Television technology milestones

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A timeline showing the chronology of important events in the history of television technology.




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BLACK & WHITE TELEVISION Americans got their first look at television at an exhibit sponsored by RCA at the 1939 New York World's Fair. A promotional brochure described it as "Radio's newest contribution to home entertainment." CABLE TELEVISION Community Antenna Television(CATV),delivered via coaxial cable, originated in the United States in 1948 and in Canada in 1952,primarily to serve rural areas. By 1959, Canada had a cross-country network of microwave relay stations. WIRELESS REMOTE In 1956, Zenith introduced the first practical wireless TV remote, called Space Command.Two buttons allowed viewers to turn the TV on and off, and change channels. THE CABLE TV CONVERTER It was big and clunky-but we didn't know it then.We tripped over the wires, but we didn't care. We pushed those buttons with abandon, able to watch without ever having to leave our chairs.Hamlin introduced its Remote Programmer in 1971, and Jerrold had its converter on the market soon after.And so the couch potato was born. VCR Two competing formats for home videotaping revolutionized the television industry in the late 1970s. The technically superior Sony Betamax eventually lost out to the less expensive (and not proprietary) VHS. TIVO, PVR, DVR Digital video recorders were introduced at the 1999 Consumer Electronics Show (CES),allowing viewers to simultaneously record one TV show while watching another. The TIVO became so popular,it quickly turned into a verb: "I wasn't able to watch (insert favorite show here) last night,but I TIVO'd it. HDTV Hailed as the most significant breakthrough since colour television, high definition TV became available as a result of the global transition from analog television broadcasting to digital TV. Digital TV arrived in the United States in late 1998. The first HDTV broadcast in Canada was Super.Bowl XXXIV in January,2000. UHF In 1952, the Federal Communications Commission began allowing ultra-high frequency (UHF)TV broadcasting, adding 70 new channels. COLOUR TELEVISION 1954 kicked off with the first nationwide colour television broadcast in the United States: the Tournament of Roses parade. SATELLITE TRANSMISSION The first satellite transmission of a television broadcast occurred in July,1962,after the launch of the Telstar satellite. Canada launched the geostationary satellite Anik 1 in 1972. PAY-TV Home Box Office (HBO) became the first pay-TV network in the United States in 1972. DVD Electronics manufacturers agreed on a common format for the new high-density optical disc in September, 1995,avoiding a VCR-style format war. Available in the United States in March 1997,the DVD discs and players provided far superior picture and sound quality and more those DVD extras. PLASMA AND LCD At the 1989 Winter Consumer Electronics Show, Sharp Electronics introduced a 14-inch liquid crystal display television billed as "the world's largest colour crystal display." 3D TV Hyped at the 2010 CES, the 3D-at-home revolution fizzled when consumers failed in any great numbers to snap up the expensive units with their silly glasses and less than abundant content. Still,shipment of 3D LCD TV panels rose to 21.2 million in 2011,or 10 per cent of all LCD TV Panels shipped.