Friday, 30 March 2012

TV History

The television has become such an integral part of homes in the modern world that it is hard to imagine life without television. The television provides entertainment to people of all ages. Not just for entertainment value, but TV is also a valuable resource for advertising and different kinds of programming.

Different experiments by various people, in the field of electricity and radio, led to the development of basic technologies and ideas that laid the foundation for the invention of television. 

These are just some of the many firsts that were, and continue to be associated with the television industry. 
Television was not invented or created by any one person. The ideas and innovations of several people led to the invention of television.  Although it is virtually impossible to say who invented television, there were significant contributions by some people in this field, because of which they have got the distinction of being called pioneers in the invention of TV. Here’s a look at some of these early inventors of TV

In the late 1800s, Paul Gottlieb Nipkow, a student in Germany, developed the first ever mechanical module of television. He succeeded in sending images through wires with the help of a rotating metal disk. This technology was called the ‘electric telescope’ that had 18 lines of resolution. It is called by mechanical television. Around 1907, two separate inventors, A.A. Campbell-Swinton from England and Russian scientist Boris Rosing, used the cathode ray tube in addition to the mechanical scanner system, to create a new television system.
 From the experiments of Nipkow and Rosing, two types of television systems came into existence: mechanical and electronic television.  By 1934, all television systems had converted into the electronic system, which is what is being used even today.
When 1946, the Second World War Black and white television was thought of as old and it was time to do something new. This is when color television systems first began to be considered seriously. 
In America, the color television war was fought by two giants in the television industry CBS and RCA. CBS was the first to develop a color television system that was mechanical. This system was inspired by John Baird’s ideas of color TV. Color television was thus a reality, but this first system was not compatible with any black and white television sets.
By 1950, the FCC had announced the CBS color system as the national standard, and by 1951, CBS had started color broadcasts in the East Coast of the US. Not to be left behind, RCA sued CBS as their system could not be used with the millions of black and white televisions across America, most of which were RCA sets. 
The Korean War and the very public television war gave RCA time to develop a better color TV system than CBS. Their system was not mechanical like that of CBS but electronic and far superior. Finally, by 1953, FCC gave the nod to their color television system and color TV sets of RCA were available to the buying public from 1954 onwards. 
The television has come a long way from its initial avatar, that of a radio with visual projection capabilities. Since then, till now, the television industry has witnessed many firsts. Here’s looking at some first facts on television.

First Facts On Television Stations and Television Sets
  • The first mechanical television station in America was called W3XK. This station was the brainchild of Charles Francis Jenkins, who is also remembered as the father of American television. The station aired its first broadcast on 2nd July, 1928. 
  • WRGB television station in New York is the first American station that has the honor of being a continuously operating station from 1926, when television was invented, till date. The station began as W2XB, but the name was changed to WRGB in 1942, in memory of Mr. Walter R. G. Baker, who was a leader in the radio and television industry. 
  • The first commercially produced television sets were based on the mechanical television system. These sets were made from John Baird’s designs for television. The sets were shown to the public in September of 1928.
  • The first ever American electronic television sets were produced in 1938 and were an instant hit. 
  • The first ever remote control for television was invented in 1948. Known as the ‘Tele Zoom’, it cannot be called a remote control in the true sense of the word, as the device could only enlarge the picture on the tube and not change any channels or turn the television set on and off. The Flash-matic from Zenith, produced in 1955, was the first ever real remote control that could do all of the above and was completely wireless. 
  •  ‘The Queen’s Messenger’ is believed to be the first television program in America. It was broadcast by WRGB station in 1928. We say believed because the program was broadcast to only 4 television sets in existence at the time, and thus the ambiguity.
  • 1st July, 1941 is the day when the first ever commercial broadcast took place in America. The FCC, day were regarded as experimental thus making this day very important in American TV history. 
  • 1st July, 1941 is also the day when the first American advertisement was aired. The commercial was for a Bulova Watch and lasted all of 10 seconds. It was aired on the NBC network.