Television History Timeline

  • 1862

    a still picture was transmitted through a wire.
    Moving images were not successfully sent for another 65 years!
  • 1927

    1st moving images were transmitted between Washington, DC and New York City.
  • 1936

    200 TV sets in the U.S.
  • 1939

    The Radio Corporation of America (RCA) broadcast the first televised Presidential speech, delivered by F.D. Roosevelt.
  • 1948

    1 million TV sets in the U.S. and Community Antenna Television was introduced in mountainous rural areas of Pennsylvania. This became what we now know as cable TV. Television was mostly “live” as programs were broadcast as they were being performed. Programs recorded onto film were very poor quality.
  • 1962

    Satellite broadcasting was introduced and made it possible to send and receive television signals anywhere in the world.
  • 1969

    Satellite broadcasting allowed people around the world to watch the images transmitted from the moon landing.
  • 1976

    A practical videotape recording system for home use became available.
  • 1983

    Consumers could subscribe to direct delivery of programming to their homes, instead of cable systems or conventional broadcast programming.
  • 1995

    Over 1 billion TV sets worldwide.
  • 1996

    The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved the broadcast standards for high-definition television (HDTV).
  • 2002

    The FCC mandated that TV manufacturers must equip all new TVs with tuners capable of receiving digital signals by 2007.
  • 2009

    The FCC mandates no more broadcasting by antennae, only by digital. The transmission frequencies are sold to improve wireless internet capabilities for handheld devices.