The Evolution of TV



9 Questions

When was color broadcasting first introduced in the US and most other developed countries?

What was the first cathode-ray tube to use a hot cathode and when did it become a commercial product?

When was the first fully transistorized, portable solid-state television set developed and released?

When was the world's first 625-line television standard designed and became a national standard in the Soviet Union?

Who made the first color broadcast using a mechanically scanned 120-line image and when did it happen?

What is the difference between smart television and Internet TV, IPTV, or Web TV?

What is the resolution of ultra-high-definition television (UHDTV)?

What technique is used by 3D television to convey depth perception to the viewer?

Which of the following is not a display technology used by television sets?


Television is a telecommunication medium that transmits moving images and sound and is used for advertising, entertainment, news, and sports. It became available in the late 1920s but was marketed to consumers only after several years of further development. After World War II, black-and-white television broadcasting became popular in the UK and the US. In the mid-1960s, color broadcasting was introduced in the US and most other developed countries. The availability of various types of archival storage media has enabled viewers to watch pre-recorded material at home on their own time schedule. The storage of television and video programming now also occurs on the cloud. Digital television transmissions greatly increased in popularity at the end of the first decade of the 2000s. Television signals are distributed by terrestrial television, coaxial cable or optical fiber, satellite systems, and the Internet since the 2000s. In 2013, 79% of the world's households owned a television set. The first documented usage of the term dates back to 1900, and the anglicised version of the term is first attested in 1907. The first demonstration of the live transmission of images was in 1909. The first public demonstration of televised silhouette images in motion was in 1925. The first transatlantic television signal was broadcast in 1928. By 1927, Léon Theremin had achieved an image of 100 lines. Image resolution on mechanical television broadcasts was relatively low, ranging from about 30 lines up to 120 or so. Mechanical television remained the primary television technology until the advancement of all-electronic television.The development of electronic television began with the invention of the cathode-ray tube (CRT) in 1897, which became the foundation of 20th-century television. The first cathode-ray tube to use a hot cathode was developed by John B. Johnson and Harry Weiner Weinhart of Western Electric and became a commercial product in 1922. In 1926, Hungarian engineer Kálmán Tihanyi designed a television system using fully electronic scanning and display elements and employing the principle of "charge storage" within the scanning tube. On 25 December 1926, Japanese inventor Kenjiro Takayanagi demonstrated a TV system with a 40-line resolution that employed a CRT display, which was the first working example of a fully electronic television receiver. In 1933, RCA introduced an improved camera tube that relied on Tihanyi's charge storage principle, called the "Iconoscope" by Zworykin. The EMI team, under the supervision of Isaac Shoenberg, analyzed how the iconoscope (or Emitron) produces an electronic signal and concluded that its real efficiency was only about 5% of the theoretical maximum. The world's first 625-line television standard was designed in the Soviet Union in 1944 and became a national standard in 1946. The first fully transistorized, portable solid-state television set was the 8-inch Sony TV8-301, developed in 1959 and released in 1960. The basic idea of using three monochrome images to produce a color image had been experimented with almost as soon as black-and-white televisions had first been built, and the first color transmission was demonstrated by Scottish inventor John Logie Baird in 1928 using scanning discs at the transmitting and receiving ends with three spirals of apertures, each spiral with filters of a different primary.The Evolution of Television Technology

  • John Logie Baird pioneered the first television system using a mechanical scanning disk in the 1920s.

  • In 1938, Baird made the world's first color broadcast using a mechanically scanned 120-line image.

  • In 1940, Baird demonstrated a practical hybrid system combining a rotating colored disk with a traditional black-and-white display.

  • In 1939, Peter Carl Goldmark introduced an electro-mechanical color system while at CBS, which used spinning color filters and was partly mechanical.

  • The National Television Systems Committee approved an all-electronic color system developed by RCA in the United States, which encoded color information separately from brightness information to conserve bandwidth.

  • The first color broadcast occurred in 1954, but most programming remained in black-and-white until the mid-1960s.

  • Digital television (DTV) uses digitally processed and multiplexed signals to transmit audio and video, and became possible in the 1990s with the availability of inexpensive, high-performance computers.

  • A digital television service was proposed in 1986 by Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) and the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunication (MPT) in Japan.

  • The advent of digital television led to innovations like smart television sets, which have integrated Internet and Web 2.0 features and come pre-loaded with an operating system.

  • Smart television should not be confused with Internet TV, IPTV, or Web TV.

  • 3D television conveys depth perception to the viewer by employing techniques such as stereoscopic display, multi-view display, or 2D-plus-depth.

  • Stereoscopic 3D television was demonstrated for the first time in 1928 by John Logie Baird using electromechanical and cathode-ray tube systems.Example Summary Title

  • 3D television sets gained popularity with the advent of digital television, but 3D programming failed to make inroads with the public.

  • Terrestrial television was the only way to widely distribute television programming in the past due to limited bandwidth and government regulation.

  • Cable television broadcasts programming to paying subscribers via radio frequency signals transmitted through coaxial or fiber-optic cables.

  • Satellite television uses broadcast signals relayed from communication satellites and provides a wide range of channels and services, especially in areas without terrestrial or cable television.

  • Internet television is the digital distribution of television content via the Internet and is delivered by video streaming technology.

  • Television sets combine a tuner, display, amplifier, and speakers for viewing television and hearing audio components.

  • Display technologies include disk, CRT, DLP, plasma, LCD, and OLED.

  • OLED is an LED in which the emissive electroluminescent layer is a film of organic compound which emits light in response to an electric current.

  • LDTV refers to television systems with a lower resolution than standard-definition television (SDTV).

  • HDTV has a resolution substantially higher than that of SDTV and is the current standard for television broadcasting.

  • Ultra-high-definition television (UHDTV) has a resolution of at least 3840 x 2160 pixels and is the next generation of television broadcasting.

  • 8K UHDTV has a resolution of 7680 x 4320 pixels and is the highest resolution television format available.


Think you know everything about the evolution of television technology? Test your knowledge with our quiz! From the early days of mechanical scanning disks to the introduction of color broadcasting and the rise of digital television, this quiz covers it all. Challenge yourself and see how much you really know about the history of TV.

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