Cable Television, often referred to as CATV, refers to a system for transmitting television signals across copper or fiber optic cable directly to customers' homes. CATV began as Community Antenna Television, referring to its original use in areas with reception problems, where it was used to give a group of users access to a single remote antenna positioned for better reception.
CATV systems are now built around headends, from which analog, digital, or a combination of both signals are distributed to large numbers of users. A single metropolitan area might have numerous headends, while a geographically large, but sparsely populated area might share one.
The cables used to transmit CATV signals are also commonly used to provide broadband internet service through a cable modem.