The History of Television

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1862 - Still Progress

The first still images are transferred by Italian inventor Giovanna Caselli and his Pantelegraph, effectively a prototype fax machine.

1884 - Nipping it in the Bud

Paul Nipkow, a German student studying in West Prussia, patents the very first electromechanical system.

Though he never built the device, the principle was sound, using rotating scanning disk to break images into a mosaic lines and points, and this basis was used by later inventors to develop the concept further.

1907 - Rosing Damp

A Russian named Boris Rosing succeeds in using cathode ray tubes in conjunction with Nipkow's mechanical scanner system to transfer black and white silhouettes of simple shapes, laying the foundations of electric television. It's not exactly gripping stuff just yet.

He ceases his television work after being exiled by Stalin.

 

1925 - Baird's Eye View

John Logie Baird first transmits moving silhouette images. Basing his technology on Nipkow's scanning disc and adapting it using later developments in electronics, in the following year, he then transmits moving monochromatic images.

 

1928 - The Birth of TV

Philo Farnsworth displays the world's first working television system to the press. WRGB, the world's oldest television station, is formed soon after. TV is truly born!

 

1932 - The Beeb

The British Broadcasting Corporation - or BBC for short - begins test television broadcasting.

 

1936 - Jesse Owns

The Berlin Olympic Games is the first sporting event to be broadcast live. Germans are able to watch live events in special viewing booths, called "Public Television Offices" both in Berlin and Potsdam.

They watch as Jesse Owens, the great American track and field athlete, wins four gold medals in the 100m, 200m, long jump and 4x100m relay.

 

 

1946 - Living in Colour

Peter Goldmark, working for CBS, demonstrates his colour television system to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). His system produced colour pictures by having a red-blue-green wheel spin in front of a cathode ray tube. A gold mark for Goldmark.

 

1948 - The Wire

Cable television is introduced in Pennsylvania as a means of bringing television to rural and remote households.

 

1956 - Under Control

Robert Adler creates the first genuinely practical remote control, creatively named the Zenith Space Commander. The semantically licensed gadget fails to command space, but works with your telly at least.

 

1962 - Satellite News

Satellite television is born when AT&T launches Telstar, the first satellite with the capability of carrying TV broadcasts, making TV truly international.

 

1969 - One Small Step

An estimated 530 million people worldwide tune in to watch the moon landing broadcast live - around 14% of the global population.

 

1976 - VHS Versus

Sony introduces betamax, the first home video cassette recorder. It doesn't last, beaten by VHS in the battle of the video recorders.

 

1994 - Surfing USA

ABC's World News program is the first TV program to be broadcast over the internet. Later, online applications like Netflix and the BBC's iPlayer offer online streaming of TV programmes and films all across the world.

 

2008 - Bei-watch

The Summer Olympics is watched by an estimated 4.7 billion people - 70% of the world's population - with anywhere between 1 and 4 billion viewers tuning in to the opening ceremony.

 

20?? - The Future

So what of the future of TV? 3D, social and on demand are already here, but then? Projective TVs 1mm deep? A-little-too-Smart TVs that tell you what you should be watching? The TV has come on a little since the days of Rosing and Nipkow...

This interactive infographic was created by Visopix, the home of social TV.

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