The Invention and Evolution of Television

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The Invention and Evolution of Television

The television is an invention that without a doubt changed the world. Televisions have been available for the public to own since the early ‘40s. Like every invention the Television’s popularity started off slow. At the end of World War Two about 8,000 households owned a television. At this point in time televisions were all black and white, small, and had no more than a few channels to choose from. The programming consisted of entertainment and there was little focus on news. One of the main reasons for this was that with the technology they were not able to broadcast up to date news programs.

In 1962 Telstar was launched. Telstar was the first private communications satellite, and it made possible global transmission. One of the first major events broadcasted over Telstar was President John F. Kennedy’s funeral. Telstar’s launch was a huge leap for the advancement television. With Telstar, news could now be broadcasted when it happened, adding a whole new dynamic to television. Another aspect of Telstar that helped progress the television was the fact that it broadcasted globally, creating a global television community.

Another huge leap in the progression of television was the launch of another satellite. This new satellite, named PanAmSat, was the first privately owned international satellite. Its 1988 launch cut the costs of broadcasting globally, making international news as readily available as domestic news.

The 1980s brought cable television to the world. Cable greatly increased the number of channels available to its users. With cable came many new channels. These channels were now able to target a specific audience. Channels such as M TV (music television) p...

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...n. Many people argue that television is bad for society, that it is a mindless form of entertainment, but Raymond Williams says “If television had not been invented, the argument runs, we would still be manipulated or mindlessly entertained, but in some other way and perhaps less powerful.” What he is saying it that Television is not evil and a complete waste of time, but rather and inevitable medium to manipulate and mindlessly entertain our society, but that is not a bad thing. People need to be entertained and weather they have a television or not they will be doing something. Williams is saying that Television does not cause laziness, but rather cater to it.

All in all television is an invention that changed society more than any other invention throughout the greater 20th century. It is hard to imagine a world without television, considering all of its uses.

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