The Invention Of Television And Its Influence On The World

To begin, two men had a vision to put moving images on a screen. One man, Philo T. Fransworth, was plowing a potato field while he dreamed of the idea. The other visionary, Vladimir Zworykin, had a vision for television at the age of 14. But, little did they know that they would be competing against each other. Vladimir tried to challenge Fransworth’s patent many times. Philo confessed his idea to his high school teacher and proved that “Fransworth had indeed documented his ideas one year before RCA’s Vladimir Zworykin”. This was one of the few challenges for Zworykin to win. Fransworth won dozens of legal cases in the end and eventually got his own patent for television.

To elaborate, a group of men hold the title as the inventor of the television. Nonetheless, only one man can claim full responsibility. Born in a log cabin located in Utah, Philo T. Fransworth holds the most credibility for the invention of the television. According to his living relatives, Fransworth’s idea of the television sparked while he plowed the familys’ potato field. While in high school, he told his teacher the vision he had of the television. Later, he moved to California with his wife to be closer to the technical schools that taught motion-picture sciences. Then in 1928, the couple organized a lab and obtained a venture capital from bankers in the oil industry. Vladimir Zworykin, born in Mourom, Russia, also contributed to the development of television. In 1912, Zworykin earned his electrical engineering degree and a doctorate in physics in 1926. During the war, he served in the army generating new weapons. Once the war ended, he progressed his work in the field of electronics. He later on made important developments with the electron microscope and electric eye. After living in the United States for ten years, he became the director of the electronics research laboratory for Radio Corporation of America (RCA). The inventor of the television held by three men can be narrowed down to just one man, Philo T. Farnsworth.

To expand, Farnsworth began dreaming of television in 1920 when he heard other inventors were pursuing to transmit images. Philo visioned the television “while driving a horse drawn harrow at the family’s new farm in Idaho. As he plowed a potato field in straight, parallel lines, he saw television in the furrows. He envisioned a system that would break an image into horizontal lines and reassemble those lines into a picture at the other end”. Years later, he composed ideas and expressed the idea to his chemistry teacher. Once he moved to Salt Lake City in 1924, he and George Everson, businessman, became friends. Interested in the ideas of television, George endowed 6,000 dollars. In order to prove the concepts of television, he received a year to do so along with a research lab. Farnsworth developed an image in his head for an invention and never looked back. 

As a result, Farnsworth built the all electronic television set in 1927. In the 1920s, the American people grasped very little about television because experiments were done away from the public eye. Until 1927 Americans did not realize television’s reality. One year later, Farnsworth demonstrated the television set he built for the press. Although the television sets were available for purchase, not many sets were sold at first. Beginning in 1931, CBS started experiential broadcasts followed by NBC the next year. Farnsworth began his experimental broadcasts in 1936 from his Philco laboratory. It was not until 1939 when television sets went on sale to the public. From the moment Farnsworth demonstrated his television set, television companies began broadcasting right away. 

Without delay, television broadcasting began with Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) experimental broadcasting. After the war, CBS produced and showed its color television to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 1946. Four years later, CBS’s color television was approved by the FCC. The next year CBS started broadcasting programs in color. Then, in 1962 the Telstar communications satellite rocketed into orbit. Telstar satellite allowed for international transmission of television for the first time. Around this time, at least one television set sat in an estimated 87 percent of American homes. Overall, broadcasting progressed and advanced quickly after the war. 

Furthermore, with every invention comes innovative upgrades. The first improvement for television came after the United States entered World War II. Peter Goldmark, engineer for CBS, saw Gone with the Wind and only thought about the color of the movie. Over six months, he came up with a system to display color. He became CBS’s respenstative for the National Television System Committee to present his color system. Representatives of the FCC were dazzled by his ideas and allowed color broadcasting. While color broadcasting advanced, cable television arised. Cable television allowed for better reception in the rural areas. In order to increase reception, cables ran from rural areas to television stations in the city but they also re-transmitted signals from the broadcast networks themselves. Next, satellite broadcasting took place in 1962. Satellite broadcasting allows viewers anywhere in the world to watch events live instead of learning about events days or weeks after they occur. Introduced by Zenith, the wireless remote control came out in 1957. For the first time in 1984, multichannel sound broadcasts were authorized. Right after the multichannel broadcast came stereo into the homes of viewers. Later noise reduction systems were released to part out high-frequency sounds. High-definition television, a revolutionary change for television, came about in 1987 when a Japanese broadcasting company demonstrated a HDTV. Television upgrades of yesterday provide a more luxurious way of watching television in today’s world. 

Therefore, the way of life at home today compares much differently to when the television first came out. At first, people had to get up to change the channel. Now, wireless remote controls allow viewers to change the channel, volume, and source all from their seats. Back in the day, families choose from a few programs to watch everyday. The programs had set time schedules when they would be on for viewing. In today’s world, there are hundreds of television companies and streaming services available. Every television network runs a program every hour of the day. TV is just not on the screen in the living room, it “is on your phone, on your Playstation, on Youtube, on your laptop, and even, sometimes, on your actual television”. The idea of television changed dramatically throughout the years it evolved. Television evolved to be more than just a box with a screen. “Tv is everything now, and everywhere,” said Peter Suderman. Peter says TV is everywhere because of the streaming services like Netflix, Disney +, Apple TV+, and Peacock. TV went from being an object one bought at the store to an every device consuming one’s time. 

Consequently, the future of TV looks bright and quixotic. As technology processes, the advancement of TV continues to look futuristic. The people of today's world have a glimpse of what is to come. Samsung Electronics released the first ‘curved’ TV in 2013, which allows for a more mesmerizing experience while watching. Not only the way TV will look change, but the viewing choices as well. Just as streaming services incline, cable companies struggle to keep customers. Growing companies such as YouTube, Hulu, and Amazon Prime give cable television companies competition. Customers realize the streaming services offer shows to their interest for a cheaper price and therefore move away from cable. People predict cable television companies to allow customers to mix and match TV channels with streaming service subscriptions. Also, people expect streaming services to acquire a more powerful engine. Instead of browsing through thousands of channels and shows, the engine displays options based off of the viewers’ habits and interests. While the future of TV looks intriguing, American society and culture experienced changed from TV. 

To further explain, TV made an impact on racial minorities in America. Many critics argued outright racism for very few minorities appearing on TV. In the 1950s and 1960s, broadcast networks tried to do research about the audience to see who watched their programs. The networks assumed most the audience was white. Broadcast networks wanted to create programs in order to grab the attention of a wide audience. Racial minorities were not on TV as much because the broadcast networks did not offend the viewers. Once the networks gained the tools to break down their audience characteristics, they began to add minority characters and shows in their programs. Later in the 1980s and 1990s, networks offered channels toward the minority audience. 

Overall, programming for TV segregated overtime and adding more minority characters lead to accurate and respectful portraits of minorities on screen. Along with minorities having little screen time, women made up a small percentage of roles on TV series. Popular shows I Love Lucy and I Dream of Jeannie helped the American society accept greater acceptance of women. TV also had an impact on politics in America because people received a first hand look at the candidates running. According to critics, TV encouraged voters to vote for candidates based on their appearance. Political advertising came with high expenses, therefore only the wealthiest Americans could run for office. Additionally, TV shaped how people connected and viewed the world. Americans were able to receive world attention because of the improvements of communication technology. Programs on the TV help immigrants stay connected to their homelands. People can also learn new languages and cultures with the help of TV. Accordingly, TV shaped the American society by creating ways to socialize, by breaking the color barrier, and by connecting people to the world. 

16 August 2021
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