Television: The Ultimate in Viewing

When television first made its public appearance on January 23, 1926, little did we know that it will be one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century. Television (or TV) has invaded almost every home worldwide. From that time on, TV has become the favorite family home entertainment device.

Commercially available from the late 1930s, television is a communications system where moving pictures and sound are broadcasted over long distance.

Television has come a long way ever since its inception in the early 1920s. Today it has evolved into personalized TV where users have more control over their TV programming as well as the customizing of programs to their own preferences.

This kind of technology is referred to as IPTV. IPTV is a technology that supports transmission of standard television or video signals over the internet. TV service is integrated with broadband internet services sharing the same internet connections.

Clearly, millions of people spend more time glued to their television sets more than having regular, normal family interactions. As more television sets are installed in households, more consumers of different ages have developed also various tastes in the different programs and how they are broadcasted.

1. How television has influenced our lives

Television has now become a common household communications technology in millions of homes worldwide and as a source of entertainment and news. It has become a transmitter of programming, advertising, commercials, information and sports. An average person watches 3 to 6 hours of television in one day.

Children as well as adults have been highly influenced by television. Mothers send their children to sleep by posing them in front of TVs tuned to children’s shows. A lot of children’s preschool knowledge, whether good or bad, is part of TV influence. Older children come home from school to watch TV even before they dive into homework. Adults are also tagged by TV and have chosen to watch more news as opposed to readings news coming from the print media.

Television is also a powerful form of media that has become a force that is used to disseminate information in times of danger, in political battles, insurgencies, uprisings and revolts against the existing government. It is one of the most powerful tools of media as well as most influential.

2. The evolution of television

Compared to the years when television just came out looking like a boxed screen, it has now morphed into a device that receives different broadcast or video formats such as a high definition TV or HDTV. Whereas in the 70s it was used as a device for recording movies and other television programs by using a VCR tape, today recordings are done by employing digital playback systems or DVDs.

Starting February 17, 2009 a new law passed by The Federal Communications Commission, an agency of the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau of the United States of America will require all full-power broadcast stations stop broadcasting in analog format. The law is under the Digital TV Transition (DTV) heading.

The reasons for switching to digital according to the enactment are:

  • to free up frequencies for safety communications (911 emergency lines)
  • digital is a more efficient transmission technology
  • digital offers more program options through multiple broadcast streams of multicasting, and
  • freed up frequencies will be used for advanced commercial wireless services for consumers
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