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Broadcast/Video Production I


Broadcast/Video Production I ACCT-BVP1-1 HISTORY OF MASS MEDIA – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Broadcast/Video Production I

Broadcast/Video Production I
  • ACCT-BVP1-1

ACCT-BVP1-1. Students will identify inventions
and technical and social developments that led to
the creation of radio and television in a
broadcast environment.
  • What does it mean? It means that you should be
    able to tell about how things like television and
    radio got started and how they got to where they
    are today.

The Growth of Communications
  • As long as humans have been around, we have had
    to communicate with each other. Before we
    learned an actual language, we used grunting
    noises and crude sign language or charades to
  • As we became more advanced, we began to
    communicate in other ways.

Radio Pioneers Core Technologies(From the FCC)
  • The Ideas that Made Radio Possible
  • By the late 1800's, Americans had nearly 50 years
    of experience with a new communication device
    that used electricity and magnets to instantly
    "write at a distance." The success of the
    telegraph led Alexander Graham Bell to develop an
    "electrical speech machine" in 1876 that also
    used electricity and magnets to capture and send
    the sound of the human voice over long distances.
    But as wonderful as these amazing devices were,
    they shared a common weakness - their messages
    could only go where their wires led.

Radio Pioneers Core Technologies(From the FCC)
  • So what was a ship at sea or a sheriff on an open
    range to do when they urgently needed to summon
    help? Could mankind communicate over great
    distances without wires?
  • Today we know that wireless communication using
    the radio frequencies of the electromagnetic
    spectrum answered these questions. But, in 1885
    German physicist Heinrich Hertz thought his proof
    of Maxwell's theories
  • that electromagnetic waves behave in the same way
    as light, and

Radio Pioneers Core Technologies(From the FCC)
  • that light itself is electromagnetic in nature
    had no practical value since he could only send
    signals a few yards. Further, he saw no way of
    improving or amplifying the signal so that it
    could be received at a greater distance. Finally,
    his experiments showed that if two transmitters
    operated in the same proximity, the nearby
    receiver found both signals, producing nothing
    but static and hiss.
  • Thus, Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi's 1901
    transmission of a wireless signal from Ireland to
    Canada was an expression of faith as well as
    applied science. Marconi later described the
    prevailing skepticism of learned individuals by
    noting that achieving long distance wireless
    transmission of sound

Radio Pioneers Core Technologies(From the FCC)
  • "...had been declared to be impossible by some of
    the principal mathematicians of the time - (the)
    chief question mark (being) whether wireless
    waves would be stopped by the curvature of the
    earth...some eminent men held that the roundness
    of the earth would prevent communication over
    such great distances as the atlantic."
  • But the "pip-pip-pip" (Morse code for the letter
    "s") that Marconi reported he heard at 1230 p.m.
    on December 12, 1901 was just one of many
    remarkable events that gave true meaning to
    Oliver Lodge's proclamation that wireless
    communications had created a new "epoch in
    history." For wireless telegraphs had begun to
    appear on ocean-going vessels as early as 1891 -
    many of them donated for demonstration purposes
    by Marconi. For it was the opportunity to save
    lives and property on large ships that provided
    much of the early impetus to develop wireless
    communications via the radio waves.
  • Radio waves are electromagnetic radiation.

Radio Pioneers Core Technologies(From the FCC)
  • The 1899 collision between the coal-laden R. F.
    Matthews and the East Goodwin Lightship was just
    the first instance where the use of wireless
    radio saved lives. Because of the extremely dense
    fog and strong tides present that day, the
    lifeboats that came to the rescue might not have
    seen flares in time to get to the crash site
    prior to some loss of life. Thankfully the
    Trinity House Corporation, owner of the East
    Goodwin, was participating in a demonstration of
    Marconi radio systems and the ship's captain was
    able to quickly signal for help.

Radio Pioneers Core Technologies(From the FCC)
  • Thus, Marconi's integration of the work of Hertz,
    Righi, Branly, Lodge, and others led to an
    improved radio system based upon
  • Using a coherer to improve detection of the
  • Designing both the transmitting and receiving
    antennas so that they could be tuned to a
    specific frequency,
  • Increasing the power, and
  • Decreasing the transmitting frequency into the
    medium or short wave range.

Radio Pioneers Core Technologies(From the FCC)
  • These innovations paved the way for the next big
    breakthrough in wireless radio transmissions -
    sending the sound of a human voice over the air
    waves instead of just the dots and dashes of
    wireless telegraphy.
  • Canadian Reginald Fessenden was the larger than
    life man whose work, in combination with those
    discussed in the next section, introduced, in
    1906, what we think of today as radio music,
    news, talk, in fact any sound human beings can
    make. Experiences as the chief chemist in
    Edison's labs, work at Westinghouse,
    professorships in electrical engineering at
    Purdue University and the University of
    Pennsylvania, research in North Carolina for the
    U.S. Weather Bureau, and, finally, a founding
    partnership in the National Electric Signaling
    Company uniquely qualified him to solve the
    riddle of how sound waves traveled and what was
    necessary to transmit those waves wirelessly from
    one point to another.

Radio Pioneers Core Technologies(From the FCC)
  • Although best known for his 1906 Christmas Eve
    broadcast of music and voice from Brant Rock,
    Massachusetts, Fessenden actually made the first
    transmission of voice in 1900 while under
    contract to the Weather Bureau. His continuous
    wave theory - whereby a sound wave is combined
    with a radio wave and transmitted to a receiver
    where the radio wave is removed so that the
    listener hears only the original sound -
    describes how radio works today.
  • Fessenden proved his theory on December 23, 1900
    from an island in the Potomac River. Speaking to
    an associate who was a mile away with a receiving
    unit, Fessenden said
  • "One - two - three - four, is it snowing where
    you are Mr. Thiessen? If it is, would you
    telegraph back to me?"
  • Thiessen replied in the affirmative and the rest,
    as they say, is history.

Radio Pioneers Core Technologies(From the FCC)
  • With technologies for both long-distance and
    voice transmissions in place, one final event
    served as the capstone that made radio an
    essential technology for the 20th century. That
    event was the sinking of the Titanic in 1912. The
    "unsinkable" Titanic was equipped with a
    state-of-the-art Marconi radio system a rotary
    spark transmitter, powered by a 5 kilowatt
    alternator that fed off the ship's lighting
    circuit, a four wire antenna hoisted 250 feet in
    the air between the ship's masts, and even a
    battery powered emergency transmitter. There was
    a guaranteed transmission range of 250 miles, but
    at night transmissions could go up to 2000 miles.
    The two radio operators expected to spend all
    their time sending and receiving personal
    communications from the wealthy passengers. And,
    in fact, from the April 12 sailing until the ship
    hit the iceberg just past midnight on April 15
    they sent 250 such messages.
  • During the two hours from the first distress call
    until the radio operators abandoned the radio
    room they sent 30-35 messages, which were heard
    as far away as Italy but not by a ship four
    miles away, because the radio operator was off

Radio Pioneers Core Technologies(From the FCC)
  • While over 1,500 people were lost in this
    tragedy, about 700 survived - with credit going,
    largely, to the wireless distress messages that
    the Titanic broadcast. In the aftermath of this
    international event several new regulations were
    put in place for every ship carrying more than 50
    people. Included among these were requirements to
    provide sufficient lifeboats, hold drills, and
    maintain round the clock radio coverage.
  • Radio had truly come to stay.

Radio Pioneers Core Technologies(From the FCC)
  • The Power that Made Radio Realistic
  • In 1909, when Marconi shared the Nobel Prize for
    Physics with Karl Braun, there was no question
    about the many significant innovations he had
    brought to the world of wireless radio. There was
    also no question that his achievements would
    likely not have been so great if not for the
    pioneering energy generation work done by Nikola
    Tesla, whom some consider the real father of
    radio.Tesla, a Serbian-American of wide-ranging
    interests, immigrated to the United States at the
    age of 28 having already thought through one of
    his greatest scientific contributions - how to
    best use alternating current. Since Thomas
    Edison's company (later General Electric) was the
    primary advocate for and builder of direct
    current systems in the United States, it was
    natural that upon his arrival Tesla first went to
    work for Edison. But, it was not long before the
    two parted ways. Tesla then sold his patent
    rights for a polyphase system of
    alternating-current dynamos to Edison's biggest
    business rival - George Westinghouse.

Radio Pioneers Core Technologies(From the FCC)
  • Today we know that the alternating-current (AC)
    approach prevailed and that Tesla-type induction
    motors are found in almost all appliances and
    power operations. While alternating current
    prevailed because it minimizes power loss across
    great distances, at the time, the competition
    between direct and alternating current systems
    was fierce.
  • One of the factors that helped the alternating
    current approach was Westinghouse's winning the
    contract to provide electrical light at the
    World's Columbian Exposition at Chicago in 1893.
    This Expo is identified by many scholars as one
    of the key events in America's burgeoning sense
    of itself as a major industrial power, leading
    the way in new technologies.

Radio Pioneers Core Technologies(From the FCC)
  • The successful lighting of the Expo was then a
    factor in Westinghouse winning the contract to
    install the first hydroelectric power machinery
    at Niagara Falls. All of the enormous motors at
    the power station bore Tesla's name and patent
  • After selling his patents to Westinghouse in
    1885, Tesla set up his own lab and worked on a
    wide variety of projects. These ranged from a
    carbon button lamp to experiments on the power of
    electrical resonance.
  • This last set of experiments, on what Tesla
    called "a simpler device" for the production of
    electric oscillations, resulted, in 1891, in the
    device known today as the Tesla Coil. A Tesla
    Coil is a transformer made up of two parts - a
    primary and secondary coil, one inside the other.
    When electrically charged the interaction between
    the two coils produces a voltage high enough to
    make the air conduct electric currents. Getting
    the power high enough to make the air an
    effective conductor of currents is key to
    wireless transmission of radio waves.

Radio Pioneers Core Technologies(From the FCC)
  • Tesla pursued the application of his coil
    technology to radio. By tuning a coil to a
    specific frequency he showed that the radio
    signal could be greatly magnified through
    resonant action. However, before he was able to
    fully demonstrate sending a radio signal 50
    miles, his laboratory and equipment were
    destroyed in a fire.
  • Thus, when Marconi made his famous 1901
    Trans-Atlantic transmission, the power portion of
    his system was based on Tesla's findings. In
    fact, Tesla and Marconi remained in legal battles
    for patent priority even after both men died.
  • Just as Tesla made the foundational breakthroughs
    in power generation which allowed radio to
    happen, Sweden's Ernst Alexanderson made the
    power breakthrough that allowed Fessenden to
    transmit the human voice across a long distance
    in 1906.

Radio Pioneers Core Technologies(From the FCC)
  • For the first two decades of radio (1885-1906),
    spark gap machines served as the transmitters for
    most wireless telegraphy. A spark gap transmitter
    worked in combination with an induction coil, a
    Morse key, some power source - usually a battery,
    an earth ground, and an aerial. Power was applied
    to the coil with the Morse key acting as the
    on/off device for the power. Once power was
    received, a capacitor was charged, which caused a
    spark to jump across the gap between the two
    metal balls of the spark gap transmitter. This,
    in turn, caused a current to flow in a tuned
    circuit, which produced oscillations. By adding
    an aerial and earth ground, these oscillations
    could be sent through the atmosphere. Tuning the
    frequency of the oscillations was dependent on
    the type and properties of the capacitor and coil.

Radio Pioneers Core Technologies(From the FCC)
  • Alexanderson came to the United States in 1902,
    at the age of 24, to work with General Electric
    on the new and exciting alternating current
    approaches to power generation. One of his early
    assignments was to build a transmitter that
    Reginald Fessenden could use to produce enough
    power to generate a continuous wave carrier.
    Fessenden's plan was to attach the sound waves
    from a human voice to this carrier wave and
    transmit this mix to radio receiving sets. To do
    this Fessenden knew that he needed a much higher
    frequency than the 60 Hertz produced by
    alternating generators of the time. To get a
    higher frequency he needed more power.

Radio Pioneers Core Technologies(From the FCC)
  • Through his own developments Fessenden had not
    been able to create a power generator that would
    produce even 1,000 Hertz. Nevertheless, in 1904,
    Fessenden contracted with General Electric for a
    machine which would generate a frequency of
    100,000 Hertz.
  • The work took two years. In 1906 the Alexanderson
    Alternator, a 2 kilowatt, 100 kilohertz
    alternator, was used by Fessenden to carry out
    the first long distance broadcast of the human
    voice. Radio operators hundreds of miles in the
    Atlantic Ocean were astonished to hear a Bible
    and poetry reading. They were also treated to a
    woman singing opera, and a violin playing a
    Christmas carol.

Radio Pioneers Core Technologies(From the FCC)
  • Always knowing a good thing when he saw it,
    Marconi purchased 50 and 200 kilowatt
    Alexanderson Alternators for his trans-Atlantic
    transmissions. Marconi's Alexanderson
    Alternators, located in New Jersey, were used in
    1918 to broadcast President Wilson's ultimatum to
    Germany at the close of WWI.
  • Unassuming Ernst Alexanderson produced over 300
    patents and served as a leading figure in the
    development of facsimile communication and
    television as well as radio. Development of his
    alternators continued through the mid-1920's when
    500,000 watt transmitters were developed. As
    great as these longwave alternators were they
    gave way in the late 1920's to vacuum tube
    shortwave transmitters that operated at a
    fraction of the cost and power.

Radio Pioneers Core Technologies(From the FCC)
  • The Quality that Made Radio Popular
  • Although it was the late 1920's before vacuum
    tube shortwave transmitters began to replace
    Alexanderson's mighty alternators, exploratory
    work using vacuum tubes as amplifiers in radio
    receiving equipment began around 1900.
  • Lee DeForest, an Iowa preacher's son who earned
    a Yale PhD, announced his Audion vacuum tube in a
    Scientific American article in 1906. Although he
    acknowledged in this article that he didn't have
    a "completely satisfactory theory" as to why the
    tube amplified the reception of radio signals,
    understanding this curious tube led other
    researchers, such as Edwin Armstrong, to
    significant breakthroughs in amplifying both
    radio transmissions and reception before, during,
    and after WWI.

Radio Pioneers Core Technologies(From the FCC)
  • Armstrong was 11 years old when Marconi's
    trans-Atlantic transmission occurred. It fired
    his imagination and he became a collector and
    creator of homemade wireless equipment. As a
    teenager his patient parents allowed him to build
    a 125 foot antenna in the yard so he could
    further his studies on radio. He was 16 when
    DeForest announced his Audion tube and one of
    these fragile, expensive tubes was added to his
    study equipment.
  • In 1912, as a junior at Columbia University he
    continued his interest in radio and the Audion
    tube by inventing a regenerative circuit that fed
    part of the current back to the grid in the tube.
    This strengthened the incoming signal. In fact,
    Armstong received distant stations so loudly that
    he could hear them without headphones - something
    unheard of at that time.

Radio Pioneers Core Technologies(From the FCC)
  • Further experiments led him to discover that by
    increasing the feedback into the tube even more
    he could produce rapid enough oscillations for
    the tube to act as a transmitter as well as a
    receiver. From this work Armstrong's regenerative
    circuit became the basis for continuous wave
    transmitters that are still at the heart of radio
    operations today.
  • When Armstrong entered the Army Signal Corp in
    WWI he did not leave the development of radio
    behind. Instead, as in so many areas of
    technology, work done for the U. S. military
    during times of war led to significant
    breakthroughs for civilian industry once the war
    was completed. So it was with vacuum tubes and
    radios during and after WWI.

Radio Pioneers Core Technologies(From the FCC)
  • In 1917, when the U.S. entered WWI, as a result
    of powers given to it by the Radio Act of 1912 (a
    law motivated in part by the Titanic disaster),
    the federal government shut down all private
    radio operations in the United States. This was
    not as drastic a measure as it might seem today
    since the commercial broadcasting we now know did
    not begin until 1920. But it was major blow to
    the thousands of amateur or "ham" radio operators
    who had discovered and begun to popularize the
    new medium of radio. Many of these men, like
    Armstrong, joined the Army, Navy, or Merchant
    Marine in order to put their now precious skills
    to work on behalf of the United States.

Radio Pioneers Core Technologies(From the FCC)
  • Whereas communication in previous wars had been
    dependent on runners, flags, carrier pigeons,
    smoke signals, and other methods, WWI's
    commanders wanted quicker, more reliable
    communication with the soldier in the field. And
    radio had advanced enough to believe this a
    feasible objective if the Army Signal Corp,
    working with General Electric/DeForest Radio and
    Telephone and Western Electric, could devise a
    way to go from the pre-War situation in which
    about 400 vacuum tubes were manufactured per week
    to making about 20,000 reliable, powerful tubes a
  • As often happens in times of war, the impossible
    was achieved and General George Squier, Chief
    Signal Officer of the Army, reported in 1919 that

Radio Pioneers Core Technologies(From the FCC)
  • " advancement accomplished in less
    than two years represents at least a decade under
    the normal conditions of peace, and our
    profession will, it is hoped, profit by this
    particular salvage of war, which offers perhaps
    the most striking example extant of a minimum
    "time-lag" between the advanced "firing line" of
    so-called pure physics and applied engineering.
  • Thus, by the end of WWI, vacuum tubes were
    developed to the point where they were used for
    "electric-wave detection, radio-frequency, and
    audio-frequency amplification, radiotelephony,
    particularly in the airplane radiophone,
    continuous-wave radiotelegraphy, voltage and
    current regulators on generators, and for other
    miscellaneous purposes."

Radio Pioneers Core Technologies(From the FCC)
  • Armstrong's work for the Army signal corp fell
    into another area. His task was to develop a way
    to detect enemy shortwave communications. In the
    process of meeting this objective, in 1918 he
    developed an eight-tube receiver that could
    amplify radio signals to a degree never known
    before. He named this receiver the
    superheterodyne circuit and it remains the basic
    circuit used in nearly 100 of radio and
    television receivers today.
  • Armstrong had one other great invention up his
    sleeve - FM radio - which both greatly improved
    the quality of broadcasting and played a major
    role in making today's cellular and PCS phones
  • An Amplitude Modulation (AM) wave is only about
    as long as a football field, but an FM wave is as
    long as the line of sight (horizon), which would
    greatly improve the quality and distance of radio

Radio Pioneers Core Technologies(From the FCC)
  • In 1935 Armstrong revealed his final great work,
    motivated by his own dislike of the static he
    constantly heard on the radio. His original paper
    on frequency modulation was entitled "A Method of
    Reducing Disturbances in Radio Signaling by a
    System of Frequency Modulation." Likely he did
    not imagine that this advance would be resisted.
    But, afraid that FM would make AM radio obsolete
    and slow down new developments in television,
    Armstrong's major financial backer withdrew its
    financial support.
  • So Armstrong established his own distribution
    channel by building a demonstration inter-city FM
    relay for New England's Yankee Network. A shift
    in the location of the FM radio frequency, to
    accommodate the spectrum needs of the new
    television industry, made all Armstrong's FM
    equipment obsolete. It was not until the 1960's,
    after Armstrong's death, that the quality
    advantage of FM combined with stereo was enjoyed
    by most Americans.

Radio Pioneers Core Technologies(From the FCC)
  • But, beyond the quality that FM brought to radio
    broadcasting, it also played a role in
    development of Motorola's 1973 DynaTAC - the
    first cellular phone - invented by a Martin
    Cooper and his team.
  • Although mobile telephones had been around since
    1946, it wasn't until the 1980's that the quality
    of frequency modulated sound, combined with
    reasonably priced microprocessors, digital
    switching, and a final decision on celluar system
    spectrum combined to make it feasible to offer
    the first commercial cellular phone services in
    the United States.
  • Today, an unbounded future for wireless radio
    transmissions remains as much an article of faith
    in innovative science as it was for Marconi and
    Fessenden over a century ago. Bluetooth, Wi-Fi,
    3G phones, and cognitive radio are just a few of
    the technologies that will carry wireless
    transmissions successfully through radio's second

The Technological History of Television (From the
  • Visionary Period, 1880's Through 1920's
  • Television was actually invented long before the
    technology to make it a reality came into being.
    As early as 1876 Boston civil servant George
    Carey was thinking about complete television
    systems and in 1877 he put forward drawings for
    what he called a "selenium camera" that would
    allow people to "see by electricity." In the late
    1870's, scientists and engineers like Paiva,
    Figuier, and Senlecq were suggesting alternative
    designs for "telectroscopes." The excitement over
    the possibility of "seeing at a distance" was
    promoted even further in a March 1877 New York
    Sun letter to the editor that said

The Technological History of Television (From the
  • An eminent scientist of this said to
    be on the point of publishing a series of
    important discoveries, and exhibiting an
    instrument invented by him by means of which
    objects or persons standing or moving in any part
    of the world may be instantaneously seen anywhere
    and by anybody.

The Technological History of Television (From the
  • Other developments throughout the late 1870's and
    1880's included
  • Eugen Goldstein's introduction of the term
    "cathode rays" to describe the light emitted when
    an electric current was forced through a vacuum
    tube (1876).
  • Sheldon Bidwell's experiments in telephotography
  • And, in Germany, Paul Nipkow submitted a patent
    application for a way to electrically transmit
    images using spinning metal disks calling it the
    "electric telescope."

The Technological History of Television (From the
  • Thus, the key ideas for what we know as
    television were being discussed at the same time
    that Bell and Edison were becoming famous for
    their inventions. In fact, many historians
    believe that the original intent for what we now
    know as television was to see the person you were
    talking to on the telephone at the same moment
    you were speaking. Bell was so concerned that
    someone would beat him to the punch on such an
    invention that in 1880 he deposited a sealed box
    containing a "photophone" with the Smithsonian
    Institution in case he needed to prove his
    priority of invention.

The Technological History of Television (From the
  • But others did not limit their ideas to just
    providing images of telephone speakers. An 1890's
    trading card in the One Hundred Years Hence
    series depicted people listening to a live
    concert at home while a device projected the
    image of the performers on the wall. In fact,
    there were so many ideas about "distance vision"
    that it was a major subject at the 1900 World's
    Fair (Paris), where the 1st International
    Congress of Electricity was held. At those August
    meetings, Russian Constantin Perskyi made the
    first known use of the word "television."

The Technological History of Television (From the
  • Soon after, the momentum shifted from ideas and
    discussions to physical development of television
    systems. Two paths were followed
  • Mechanical television - based on Nipkow's
    rotating disks, and
  • Electronic television - based on the cathode ray
    tube work done independently in 1907 by English
    inventor A.A. Campbell-Swinton and Russian
    scientist Boris Rosing.
  • American Charles Jenkins and Scotsman John Baird
    followed the mechanical model while Philo
    Farnsworth, working independently in San
    Francisco, and Russian émigré Vladimir Zworkin,
    working for Westinghouse and later RCA, advanced
    the electronic model.

The Technological History of Television (From the
  • Jenkins, in the U.S., and Baird, in England, got
    the 1st television programming on the air in the
    1920's, even if all they initially broadcast were
    stick figures and silhouettes. Charles Jenkins
    also claims two other firsts in regard to
    American television
  • He received the 1st U.S. television license for
    W3XK (1928), operating out of Wheaton, MD and
  • He broadcast the 1st television commercial in
    1930, for which he was promptly fined by the
    Federal Radio Commission, the predecessor of the

The Technological History of Television (From the
  • Meanwhile, also in the 1920's, Farnsworth was
    demonstrating an electronic pickup and image
    scanning device he called the Image Dissector,
    and Zworkin introduced his first iconoscope
    camera tube, which he called an "electric eye."
  • Yet, because there were no commercial
    manufacturers of television sets at this time,
    all of this work went on largely out of the
    public eye until April 9, 1927. On that day Bell
    Laboratories and the Department of Commerce (home
    to the Federal Radio Commission) held the 1st
    long-distance transmission of a live picture and
    voice simultaneously. Secretary of Commerce
    Herbert Hoover was the "star" of the show. He

The Technological History of Television (From the
  • Today we have, in a sense, the transmission of
    sight for the first time in the worlds history.
    Human genius has now destroyed the impediment of
    distance in a new respect, and in a manner
    hitherto unknown.
  • In 1929 RCA's first experimental TV transmissions
    began showing pictures of the cartoon character
    Felix The Cat.

The Technological History of Television (From the
  • Golden Age, 1930's through 1950's
  • It was in the years immediately preceding WWII
    that the television industry we know today was
    born. RCA's David Sarnoff used his company's
    exhibit at the 1939 World's Fair in New York as a
    showcase for the 1st Presidential speech on
    television and to introduce RCA's new line of
    television receivers some of which had to be
    coupled with a radio if you wanted to hear sound.
    In addition, anybody visiting the Fair could go
    into the RCA pavilion and step before the cameras

The Technological History of Television (From the
  • The excitement about television generated by the
    1939 World's Fair carried the interest in
    television through WWII when development of the
    medium took a back seat. By the time the war was
    over the electronic system of television had
    clearly proven its greater capacity and a period
    of intense growth took place. Between 1945 and
    1948 the number of commercial (as opposed to
    experimental) television stations grew from 9 to
    48 and the number of cities having commercial
    service went from 8 to 23. And, sales of
    television sets increased 500. By 1960 there
    were 440 commercial VHF stations, 75 UHF
    stations, and 85 of U.S. households had a
    television set.

The Technological History of Television (From the
  • Thus, in the years after WWII, television became
    not just a subject for inventors and hobbyists
    but the focus of entrepreneurs, creative artists,
    and journalists.
  • Sarnoff and Alan DuMont are representative of the
  • Playwrights such as Arthur Miller and Paddy
    Chayevsky introduced Americans to high drama in
    programs like Kraft Television Theater, Studio
    One, and the Actors Studio, beginning in 1947.
  • John Cameron Swayze introduced America to weekday
    news programming via the Camel Newsreel Theater
    in 1948.
  • But the scientists and engineers had not gone
    away. Zworkin developed better camera tubes - the
    Orthicon in 1943 and the Vidicon in 1950. And
    other new inventions and technologies furthered
    the outreach of television. Notable among these

The Technological History of Television (From the
  • The introduction of coaxial cable, which is a
    pure copper or copper-coated wire surrounded by
    insulation and an aluminum covering. These cables
    were and are used to transmit television,
    telephone and data signals. The 1st
    "experimental" coaxial cable lines were laid by
    ATT between New York and Philadelphia in 1936.
    The first regular installation connected
    Minneapolis and Stevens Point, WI in 1941. The
    original L1 coaxial-cable system could carry 480
    telephone conversations or one television
    program. By the 1970's, L5 systems could carry
    132,000 calls or more than 200 television

The Technological History of Television (From the
  • Brothers and Stanford researchers Russell and
    Sigurd Varian introduced the Klystron in 1937. A
    Klystron is a high-frequency amplifier for
    generating microwaves. It is considered the
    technology that makes UHF-TV possible because it
    gives the ability to generate the high power
    required in this spectrum.
  • In 1946 Peter Goldmark, working for CBS,
    demonstrated his color television system to the
    FCC. His system produced color pictures by having
    a red-blue-green wheel spin in front of a cathode
    ray tube. This mechanical means of producing a
    color picture was used in 1949 to broadcast
    medical procedures from Pennsylvania and Atlantic
    City hospitals. In Atlantic City, viewers could
    come to the convention center to see broadcasts
    of operations. Reports from the time noted that
    the realism of seeing surgery in color caused
    more than a few viewers to faint. Although
    Goldmark's mechanical system was eventually
    replaced by an electronic system he is recognized
    as the 1st to introduce a color television system.

The Technological History of Television (From the
  • In 1945 the 1st experimiental microwave relay
    system was introduced by Western Union between
    New York and Philadelphia. This distribution
    system transmitted communication signals via
    radio along a series of towers. With lower costs
    than coaxial cable, microwave relay stations
    carried most TV traffic by the 1970s.
  • In 1948 there were early tests of cable
    television in the rural area of Lansford, PA.
    This and other early cable systems primarily
    provided improved reception of broadcast
    programming from nearby large cities. Thus, cable
    television was basically a redelivery system
    until the late 1960s.

The Technological History of Television (From the
  • In 1956 the Ampex quadruplex videotape replaced
    the kinescope making it possible for television
    programs to be produced anywhere, as well as
    greatly improving the visual quality on home
    sets. This physical technology led to a change in
    organizational technology by allowing
    high-quality television production to happen away
    from the New York studios. Ultimately, this led
    much of the television industry to move to the
    artistic and technical center of Hollywood with
    news and business operations remaining on the
    East Coast.

The Technological History of Television (From the
  • In 1957 the 1st practical remote control,
    invented by Robert Adler and called the "Space
    Commander," was introduced by Zenith. This
    wireless, ultrasound remote followed and improved
    upon wired remotes and systems that didn't work
    well if sunlight shone between the remote and the

The Technological History of Television (From the
  • This "Golden Age" of television also saw the
    establishment of several significant
    technological standards. These included the
    National Television Standards Committee (NTSC)
    standards for black and white (1941) and color
    television (1953). In 1952 the FCC made a key
    decision, via what is known as the Sixth Report
    and Order, to permit UHF broadcasting for the 1st
    time on 70 new channels (14 to 83). This was an
    essential decision because the Nation was already
    running out of channels on VHF (channels 2-13).
    That decision gave 95 of the U.S. television
    markets three VHF channels each, establishing a
    pattern that generally continues today.

The Technological History of Television (From the
  • Thus the "Golden Age" was a period of intense
    growth and expansion, introducing many of the
    television accessories and methods of
    distribution that we take for granted today. But
    the revolution technological and cultural
    that television was to introduce to America and
    the world was just beginning.

The Technological History of Television (From the
  • Wired, Zapped, and Beamed, 1960's through 1980's
  • The 1960's through 1980's represented a period of
    expansion and maturation for television with the
    addition of a few exciting new technologies like
    satellite delivery of programming. For example,
    at the start of this period color television had
    been introduced but there was little color
    programming. By 1967, most network programming
    was in color. And, by 1972 half of U.S.
    households had a color television.

The Technological History of Television (From the
  • 1962 brought the 1st transatlantic reception of a
    television signal via the TELSTAR satellite. A
    1961 multi-national agreement between ATT, Bell
    Labs, NASA, the British Post Office, and the
    French National Post Office set in motion efforts
    to develop, launch, and utilize two mobile
    telecommunications satellites. TELSTAR was the
    1st of these satellites. TELSTAR was launched
    from the Kennedy Space Center on July 10th. The
    next day the world's 1st satellite transmission
    of a short television program took place between
    Andover, MN and Pleumeur-Bodou, France.

The Technological History of Television (From the
  • TELSTAR and later communication satellites began
    to significantly change American's relationship
    with and understanding of the world. No longer
    did it take days or weeks to learn about events
    in distant lands. This was made vividly clear in
    1975 when the fledgling Home Box Office company
    bought the rights to live transmission of the
    "The Thrilla from Manila," the heavyweight
    championship fight between Muhammad Ali and Joe
    Frazier. While the broadcast networks would have
    to wait a day or so for tapes of the fight to be
    flown in, subscribing cable viewers saw this
    historic fight as it was happening.

The Technological History of Television (From the
  • Most experts agree that this transmission, which
    clearly demonstrated the ability of satellite
    communications to show real-time images from
    around the world, forever changed the cable
    industry and thus, the television industry.

The Technological History of Television (From the
  • Satellite delivery of programming was also a
    major factor in the growth of the Public
    Broadcasting Service (PBS). PBS was established
    as the video arm of the Corporation for Public
    Broadcasting, which Congress created in 1967 by
    passing the Public Broadcasting Act. Although
    educational television had been around since 1933
    when University of Iowa (W9XK) was the 1st
    educational institution to produce and broadcast
    video programming (you heard the audio on radio
    station WSUI), the establishment of the
    Corporation for Public Broadcasting signaled a
    statutory commitment to public and educational
    television. In 1978 PBS was the 1st network to
    deliver all its programming via satellite instead
    of landlines.

The Technological History of Television (From the
  • But satellites and the explosive growth of the
    cable industry they engendered were not the only
    major technologies of this period. Home
    videotaping was another major technology
    introduced during this time. In 1972 the Phillips
    Corporation introduced video cassette recording
    (VCR) for the home. From this concept Sony
    introduced the Betamax format of VCR in 1976 at a
    suggested retail price of 1,295. A year later
    RCA introduced the 1st VHS format VCR in America.
    By 1985 the VHS format dominated the U.S. home

The Technological History of Television (From the
  • The introduction of efficient fiber optic cable
    in 1970 by Corning's Robert Maurer, Donald Keck,
    and Peter Schultz also improved the delivery of
    television programming to American homes and
    businesses. These transparent rods of glass or
    plastic are stretched so they are long and
    flexible and transmit information digitally using
    rapid pulses of light. This breakthrough work
    allowed cable to be created that could carry
    65,000 times more information than conventional
    copper wire.

The Technological History of Television (From the
  • High definition television (HDTV) was also
    introduced during this period. In 1981 NHK, the
    Japanese National Broadcasting company,
    demonstrated their 1,125 line HDTV system to the
    Society of Motion Picture and Television
    Engineers at their Winter conference in San
    Francisco. This constituted a major breakthrough
    in the visual quality of television pictures
    because the sharpness of a television picture is
    a function of the number of lines per screen
    the more lines the sharper and more vivid the
    image. Think about the technological breakthrough
    this signaled
  • 60 years before (1921) Jenkins and Baird had been
    broadcasting at between 30 and 60 lines, and
  • 40 years before (1941) the FCC first required
    that the NTSC standard of 525 lines be used.

The Technological History of Television (From the
  • Finally, this period also saw several significant
    statutory and regulatory actions. In 1962
    Congress passed the All Channel Receiver Act,
    requiring the inclusion of UHF tuners in all
    television sets. Also in 1962, as a reflection of
    the growth and importance of cable television as
    a means of transmitting television programming,
    the FCC began regulating cable television. In
    1966 these regulations included "must carry"
    rules requiring cable operators to carry local
    broadcast programming. In 1972 the FCC issued its
    "open skies" decision authorizing domestic
    communications satellites, which significantly
    expanded the feasibility of using satellites to
    disseminate television programs. The open skies
    decision led to the 1982 authorization of
    commercial Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS)
    operations. The 1st such service began in
    Indianapolis in 1983.

The Technological History of Television (From the
  • Digitally Networked, 1990's Through Today
  • While it is entirely too early to write a history
    of television technology over the past decade it
    can be noted that
  • The visions for television remain as grand today
    as they were in the beginning. Pundits still say
    the frontier remains limitless and predict that
    the marriage of digital technologies, broadband
    networks, and television will finally allow
    television to reach its greatest potential of
    being an interactive medium.
  • The reach of television is so pervasive (by 1994,
    99 of US households had at least one TV) that
    presidential candidates buy television time to
    hold "town meetings."
  • Scientists and engineers still create
    technologies that expand the capabilities of

The Technological History of Television (From the
  • In the past decade closed-captioning has opened
    up television to millions of hearing-impaired
    viewers and V-Chips have enabled parents to take
    control over what their children watch. Digital
    video recorders are empowering television viewers
    at the same time they challenge traditional
    assumptions about television financing and

The Technological History of Television (From the
  • The FCC continues to play an active role in this
    changing television environment. In 1994 HDTV
    standards were established and a plan for the
    transition from analog to digital transmission of
    television programming has been rolled out
    throughout the decade.

The Technological History of Television (From the
  • The challenge ahead for viewers, members of the
    television industry, and the FCC will be to work
    together to harness televisions still evolving
    technologies in such a way that they ensure that
    all Americans share in the benefits of the
    digital revolution.
  • A recent addition to this information might also
    be the transition from analog to digital
    television signals in 2009.

The Internet A Short History of Getting
Connected(From the FCC)
  • This section of the History site summarizes and
    highlights aspects of the more recent history of
    the Internet and recognizes some of the
    Internet's key inventions and inventors. Through
    the information on these pages, the FCC hopes to
    inform and, possibly, inspire with a few
    reminders of the great achievements that make the
    Internet as we know it today possible.
    Information and links on this web page are
    designed to provide a fuller understanding of the
    history and technology of the Internet.

The Internet A Short History of Getting
Connected(From the FCC)
  • Something to Share
  • When the Defense Department issued a 19,800
    contract on December 6, 1967, for the purpose of
    studying the "design and specification of a
    computer network," the world didn't take notice.
    But it should have. For, from that small,
    four-month study grew the ARPANET. And, from
    ARPANET emerged the Internet.

The Internet A Short History of Getting
Connected(From the FCC)
  • Like many information and communications
    technologies, the Internet we know today grew
    from seeds planted by the U.S. government.
    Specifically, the Advanced Research Projects
    Agency (ARPA) was established in 1957 to respond
    to the perceived scientific and technological
    advantage the then-Soviet Union displayed in
    launching the Sputnik satellite. ARPA was charged
    to "direct or perform such advanced projects in
    the field of research and development as the
    Secretary of Defense shall, from time to time,
    designate by individual project or by category."
    In plain language this meant that ARPA, along
    with the newly created National Aeronautics and
    Space Administration, was to regain technical
    superiority for the United States.

The Internet A Short History of Getting
Connected(From the FCC)
  • Some of those employed by ARPA realized the only
    way this goal could be achieved was to bring
    together the brain-power resident in discrete
    pockets at universities and research institutions
    spread across the United States. To maximize this
    sharing of brain-power, it quickly became clear
    that significant advances in computing technology
    were required. These computing advances had to
    provide avenues for both the sharing of ideas and
    the sharing of computing power and programs. So,
    an Information Process Techniques Office (IPTO)
    was created within ARPA in 1962 to achieve this

The Internet A Short History of Getting
Connected(From the FCC)
  • The first head of that office was J.C.R.
    Licklider. He envisioned an "intergalactic"
    community which could emerge from a single
    computer time-sharing system. He thought such a
    community possible because he held a different
    view of computers. Instead of thinking of
    computers as giant calculators, Licklider laid
    out a vision in which computers would fulfill
    their greatest promise as a "communication medium
    between people."

The Internet A Short History of Getting
Connected(From the FCC)
  • About this same time, a RAND researcher by the
    name of Paul Baran was working on a classified
    U.S. Air Force contract, whose purpose was to
    identify ways to strengthen the Nation's
    telecommunication infrastructure so that it could
    survive a nuclear strike. Part of his solution
    was to develop distributed telecommunication
    networks. If information was truly distributed,
    instead of everything flowing into and out of
    central points, then a network could still work
    effectively even if some legs of the network were
    damaged or removed. Implementing such a
    distributed network involved a technique called
    packet switching.

The Internet A Short History of Getting
Connected(From the FCC)
  • While this classified early-1960s work was not
    directly known to ARPA staff, its ideas of a
    distributed network using packet switching were
    key concepts for the ARPANET. Thankfully, for the
    development of the ARPANET, unclassified work on
    these concepts was also being done independently
    by other researchers, such as Donald Davies and
    Leonard Kleinrock.

The Internet A Short History of Getting
Connected(From the FCC)
  • Packet switching is an approach that breaks a
    message down into separate, discrete pieces or
    packets. Each packet then moves from its point of
    origin to its destination over any open route,
    regardless of which path the other packets take.
    When all the packets arrive at the destination
    they are reassembled -- and the message is
    delivered intact.

The Internet A Short History of Getting
Connected(From the FCC)
  • With these ideas -- packet switching and
    computers as galactic communication devices -- in
    place, what was needed were technologies that
    allowed different computers, from different
    manufacturers, with different operating systems
    to communicate with each other. To meet this
    technological need ARPA decided to "contract
    out," using a competitive bidding process among
    140 potential bidders.

The Internet A Short History of Getting
Connected(From the FCC)
  • In 1968, 563,000 was committed to a contract
    with the purpose of designing, constructing,
    installing, testing, and maintaining four
    interface message processors (IMPS) that would
    link computers at the Stanford Research
    Institute, UC-Santa Barbara, UCLA, and the
    University of Utah. The contract promised that
    these IMPS would
  • "Provide the communications capability required
    for the ARPA computer research facilities
    but...also be a unique prototype of future
    communications systems."

The Internet A Short History of Getting
Connected(From the FCC)
  • Thus, from these beginnings the ARPANET was born.
    On October 15, 1969, on the second try, the IMPS
    installed at UCLA and the Stanford Research
    Institute connected and began a communication
    revolution with the words "log in."

The Internet A Short History of Getting
Connected(From the FCC)
  • Common Standards
  • In 1969, when the ARPANET eventually connected
    computers at Stanford, UCLA, UC-Santa Barbara,
    and the University of Utah, it was a significant
    step toward realizing the vision of the computer
    as an extender of human capabilities. But, four
    connected computers did not constitute a
    "galactic" network. How ARPANET created the
    foundation upon which today's true "galactic"
    network, the Internet, is built is a story about
    using common standards and protocols to implement

The Internet A Short History of Getting
Connected(From the FCC)
  • One historian of the Internet says, "In the
    beginning was - chaos." And so it often is when
    people are trying something so new that many
    can't even find words to describe it. But, while
    chaos can bring great energy and excitement,
    differing techniques, media, and protocols have
    to give way to common approaches if a build-up of
    chaotic energy is to result in something other
    than an explosion.

The Internet A Short History of Getting
Connected(From the FCC)
  • Excerpts from Request for Comments (RFC) 100
    (August 1987) give a peek into how the original
    ARPANET team harnessed the energy of their new
    creation. These insights also show that, from its
    very beginning, today's Internet was conceived
    and established as a peer-to-peer network
  • "At this point we knew only that the network was
    coming, but the precise details weren't known.
    That first meeting was seminal. We had lots of
    questions....No one had any answers, we did come
    to one conclusion We ought to meet again. The
    first few meetings were quite tenuous. We had no
    official charter. Most of us were graduate
    students and we expected that a professional crew
    would show up eventually to take over the
    problems we were dealing
    became clear to us that we had better start
    writing down our discussions....I remember having
    great fear that we would offend whomever the
    official protocol designers were...(so we labeled
    our decisions) "Request for Comments" or RFC's.

The Internet A Short History of Getting
Connected(From the FCC)
  • "Over the spring and summer of 1969 we grappled
    with the detailed problems of protocol design.
    Although we had a vision of the vast potential
    for intercomputer communication, designing usable
    protocols was another matter.... It was clear we
    needed to support remote login for interactive
    use -- later known as Telnet -- and we needed to
    move files from machine to machine. We also knew
    that we needed a more fundamental point of view
    for building a larger array of protocols. With
    the pressure to get something working and the
    general confusion as to how to achieve the high
    generality we all aspired to, we punted and
    defined the first set of protocols to include
    only Telnet and FTP functions. In December 1969,
    we met with Larry Roberts in Utah, and suffered
    our first direct experience with "redirection".
    Larry made it abundantly clear that our first
    step was not big enough, and we went back to the
    drawing board. Over the next few months we
    designed a symmetric host-host protocol, and we
    defined an abstract implementation of the
    protocol known as the Network Control Program.
    ("NCP" later came to be used as the name for the
    protocol, but it originally meant the program
    within the operating system that managed
    connections. The protocol itself was known
    blandly only as the host-host protocol.) Along
    with the basic host-host protocol, we also
    envisioned a hierarchy of protocols, with Telnet,
    FTP and some splinter protocols as the first

The Internet A Short History of Getting
Connected(From the FCC)
  • "The initial experiment had been declared an
    immediate success and the network continued to
    grow. More and more people started coming to
    meetings, and the Network Working Group began to
    take shape. Working Group meetings started to
    have 50 and 100 people in attendance instead of
    the half dozen we had had in 1968 and early
    1969....In October 1971 we all convened at MIT
    for a major protocol "fly-off." Where will it
    end? The network has exceeded all estimates of
    its growth. It has been transformed, extended,
    cloned, renamed and reimplemented. But the RFCs
    march on."

The Internet A Short History of Getting
Connected(From the FCC)
  • Indeed they do. Today there are nearly 4000 RFC's
    and they are just one of several mechanisms used
    to propose and decide on standards for the
    Internet a network of networks that learned
    from the ARPANET but had to be created and
    developed on its own terms. Because of the
    increasing complexity the Internets TCP/IP
    protocols represented when compared to ARPANETs
    NCP protocol simply put, the difference between
    creating one national network versus linking
    multiple, world-wide networks - several
    additional methods and organizations were
    established in the 1980s and 1990s to deal with
    protocol and standards. First among these was the
    1986 establishment of the Internet Engineering
    Task Force (IETF). The IETF took over
    responsibility for short-to-medium term Internet
    engineering issues, which had previously been
    handled by the Internet Activities Board. The
    Internet Society (ISOC), begun in 1992, provides
    an organizational home for the IETF and the
    Internet Architecture Board (IAB) (previously IAB
    stood for the Internet Activities Board).

The Internet A Short History of Getting
Connected(From the FCC)
  • Another organization, the ICANN (Internet
    Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) --
    established in 1998, is a public-private
    partnership that is "responsible for managing and
    coordinating the Domain Name System (DNS) to
    ensure that every address is unique and that all
    users of the Internet can find all valid
    addresses. It does this by overseeing the
    distribution of unique IP addresses and domain
    names. It also ensures that each domain name maps
    to the correct IP address."

The Internet A Short History of Getting
Connected(From the FCC)
  • These, and other, organizations employ a variety
    of working groups, task forces, and committees to
    work through a multi-stage process of suggesting,
    reviewing, accepting, and issuing standards for
    the Internet. When a specification reaches the
    point that it "is characterized by a high degree
    of technical maturity and by a generally held
    belief that the specified protocol or service
    provides significant benefit to the Internet
    community" it is released as an Internet
    Standard. Today there are 63 Internet Standards.

The Internet A Short History of Getting
Connected(From the FCC)
  • By making common standards a routine practice
    from the beginning, ARPANET began pouring a
    strong foundation. In fact, ARPANET was so
    dedicated to common standards that RFC 1 was
    issued on April 7, 1969, six months before the
    first network connection was made. By 1982, when
    ARPANET transitioned to the use of the TCP/IP
    inter-networking protocols, the foundational
    footings had fully settled and the way was open
    for broader public involvement.

The Internet A Short History of Getting
Connected(From the FCC)
  • In 1987, the National Science Foundation (NSF)
    took over the funding and responsibility for the
    civilian nodes of the ARPANET. In addition, NSF
    had built their own T1 backbone for the purpose
    of hooking the Nation's five supercomputers
    together. While the slower ARPANET nodes
    continued in operation, the faster T1 backbone of
    the NSFnet, increasingly called the Internet,
    began to get lots of attention from private
    enterprises. Officially sanctioned civilian
    demands upon the NSFnet/Internet included
  • MCI Mail and CompuServe, first formally
    sanctioned commercial email carriers connected to
    the Internet, 1988 and 1989 and
  • The World Comes On Line, first public dial-up
    Internet Service Provider, 1989.

The Internet A Short History of Getting
Connected(From the FCC)
  • By the time the ARPANET was formally
    decommissioned in 1990, the NSFnet/Internet was
    poised for explosive growth. When the NSF lifted
    all restrictions on commercial use of its network
    backbone in 1991, today's Internet was begun.

The Internet A Short History of Getting
Connected(From the FCC)
  • Making the Connections
  • The ARPANET, predecessor to the Internet, started
    with an inspiring vision of a "galactic" network,
    practical theory about packet switching, and a
    suite of standardized protocols. But none of this
    would have mattered if there hadn't also been a
    way to make and maintain connections.

The Internet A Short History of Getting
Connected(From the FCC)
  • Author Ronda Hauben described some of the early
    concerns about network transmission quality this
  • "In 1966-67 Lincoln Labs in Lexington,
    Massachusetts, and SDR in Santa Monica,
    California, got a grant from the DOD to begin
    research on linking computers across the
    continent. Larry Roberts, describing this work,