A glossary of terms widely used in the cable television industry:
Access -- The concept of local studios where community residents and groups can produce their own programming for cable television.
Basic Cable -- Program services added, at no additional cost, to a subscriber's package.
Common Carrier -- The regulatory definition for such as a telephone company, a standard that includes rate-of-return regulation, which the cable industry abhors.
Distant signals -- Signals of a television station transmitted long distances by satellite to local cable systems.
DBS -- Direct Broadcast Satellite, a programming system beginning to be developed by the Communications Satellite Corp., which would allow subscribers, using a satellite signal-receiving dish attached to the home, to receive new television networks.
Franchise -- The permit from a local government for a cable company to connect a community with cable television.
Leased channels -- Channels leased by local groups, businesses or others from a cable system.
Local Origination -- Programming produced by the local cable system.
MDS -- Multipoint Distribution Service, such as signals sent directly by microwave to apartment buildings.
MSO -- Multiple System Operator, a firm that owns several cable systems.
Pay TV -- Networks such as HBO Inc. which provide programming for a monthly or per-program fee.
STV -- Subscription Television, the over-the-air signal carriage system which allows viewers to pick up pay programming using a device to unscramble a scrambled signal.
Superstation -- Local television stations distributed to cable systems via satellites.
Two Way Cable, "Interactive" -- A cable hookup pioneered by the Warner Amex QUBE system which permits a subscriber to answer questions or make product choices, for example, through a control box attached to the television set.