Evolution of television in the last 90 years

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Evolution of television in the last 90 years

Evolution of television in the last 90 years

Television’s evolution is comparable to Spanish society’s path during the last decades. Few remember when the neighbors got together in the few houses with one. Many spent the afternoons in front of the screen to see the mythical  One, two, or three. Without a doubt, a story worth remembering, as we will do in this article.

evolution of television

Thinking about how television has changed from black and white can make you dizzy. Imagine the transformations they have undergone until they reach 3D, the Smart system, or QLED technology. This review will bring back memories that may have been left behind.

The birth: the radio box with pictures

Many placed their origin in the 20th century, when they began to be known. However, you have to go back a century, specifically to 1884. Paul Nipkow conceived the idea of ​​a record that, when rolled, would emit images. In 1900, Constantin Perskye coined the word “television” during an international congress.

The idea, during its beginnings, was that of a box with a projection system. In 1928, radio was included in its interior to combine image and sound for the first time. It was based on amplification technology, using a lens to make visual content larger.

The first open broadcasts

In 1927, the BBC made the first public broadcast, combining radio with the broadcast of images. At the moment, it was more of an experimental project than a service to society. However, it received a substantial boost when, three years later, NBC and CBS broadcast simultaneously.

At this time, the three networks (British and American) began to build their popularity. Today, they continue to be essential in their countries, but it was in the twenties and thirties that they revolutionized the landscape. However, they had not yet managed to enter the houses beyond the radio.

Telefunken and the significant expansion

When the first tests were over, it was thought to market them. The society of the time was still marked by significant instability, and television became a necessary means of disseminating information. In this way, the first television was born at the hand of Telefunken. This was based on cathode ray technology, which synthesized video and audio.

Countries like the United Kingdom, France, and the United States saw the arrival of the first models in 1934. They were only available to societies and families with greater purchasing power. After five years, World War II’s outbreak brought television changes to a screeching halt.

The arrival of color television

During the fifties, they underwent a change that finally managed to expand them massively. In 1966, the American network ABC launched a series in color, which became the first broadcast of its kind. To do this, they combined three cathode rays to create a color range that, although limited, was surprising.

In our country, TVE carried out the first tests in 1956. There were less than a thousand devices throughout the national territory, which were still in black and white. For its part, the Eurovision network was produced on the European continent, which synchronized the main national channels.

A slower diffusion in Spain

As we said, our country still saw black and white images when others already saw series in color. It was not until the seventies that they were commercialized massively and obtained their wide popularity. News as necessary as the death of Franco or the first steps of democracy generated an essential need for information.

In 1980, Japanese manufacturers began to innovate and launch new TV models on the market. Until then, the only changes had been purely aesthetic, while the Japanese industry developed larger and higher resolution screens. In parallel, and with the end of censorship, FORTA was born in Spain, which brought together the first regional channels.

DLP technology and private channels

Although during its beginnings, the expansion was due to its public utility, everything would change in 1990 with the arrival of private channels. In our country, Antena 3 and Telecinco emerged in 1990 to expand the thematic offer, dominated until then by La 1 and La 2.

For its part,  DLP (Digital Light Processing) technology was based on micromirrors to generate an image that could be significantly amplified. This made them increase in inches, even reaching 40 or 50. Today, this system is still used, although in an optimized version.

The new millennium and new technologies

Unprecedented technologies accompanied the entry into the 2000s to date. During the early years, flat screens emerged that left behind the concept of household appliances. Subsequently, the arrival of DTT caused the variety of thematic channels to increase considerably.

During the 2010s, LED technology became definitively established. The same thing happens with HD, which pushes all the channels to offer their image in 720p and 1080p. In 2012,  3D televisions began to become famous on the market, although what prevailed were OLED and QLED.

For its part, the resolution represented a qualitative leap so high that it continues to improve today. The first 8K quickly overshadowed the arrival of 4K. Currently, the latest models combine Smart TVs (with internet connection and streaming platforms ) with 16K crystal LEDs, the future technology.

As you have seen, the evolution of television over the last 90 years has been linked to the needs of society. Undoubtedly, the coming years will show how Netflix, HBO, or Amazon Prime services will manage to reinvent conventional networks.


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