A Brief History of How TVs Came to Be

We love our televisions. Whether it’s the kids watching cartoons, a Friday night film or catching up on our favourite soaps – you’d be hard pushed to find a home without one, or several in fact. Here we look at the history of this much-loved device.

There is not one single inventor who can claim the credit of inventing the TV. It was rather the efforts of several people, either working together or alone that evolved into what we see in our homes today. The very beginning of TV saw two approaches that resulted in the technology needed. Some tried using rotating disks while others experimented with a cathode ray tube invented by the German scientist Karl Braun in 1897. The ray tube worked better and eventually replaced the mechanical disk method.

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During the 1920s, John Logie Baird had the idea of using transparent rods which would create images for television, and he patented this idea. These images were the first examples of reflected light rather than silhouettes lit from behind. Meanwhile, Charles Jenkins created a mechanical version and claimed the first transmitted moving silhouette images in 1923. He was also behind the opening of America’s first broadcasting station called W3XK. If your TV needs some TLC, then think about a professional TV Aerials Swansea company like https://www.onevisionltd.co.uk/tv-aerial-installation-swansea

It was Russian inventor Vladimir Zworykin who came up with a much-improved version of the cathode ray tube in 1929. This was very much needed and provided a system with the features that we see in modern picture tubes. Two years earlier, Philo T. Farnsworth in the U.S developed the dissector tube which became an essential part of all electronic televisions.

You might be surprised to learn that the first proposal for colour television actually appeared in 1880, but it was Vladimir Zworykin who filed the patent for an all-colour device. It wasn’t until 1953 that the first broadcast in colour successfully took place on a colour system.

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Cable television first appeared in Pennsylvania during the 1940s, which is amazing as you’d think it was much later. The first remote controls were seen, again in the U.S, in 1956. The initial product was called Lazy Bones and were developed by the Zenith Radio Corporation.

Children’s programmes really gained in popularity during the 1950s, even though there were kid’s shows airing in the very early days of TV. Saturday mornings were the prime time viewing slots for these programmes, which is a tradition that still remains to this day.

These days we’re more used to seeing plasma displays which use little cells of ionised gas to create incredibly clear images. The first prototype was actually seen as far back as 1964, invented by Gene Slottow, Robert Wilson and Donald Bitzer.

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