Before television there was cinema, but we had to leave our homes to watch it. Now that we have it in our homes, we desire ever-greater sized screens to watch it on, yet at the same time, crave to be able to watch its content on the move, resulting in us watching it on smaller screens. So, let us consider how the television itself has evolved over time and how we are now watching what is broadcast.
First Demonstration of Television
Scot, John Logie Baird FRSE was the first person to demonstrate a working television system. He was an electrical engineer and a known innovator. His demonstration took place on 26 January 1926. Baird, like all inventors, made sacrifices. He sold off his business selling soap and socks to pursue his dream of inventing a television. It would become an obsession of his and he needed to also borrow money from friends to make it happen. He would use the money to buy materials. He was successful in his goal because in 1928 the Baird Television Development Company achieved the first transatlantic transmission of television.
Early Television Sets
The first of the mass-produced television sets was called the RCA 630-TS, which was sold between 1946 and 1947. It was post-war that television usage increased dramatically. It is thought that in 1947 some 15,000 households owned a television, and by 1952, it was 1.4 million.
The earliest of the commercially manufactured televisions consisted of a radio with a television added. This television device would be made up of a neon tube which was behind a mechanically-spinning disk that has a spiral of apertures producing a tiny image. In fact, one as small as an old postage stamp. This image would then be enlarged to twice that size by a glass magnifier. The televisions that Baird built with Charles F. Jenkins of the US, in the 1920s, combined Nipkow’s mechanical scanning disk with vacuum-tube amplifiers and photoelectric cells.
In 1973, T. Peter Brody, J. A. Asars, and G. D. Dixon demonstrated the first TFT LCD (Thin-Film Transistor Liquid-Crystal Display) television. Then, as technology brought down the size of televisions, 1982 saw in Japan, the development of the first pocket LCD television. The Sinclair TV80, known alternatively as the Flat Screen Pocket TV or FFTV1, was released by Sinclair Research in 1983.
In the 90s and early 00s, 16:9 (1.78:1), or widescreen television, was commonly found in homes. It would be used in conjunction with high definition (HD) televisions or standard definition (SD) DVD player devices. This technology could bring the cinema experience into home living rooms. In terms of surround sound, which ultimately found its way into television sets, 5.1 Surround Sound was invented by Dolby in 1976 to be first used in cinemas for the release of Batman Returns in 1992, and 7.1 for the release of Toy Story 3 in 2010. Disney then vowed to use it for their future releases.
Streaming is a method of receiving data (particularly video and audio) over computer networks and as a steady and continuous flow. With technology now highly developed, it is possible to stream whole films from the internet to any computer, large television screen, a 4k tv model, or mobile device. For instance, we can now watch a movie while waiting for a bus or train, and both are known to keep us waiting.
It was in 2007 that Netflix’s website, originally set up for DVD rentals and sales, began streaming their content. Apart from Netflix, other companies that stream includes: Amazon Prime Video, VidMate, HBO Now, and Megabox HD. There are lots more, offering different choices of modern and period movies, and television shows, to watch and entertain us.
Drawing this article to a close, as cinema curtains do after the movie is over, it is just left to say that whatever size screen you prefer you can have it, and wherever you want to watch that movie in true cinema style, or on the move, is entirely up to you.