All About Television

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World Television Day is on 21st November. The idea is to celebrate how important television is globally, as it allows everyone to find out about what is going on around them.

So the Sunny-D team has delved into the last century to find out more about the invention of television.

In the beginning

Early television was very basic. The world’s first public demonstration of television took place on 26th January 1926. The inventor was John Logie Baird, born in 1888 near Glasgow. From 1929, using the BBC’s radio transmitter on the roof of Selfridges, Baird transmitted a programme of regular broadcasts. He had to transmit sound and picture separately and it wasn’t until 1930 that the BBC opened a second transmitter. Baird was then able to transmit sound and picture at the same time. But it was still a challenge to watch as your TV set had to be within half a mile of the transmitter tower!

The first live programme

The first ever live television programme was called ‘Here’s Looking at You’. It was broadcast in August 1936 from Alexandra Palace and repeated twice a day for ten days. It featured performances by singers ‘The Three Admirals’ from the musical ‘Anything Goes’, Miss Lutie and her Wonder Horse Pogo from the London Pavilion, tap dancers Carol Chilton and Maceo Thomas and singer Helen McKay. On 2nd November 1936 BBC Television officially started operating. The following year history was made again with the live broadcast of the Coronation of King George VI on 12th May 1937. At this time there were only about 100 television sets in the United Kingdom. Today two-thirds of UK households own three TVs or more!

TV around the world

It is estimated that by the end of 2018 there will be nearly 800 million TV sets around the world. According to the Guinness Book of Records the most expensive TV set is the PrestigeHD Supreme Rose TV. It was made from 28 kilos of 18-carat rose gold inset diamonds and costs a mere £1.5 million. We’ll take two!

Glorious technicolour

The first televisions showed the world in black and white. Colour television wasn’t available until the 1970s, although the technology had already been developed. Early monitors used cathode ray tubes (CRT) but they have since been replaced by thinner screens that use liquid crystal display (LCD) and plasma.

Don’t hog the remote

The first remote controls went on sale in the 1980s. Before that yes, you had to get up off the couch to change channels. But there were hardly any programmes so most people didn’t bother.

An audience of millions

The most watched programmes are big events like the Olympics or Football World Cup. In the 1980s the Christmas episode of Eastenders when Den served Angie with divorce papers got 30 million viewers. In the US the Super Bowl is the most watched single television broadcast, with over 100 million viewers. The first television advertisement was broadcast on 1st July 1941 in New York.