History of Television Timeline

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In History
  • Invention of Flexible Photographic Film

    Invention of Flexible Photographic Film
    In 1884, George Eastman invented the first flexible photographic film. Photographic film allowed multiple images to be stored onto a plastic coated strip. These images could then viewed later. The invention of the flexible photographic film can be considered the beginning of video (Exact Date Unknown). (The History of Film, Television & Video).
  • Motion Picture Camera

    Motion Picture Camera
    In the year of 1887, Thomas Edison has his kinetograph (motion picture camera) patented. In the image at left, Edison (right) is demonstrating his invention. (Exact Date Unknown). (The History of Film, Television & Video).
  • First Public Demonstration

    First Public Demonstration
    The first public demonstration of motion pictures is displayed in France. (Exact date unknown). (The History of Film, Television & Video).
  • Dickson Shoots Numerous Short Motion Pictures

    Dickson Shoots Numerous Short Motion Pictures
    From 1891-1895, the company Dickson shoots numerous 15 second motion pictures using Thomas Edison's kinetograph. Even though short, these motion pictures were one of the first "videos" shot by a professional business. (The History of Film, Television & Video).
  • Cathode Ray

    Cathode Ray
    The development of the Cathode Ray Tube is used to produce television images, ten years after it was invented. (The History of Film, Television & Video).
  • First Television Broadcast

    First Television Broadcast
    In 1936, the first television broadcast was made available in London. The broadcast displayed the British play, "The Man with the Flower in His Mouth". This broadcast layed the foundation of home broadcasting. View the First Television Broadcast (The History of Film, Television & Video).
  • Proposal for Color T.V.

    Proposal for Color T.V.
    The first proposal for a color TV broadcast is made by George Valensi. This proposal sparked new ideas for the television industry. (Exact date unknown). (The History of Film, Television & Video).
  • The Blue Network

    The Blue Network
    The Blue Network, part of NBC, became the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) in 1946. The Blue Network, back in the 1930's and 40's known as NBC Blue, was sold to Edward Noble. Noble was the owner of Life Savers candy at the time. He was then given the rights to change the network name to "American Broadcasting Company". (The History of Film, Television & Video).
  • Increase In Viewers

    Increase In Viewers
    By year's end, the number of TV households grew to 20 million, up 33% from 1950. U.S. advertisers spent a record $288 million on TV time. From 1950-1953, television in the household sparked from 3,000,000 to 17,000,000. (The History of Film, Television & Video).
  • Color Broadcasting

    Color Broadcasting
    Color broadcasting officially arrives in the U.S. on Dec. 17 when FCC approves a modified version of the RCA system. The arrival of color broadcasting allowed viewers to view broadcasts in the color they are recorded in. Color broadcasting was a major advancement in the development of television. (The History of Film, Television & Video).
  • The Invention of the Video Recorder

    The Invention of the Video Recorder
    In 1956, the Video Recorder, along with videotape, is introducted by Ampex Corp. Video recorders allowed movies and videos to be recorded directly onto videotapes. Videotapes were mainly used for storing scientific or medical data. It then became common to store home videos or other personal videos on the videotape. (The History of Film, Television & Video).
  • Reports on Commericials

    Reports on Commericials
    "Variety" reports in May that during a typical week, viewers encounter 420 commericials. This totals out to 5 hours and 8 minutes. Around this time, television advertising started to become more common. (The History of Film, Television & Video).
  • Worldwide TV Advertising

    Worldwide TV Advertising
    By August of 1957, more countries worldwide allowed TV advertising than forbid it. (The History of Film, Television & Video).
  • Television Legs?

    Television Legs?
    In an October report in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Dr Meyer Naide identifies "television legs", which were blood clots that result from watching TV too long. (The History of Film, Television & Video).
  • Videotape and Cable

    Videotape and Cable
    In 1958, there were 525 cable TV systems serving 450,000 subscribers in the U.S. In February, CBS takes out a two page ad in "TV Guide" in which it warns the public: "Free television as we know it cannot survive alongside pay television. "Advertising Age" reported that videotape is catching on like wildfire. By October, 61 TV stations in the U.S. used tape. (The History of Film, Television & Video).
  • Television Campaigning

    Television Campaigning
    The first of the four "great debates" between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon is broadcasted on Sept. 26, breaking new ground in presidential campaigning. (The History of Film, Television & Video).
  • TV Surpasses Newspapers

    TV Surpasses Newspapers
    In 1960, TV surpasses newspapers as an information source. A November poll indicated that 36% of Americans found TV a more reliable source, compared to the 24% who favored print. (The History of Film, Television & Video).
  • "I Have a Dream"

    On Aug. 28, Dr. Martin Luther King delivers his famous "I have a dream" speech as millions watch on TV, (The History of Film, Television & Video).
  • Color TV Booms

    Color TV Booms
    (Date Varies) In the year of 1965, color TV flourishes. NBC leads the way and begins to use the phrase "The Full Color Network". (The History of Film, Television & Video).
  • Manufacturing

    Manufacturing
    Around December of 1968, manufacturers produced about 11.4 million TV sets, up from the 5.7 million sets made in 1960. (The History of Film, Television & Video).
  • Mankind's First Step

    Mankind's First Step
    On July 20, astronaut Neil Armstrong takes mankind's first step on the moon as millions of U.S. viewers watch the historic event live on network TV. (The History of Film, Television & Video).
  • Ban on Cigarette Advertising

    Ban on Cigarette Advertising
    As of Jan. 2, the 1970 congressional ban on radio and TV cigarette advertising takes effect, stripping the broadcast business of about $220 million in advertising. (The History of Film, Television & Video).
  • Commercial Shortening

    Commercial Shortening
    (Exact Date Unknown) In 1971, the transition from 60-seconds to 30-seconds for the standard length for commericials takes hold. This was a large change in the advertising community. (The History of Film, Television & Video).
  • Effects on Children

    Effects on Children
    Effective January 1st, 1973, NAB and other networks agree to reduce commercial time in children's weekend fare from 16 minutes an hour to 12 minutes an hour. This "law" was placed because of the growing concern on TV's effect on children. (The History of Film, Television & Video).
  • Additional Curbs

    Additional Curbs
    On January 1st, 1975, the NAB's policy on limiting non-program material in weekend children's fare to 10 minutes per hour became effective. (The History of Film, Television & Video).
  • Advertising Booms

    Advertising Booms
    In the year of 1977, gross TV advertising revenues rise to $7.5 billion, which was 20% of all U.S. advertising. (The History of Film, Television & Video).
  • Superbowl Ads-The Macintosh

    Superbowl Ads-The Macintosh
    During the Super Bowl, Apple Computer introduced the Macintosh computer. This ad, in all, costed $900,000. This ad turns the Super Bowl into a major ad event. (The History of Film, Television & Video).
  • The Children's Television Act

    The Children's Television Act
    (Exact Date Unknown) In 1990, the Children's Television Act took effect, limiting the amount of commercials in children's TV programming. It also required operators to carry at some programming to meet children's educational needs. (The History of Film, Television & Video).
  • 98%

    98%
    By the start of 1993, 98% of U.S. households owned at least one TV set. (The History of Film, Television & Video).
  • Digital Satellite Dishes

    Digital Satellite Dishes
    In mid-January, digital satellite dishes are released. They became the biggest selling electronic item in history, next to the VCR. (The History of Film, Television & Video).
  • The Year of the Digital Disc

    The Year of the Digital Disc
    In the year of 2000, the DVD becomes more popular and DVD movies became more common. (The History of Film, Television & Video).
  • Flat Screens and HDTV

    Flat Screens and HDTV
    Flat screen and HDTV sales rise in the year of 2005. These types of televisions are usually very thin, and contain high image quality. When first released, these TVs were very expensive. (The History of Film, Television & Video).
  • 3D Television

    3D Television
    In 2012, most TV manufactures released high definition 3D sets. In order to view television in 3D, you must wear modern LCD glasses that lets you view video in clear 3D. (The History of Film, Television & Video).
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    History of Television