The Evolution Of TV: TV Is Evolving

Author: Sean



I’ve previously discussed how my TV viewing has changed. Looking back to a much simpler time when we could only watch TV using terrestrial aerials and the number of channels was limited to just a few.

Through the years we’ve had cable and satellite that increased the number of channels we could watch. Next came hard drives built into the cable and satellite receivers that allowed us to record programs while we were away.

The Internet has revolutionised how we view entertainment today. No longer do we need to have a schedule, extra specialized receivers, and other equipment. We just need access to the internet and either a computer, on-demand TV box, or smart TV.

With any of these, we can connect to thousands of streaming sites now available on the Internet.

Now that I no longer have a physical cable box and only use a wireless on-demand box, I can’t see myself going back to watching TV using terrestrial aerials any time soon. However, I will always have a fondness for TV shows that were broadcast in the past – many of which I can watch on streaming channels.

The Evolution Of TV Up To Today

Before we look forward to where TV is evolving too, let us look at the history and evolution that has given us what we have today.

Where did it all begin?

Museo della Scienza e della Tecnologia "Leonardo da Vinci", CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons
Pantelegrafo dell’abate Giovanni Caselli – Museo della Scienza e della Tecnologia “Leonardo da Vinci”

While TV’s have changed through the decades, there are some similar features. It all began with the Pantelegraph. It could transmit handwriting, signatures, or drawings within an area of up to 150 mm × 100 mm. Through the use of electrochemistry, pictures could be transferred from one area to another.

Moving forward, the first TV was developed and demonstrated to the public in 1925 by the Scottish engineer John Logie Baird. The inventor demonstrated the first successful picture transmission, which was the image of a ventriloquist’s dummy.

The first Barid TV went on sale in 1929. The images produced on this TV set were around the size of a red postage-stamp, enlarged to twice that size by a magnifying glass.

The demand for televisions grew rapidly in the 1930s, and in 1934 the first commercially available CRT (cathode raid tubes) TV’s were made and sold by Telefunken.

Moving quickly forward, these TV’s were only black and white. During the 1940’s Baird continued his work on a color TV and gave the world’s first demonstration of a fully integrated electronic color picture tube on 16 August 1944. A few years later this took a huge hit after Baird’s untimely death. Research of color TV technology move from the UK over to the USA.

The world’s first proper colour TV service began in the USA. Colour television was available in select cities beginning in 1954. 

TV continued to grow from there, both the audience and size of the TV screens and devices. Quickly moving forward, these TV devices were large until the release of the first flat screen LCD TV’s back in the 1990’s.

Moving forward the technology to produce HD video was created, and then moving more forward to today where we have 4k and even 8k TV which screen technologies such as OLED and LED.

A Discussion Around How TV is Moving Forward

When we talk about TV, we’re not now talking about the actual devices, but of the programs themselves and how we watch them.

TV has evolved enough that it can now be streamed to us using various technologies. You can receive a TV signal using an RF aerial. There are satellite receiver devices and cable receiver devices. 

My personal prefered TV delivery is done through the Internet. The quality is generally very good, especially with services such as Netflix and Amazon Instant Video, although there are some issues. Though the technology improves consistently.

It goes without saying that there are many more other streaming services out there including many terrestrial, satellite and cable channels now having on-demand. This is discussed in more detail in other posts and so it’s not going to be covered in detail here.

I personally believe that the way forward with our video entertainment is by using online streaming services. If all statistics were gathered I would expect YouTube viewing statistics to be greater than any non-on-demand service out there. Most people prefer to be able to stream their entertainment at a time that suits them and not as a network chosen slot allocation.

Watching Video On Your Smartphone

Streaming video also allows you to view content on any device that has a screen and internet connection. I currently watch around 25% of my video on my smartphone. It uses a 6in screen and has 2k resolution so perfect for viewing. I simply turn on my Bluetooth earphones and view to my content. This, to me, is the way forward for our viewing content.

The Future of TV

So, what predictions do I have for the future? With new foldable smartphone devices, we are getting the ability to have larger screens. More streaming will be done to these devices by people as we move forward.

Potentially, possibly some devices could have a projection mode to allow you to project your video on the nearest wall. 

Many more movies are coming directly to streaming services at the same time as the cinema, sometimes even instead of the cinema. In the future, we may do away with cinemas as we know them and have our own personal home cinemas where we stream and watch content.

With many VR devices now coming onto the market, we may find that these may start to be incorporated into our video viewing experience. May be VR cinema or even immersed in the film itself.

We can easily predict is that more streaming channels and devices are going to be made and used. Video of the future is going to be streamed when you want, where you want.


The evolution of TV is mobile and streaming. 

The future of TV is going to be streaming and so it’s likely that the majority of our viewing content will be streamed rather than watched from a device. The way forward for our TV viewing is the same as it is for any other media. We should continue to look forward to what is coming next and how it will be delivered to us.

Also, the future is today. We can do this type of video-on-demand to our current smartphone devices. If you have unlimited data plans, it’s worth it. Sometimes it’s just nice watching videos where you want to.

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