History of the Television

Key Developments Related to the Popularity of the TV

The television is one of the most important inventions in the history of the world. It has become a staple in the lives of many people and many aspects of the world’s culture are taken from TV shows. For instance, children from as far as India would learn to say “Hi-yo, Silver, away!” after watching some episodes of The Lone Ranger. Here’s a look at the history of television.

Electromechanical Television

Electromechanical television systems, better known as “televisors” were used to capture images and then display them. The images that they captured were sent via radio waves. Originally used from 1928 to 1939, they eventually began picking up images that were broadcasted electronically like more modern television sets.

  • Mechanical TV: Describes how it was invented.
  • History: Explains how the electromechanical television evolved.
  • 1920s TV: Provides information about television sets in the 1920s.
  • Baird Television: Discusses the Baird TV.

Electronic Television

In 1927, Philo Farnsworth invented a special camera tube that was able to electronically transmit signals. He gave a full-on demonstration of his all-electronic system on August 25, 1934 at the Franklin Institute. Later, RCA decided to integrate Farnsworth’s special tube into their TV sets. These types of sets became the “standard” in the US in 1941.

Color Television

Color television didn’t fully come around until a bit later. Although there were some successful early experiments with color television, the actual process of converting a 2D image into a 1D radio signal was difficult as the image would often be distorted. In 1941, CBS began conducting color field tests. As these systems were not compatible with the television sets at the time, they were halted. In 1947, RCA was able to transmit live color images successfully to the FCC. The first coast-to-coast color broadcast took place on January 1, 1954, when NBC broadcast the Tournament of Roses Parade.

Broadcast Television

Broadcast television is the system of broadcasting by TV stations that are licensed by a government. These stations then air programs over assigned channels. In today’s terms, it includes the big networks like ABC, NBC, Fox, and others. Cable channels are different and are thus subject to different rules. Typically, shows played on broadcast networks are closely monitored and controlled.

Television Sets

The very first “generation” of television sets was sold in the U.S. from 1928 to 1934. These sets didn’t have color and received pictures through radio waves. Then, in 1934, the production of electronic sets began. At the time, they cost the equivalent of $6,000, making them too expensive for the average family. After World War II, they became cheaper and more people purchased them.

People and Pioneers

The invention of the TV would never have been possible without a few pioneers. John Logie Baird, a British engineer, invented the world’s very first functioning television, making it possible for improvements to be made. He also helped perfect the color television system broadcast in later years. Philo Farnsworth invented the first fully electronic TV system and Vladimir K. Zworykin invented the receiving system that was used in TVs. Without them, there would be no TV.

Additional Information

TV is so important in today’s world that there are even TV museums. There are entire economies built on television and billions of dollars are spent on television in some related way.