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How entertainment has changed forever thanks to advances in high technology

How entertainment has changed forever thanks to advances in high technology
How entertainment has changed forever thanks to advances in high technology


Netflix, Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Disney+ and Now TV are some of the subscription services that are now dominating the scene – but that wasn't always the case.

A revolutionary event occurred in November 1936 when the BBC launched the world's first standard high definition television service at Alexandra Palace, paving the way for television as we know it today.

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In 1955 came ITV, BBC II in 1967 and Channel 4 in 1982. But it was not until the advent of cable television that viewers in Southampton were entitled to double-digit channels. In the mid-1980s there was much debate over who would win the contract to install the cables at Southampton, Eastleigh and Chandlers Ford.

After careful consideration, the local group known as Southampton Cable, made up of members of Pirelli, a leading merchant bank, and Southern Newspapers, were successful in securing the contract.

Although sidewalk digging began in 1987, the mammoth 280-mile cable-laying operation did not begin until 1989. The work was carried out by numerous contractors, including McNicholas Construction Company, each with the goal to be completed within three years.

(Image: Echo)

Waves of homes tuned their televisions to the new cable service launched in March 1990, run by Videotron Sud, a Canadian company that won the support of local businesses invested in the project.

Nestled along West Quay Road, a tall reception tower picked up satellite television signals. These were then routed through a central hub via fiber optics to separate green control cabinets located throughout the neighborhood. Finally, signals flowed seamlessly through underground cables, making their way into the homes of eager subscribers.

(Image: Handout)

The original configuration had over 24 channels, with the capacity to allow up to 70, although exchange and network upgrades have seen this increase significantly over the years. In February 1999, Videotron moved to Cable and Wireless before becoming NTL in June 2000.

Acquired by Virgin Media in 2006, the fiber optic cable network provides television, Internet and telephone connectivity to many homes and business establishments in the region.




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