Television: History of Technology
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Television: History of Technology. 1880s: Paul Nipkow experiments with mechanical disk television; leads to 1926: John Logie Baird (U.K) invents first practical television. 1927: Simultaneous development of electronic television by Farnsworth (scanning process)

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Television: History of Technology

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Television history of technology

Television: History of Technology

1880s: Paul Nipkow experiments with mechanical disk television; leads to

1926: John Logie Baird (U.K) invents first practical television.

1927: Simultaneous development of electronic television by Farnsworth (scanning process)

and Zworykin (cathode ray tube).


Television history of technology

Television: History of Technology

Philo Farnsworth, Fort Wayne Resident, 1939-mid 1940s

Farnsworth House on East State Boulevard


Television history of technology

Television: History of Technology

1941: National Television Systems Committee adopts 525-line resolution for U.S. broadcast television. This standard is only now being replaced by Digital Television (DTV) and High Definition Television (HDTV).

1948-1952: FCC freezes new station licenses.

1952: The “freeze” ends and the two band system adopted: Very High Frequency (VHF), from 2-13 and Ultra High Frequency (UHF) 14-83, later reduced to 14-70.

NOTE: The FM band was assigned in the gap between VHF channel 6 and channel 7.


Television history of technology

Television: The 1950s

1. Television replaces radio as the national mass medium: programming, celebrities, and use of leisure time.

2. Influence of Sylvester “Pat” Weaver (NBC): spot advertising replaces sponsorship, daypart programming (Today and Tonight shows), and “specials.”

3. The establishment of the three commercial networks (stable until mid-1980s).

4. Quiz show scandals: The end of innocence

5. Influence of Desi Arnez: filming live television series to enable reruns.


Television history of technology

Television: The 1960s-1970s

1. The dominance of television news: the Kennedy assassination, the space race, the civil rights struggles, and the Vietnam War.

2. The dominance of television entertainment: mostly situation comedies and dramatic series.

3. By 1966, network television coverts totally to color (Last monochrome network television series was The Avengers).

4. The mini-series (1970s): Rich Man, Poor Man and Roots


Television history of technology

Television: Technology, 1970-2000s

  • 1. 1976: The creation of super stations from local independent television stations (Ted Turner, WTBS).

  • 2. Development of home video taping: Betamax (Sony) and VHS (JVC). By 19179, home taping is allowed by Supreme Court decision: “Time-shifting”

  • 3. Competition from cable systems, microwave systems (wireless cable), and satellite delivery (C and Ku band).

  • Digital television : Requires reassignment of the spectrum: DTV/HDTV Scam

  • Recordable DVD

  • TIVO/Hard drive recording: digital timeshifting


Television history of technology

Television: Regulation and Competition

  • Prime Time Access Rule (PTAR), 1970: Limited networks programming in prime time.

  • Financial Interest and Syndication Rules (FinSyn): Prohibited networks from financial interest in their programs and from subsequent participation in off-network distribution of those programs. These rules were rescinded in 1995-96.

  • 1987: The Fox network emerges as viable competition, although not classified as a network and this able to avoid the above limitations. United Paramount (UPN) and Warner Brothers (WB) appeared in the 1990s and merged in 2006 to form the CW.


Television history of technology

Television: Economics

  • Prime Time Production: Based on deficit financing. Network licensing fees do not cover total production cost: profit comes from off-network syndication.

  • Networks own some stations (limited now to 35% of the population). Affiliates are contractually obligated to air network programs, but are independent of the networks

  • First run syndication: Independently produced programs sold on a market-by-market basis (such as Oprah and Xena: Princess Warrior. May be cash sale, barter, or cash and barter. Stripping: syndicated programs aired five times per week at the same time.

  • Barter/Cash


Television history of technology

Television: Economics

Ratings and Shares:

The cost of advertising time is based mostly on the rating and share of that time slot (generated by the program):

Rating = % of Total Television Homes (TT) (This figure will always be less the 100% total for the time slot: not everyone has a tv set on)

Share = % of Homes Using Television (HUT) (This figure must total 100% for all programs in the time slot)


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