, breaking the monopoly held by cable franchise owners.

Today, there are a total of nine cable franchises in New York City - seven of which are controlled by Time Warner and its affiliates, and cover all of Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island and about one-third of Brooklyn. The other two are controlled by Cablevision and serve the rest of Brooklyn and the Bronx.

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