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A Brief History Of Television

Nov 27, 2007
One of the most frequently asked questions related to television is, `Where`s the remote?` When the first simple television was built in 1928, it did not come with a remote. The entire wonder consisted of a disk, a light (which tended to make the images orange in appearance) and a moderate need for electricity.

By the 1930`s, televisions had evolved to all electrical components. The typical screen was about 6X8 inches and generally was mounted in a much larger cabinet. By the late 1930`s televisions were made by several manufacturers in the United States and throughout Europe and the Soviet Union.

World War II slowed recreational television progress while turning that technology to the necessary military communications. Many communication devices were made accessible using television cable. Unlike the Viet Nam War, civilians were not able to watch the battles that had been fought and radio was still highly sought for news and entertainment.

By 1945, many American families believed they had suffered enough hardship from the war and rewarded themselves with televisions. The pictures were of a better quality than in earlier televisions and only in black and white. Programming other than news had caught on and gradually, game shows, sports and other programs of interest were available.

Technically, the ability to produce programs in color occurred in the late 1940`s, however it was in the mid 1960`s that major broadcasters began to produce their programming in color. Early colored televisions did not provide exact color replication. One often noticed unnatural tint which was correctable by manipulating the `tint` dial on the television.

For those of us old enough to remember the assignation of John F. Kennedy, we will also remember his lying in state and his funeral and burial all shown on major broadcast stations. This was the first major event in American history that could be viewed by people all across the United States on television. Despite miles of separation, people in the USA felt more connected to one another because of this new technology.

The 1970`s brought about the greatest surge of television purchases. Major appliance stores (Sears and others) had banks of televisions on display. Daytime television and `Soap Operas` became favorites of many stay at home mothers. Game shows became more plentiful as did movies which introduced us to favorites such as John Waynne, Robert Young, `Beaver Cleaver` and many, many more. These were idyllic families, devoid of abuse, less than charitable language, arguments, and other behaviors evidenced in today`s homes and societies. Television commercials changed the `tools` of childhood which previously had been invented and make believe to Barbie and Ken dolls, talking bears, more sophisticated bicycles and wagons and the like.

Satellites influenced further changes in television in the mid 1980`s. Pay for view programming became possible through the encryption of programming and transmitting via cable and only to viewers who had the additional equipment to view such programs.

Today, digital and satellite television deliver the clearest images to the viewer and provide several hundred channels from which to choose. Televisions have grown from 6x8 picture tubes in huge cabinets to slim instruments sitting atop pedestals. Large screen television gives the appearance of football players kicking off in one`s living room and monster trucks driving directly at the viewer. Television today may be accessed from one`s computer as well as by cell phone.

I can`t imagine what I would see in a crystal ball if I were to search for changes in television technology, but I know that improvements and innovative concepts are explored daily.
About the Author
This article can be accessed in portuguese from the Article section of page www.polomercantil.com.br/televisores.php
Roberto Sedycias works for www.PoloMercantil.com.br
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