80 years ago this week was the first continuous TV transmission by the infant BBC using Technology developed by the Scottish innovator John Logie Baird. Back then the nascent industry was thriving with many competing pioneers much like the denizens of the World Wide Web decades later.
Like most Technologies only the rich could afford to participate as TV sets cost many multiples of the average wage but as the receivers became mass produced more & more of us joined the TV owners club.
Today it is estimated that 80% of the world’s households own at least one TV so it doesn’t matter if you live in a Palace or the poorest slum you can still be dreaming of Californication.
As the technology developed from black & white to colour in the 1960’s & then digital in the 1990’s the image quality improved dramatically. Screens became larger as the image density increased. Samsung have just announced the first commercially available 110 inch screen !
In parallel the content has expanded exponentially as has the proportion using pay per view services so we have an almost infinite choice of programmes to watch from all over the Globe.
The most watched event in the history of TV was the 1969 Moon Landings with an estimated 503 million viewers word wide. Friends crowded round their more affluent neighbours sets to watch a grainy black & white image as Neil Armstrong took a ‘Giant leap for mankind’ his famous words distorted across the void.
Despite all this ‘progress’ its ironic how many of us still complain that there is ‘nothing on TV tonight’