Television: To Wire a Nation

George Orwell was wrong. In the U.S., at least, television could never become an omnifarious Big Brother by 1984. A much more real threat is that it will never mature beyond the lowest common denominator of 1970. TV today seems doomed to remain an insultingly inadequate service, providing faulty reception on too few channels.

The problem is not technological. A system called cable television, or CATV, is now available and capable of delivering a choice of 60 different interference-free channels to virtually every U.S. home. The problem is not economic feasibility. Such a system...

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