Television has come a long way from its humble beginnings. Once only available via public broadcasting or other special events, the rise of cable and satellite television, as well as streaming online video content, has made it ubiquitous in virtually every household. The modern television experience is now rich with entertainment options. Viewers can watch their favorite shows whenever they like or even tune in to live sporting events or the latest breaking news as they happen. Although these new features have vastly expanded the viewing possibilities of television, they came from humble beginnings and an evolution of technology that gave us where we are today. In this article, we’ll explore the history of TV from its early origins and experiments to today’s modern digital ecosystem, so you can understand how televisions came to be what they are today.
The Early Days of Television
Early televisions were relatively simple and limited devices. They were designed to receive and display visual content transmitted as electromagnetic signals. Early televisions were not designed to be interactive, viewers could only watch the content that was being transmitted. Early television was a black and white medium, and the images it displayed were very pixilated and grainy since the television signal could only transmit a certain amount of information. Beyond the visual limitations, early televisions also had difficulty with audio content. Most televisions had to be hooked up to speakers, and even then they could only produce a very low-quality sound. Early television also had a very limited range. Viewers could only receive the visual content that was being transmitted in their area. Beyond that, they received nothing. Very few people had access to television, since it was a very new technology at the time.
The Rise of Cable TV
Cable television is a type of visual media that transmits programs and other visual content to viewers. Most cable television systems use electromagnetic signals to transmit visual content. Cable television is a rather recent evolution from the early days of television. It was first conceived and implemented in the early 1940s. After World War II, the public's appetite for visual content had grown substantially. However, the visual content of the day was only being transmitted via a few public television stations, and relatively few people could access it. The public responded by demanding a higher quality television experience with more content options. In response to this public demand, cable television was first conceived. Cable television systems are basically large networks of electromagnetic signals that transmit visual content to viewers. However, the visual content wasn’t being transmitted via electromagnetic signals like traditional television. It was transmitted via an underground cable network.
The Dawn of Satellite Television
Satellite television is a type of visual media that transmits programs and other visual content to viewers via electromagnetic signals. As the name suggests, the signals are transmitted via satellites orbiting the Earth. Although cable television was first conceived and implemented in the early 1940s, it didn’t become very popular until the 1960s and ‘70s. By that point, the technology had advanced enough to make the service more accessible and affordable for more people. Although cable television had been around for decades, it had major visual limitations. The visual content was transmitted via electromagnetic signals, the same medium used for old-school television. Because cable television had to transmit its visual content via electromagnetic signals, it was confined to the visual range of these electromagnetic waves. That limited it to the visual range of the electromagnetic spectrum used on old-school television.
Streaming Video: Where We Are Today
Streaming video is visual media that transmits programs and other visual content to viewers via internet protocols. The most common example of streaming video is probably video content watched on the internet via streaming websites like Netflix. The rise of streaming video is one of the most recent evolutions of visual media. Unlike the visual content of the past, which was constrained by electromagnetic waves, streaming video is transmitted via internet protocols. The internet is a vast network of computers connected by cables. The internet protocols allow computers in different locations around the world to send data to each other via this network of cables. The visual content of streaming video is transmitted via internet protocols, not electromagnetic waves. That gives streaming video visual content the same visual range that the internet provides: the entire visual range of the electromagnetic spectrum.
The rise of cable television and satellite television brought visual content to millions of people who previously had no access to it, but it came with a steep monthly bill. Back then, the only way to watch visual content was to subscribe to a cable or satellite television service. You couldn’t just plug your television into the wall and watch what you wanted when you wanted. Today, however, the rise of streaming video has brought visual media to a new level. Visual media is no longer confined to electromagnetic waves; it now has the same visual range as the internet. Beyond that, streaming video is now available on many different platforms, from your television to your computer, smartphone, or tablet. With so many different ways to access streaming video, the modern television experience is richer and more engaging than ever before.