What was once a bulky box lying on the table is now a lightweight, flat screen that users can mount on the wall. Television sets have transformed completely over the past hundred years. The high-definition picture quality has replaced blurred and grainy images. Moreover, streaming sites like Amazon Prime and Netflix, and TV service providers like Spectrum TV cable are altering the way viewers absorb content on television.
In this blog, let us see how television sets have evolved over the years.
Before the Television
Many scientists generated the idea of a device that could project images on a screen. They thought that if they could separate audio waves and electromagnetic waves, they can also split TV waves to create images and transmit them. With this, the first mechanical TV came into existence.
The invention of the cathode ray tube (CRT) simplified the formation of a picture tube. Karl Ferdinand Braun combined the camera and electricity to form a cathode ray oscilloscope in 1897. A fluorescent screen that transmitted images when electrons reflected from it laid the foundation of the first-ever concept of TV.
Later, Paul Nipkow invented a perforated disk that could emit electronic rays to transmit visual images. In 1907, A Russian, Boris Rosing, combined the mechanical disk and cathode ray tube (CRT) to create a mechanical TV.
The Advent of Electronic Television
The Baird Televisor (the 1920s)
The above-mentioned mechanical TVs were unable to display recorded or running images immediately. Therefore, in 1924, John Logie Baird, a Scottish engineer, invented the first television using materials like cardboard, wax, and a bicycle lamp. With the help of rotating mechanical disks, he scanned moving images and converted them to electrical impulses. A cable transmitted these impulses to project low-resolution images, the size of a postage stamp, It was sold commercially in 1929.
Marconi 702 (the 1930s)
In 1927 Philo Farnsworth developed the first electronic television. This invention made Baird’s mechanical television obsolete as it offered a better resolution and was much easier to mass produce. Marconi 702 used electrostatic focusing and magnetic deflection to display images on a 12-inch screen. It was an expensive TV priced at around, USD 130 which was approximately half of the average annual salary in the 1930s.
In the 1940s, television sales soared due to the fall in prices. By 1949, TV sales in America had reached almost 100,000 television sets a week. Broadcast stations started producing TV shows on their famous radio serials. Moreover, four TV channels, NBC, CBS, ABC, and DuMont, began broadcasting seven days a week.
The first television remote was invented in the 1950s. With more shows and technological advancements, televisions became incredibly famous. Moreover, the first colored television began to broadcast in 1953. “I Love Lucy” was a show watched in all houses in America and reached approximately 67.3 million views.
The 1960s and 1970s
Companies kept on working on innovative designs and upgraded technological features like the electronic remote-control switch for the RCA Victor TV in the 1960s. They developed creative models that people could use as modern home entertainment systems.
Moreover, the growth of color television led to a price drop in black-and-white sets like the Marconiphone Monochrome Receiver and others. This meant households could now buy more than one set for their homes in the 1970s. From the reporting of the Vietnam War to the Watergate Scandal, TV kept viewers updated on what was happening around the world. By the mid-1970s, cable networks became common allowing viewers to switch between multiple channels. Moreover, the Sinclair Microvision was the first portable television developed in 1976.
The 1980s and 1990s
The television was no more a top-selling product. They had become quite common in most homes by the 1990s. Nearly 98% of American homes had at least one television whereas around 64% owned two or more. Moreover, almost 60% of American homes had cable by 1989. Video games, however, became famous over the next decade.
The ongoing innovations in technology gave birth to digital television in the 2000s. These modern TVs could catch signals from satellites and convert them into motion pictures. The resolution was now much enhanced and clearer than ever before.
In 2005, flat screens and HDTVs came into existence. They were costly and most people could not afford them in the beginning. however, they became affordable with time and started replacing box-type TVs. Moreover, digital TVs brought a revolution in broadcasting. They offered a combination of traditional media and streaming services to the viewers.
The 2010s and 2020s
In 2012, the first 3D TV was introduced to the world. Viewers enjoyed the popular 3D blockbusters on their new television sets. Sony was the first one to develop such a television. Moreover, the advancement in streaming technology continues to transform how users consume content. They can now watch their favorite shows on their smartphones.