Advertisements The headend is what I call the building where your cable signal originates. When you are selecting a location during GS, you are picking the headend. Since my cable office has three different headends, it's easier for them to make me pick the right one even though my zipcode is enough. If your zipcode covers a very large area, it may not be enough. Three years ago my headend changed. I had to have my cable cards paired again.