In general, telecommunication is a type of communication which uses technical media to exchange sound in the form of speech and text over long distances (van Dijk 46). Whereas, television is considered to be a type of electronic telecommunication medium which is used for transmitting and receiving moving images and sound (“Introduction to Electronic Media” 36). Television is also a medium of communication which incorporates auditory and visual channels, thus transmitting information both on the verbal and nonverbal levels (“Introduction to Electronic Media” 35). Television requires a lot of technologies in its work like changing the sequence of signals, image transmission and the use of satellites. Still, it remains one of the most popular forms of mass media in the world.
The history of television dates back to the first half of the XX century and is tightly connected with the industrial changes in society. The very idea of television is based on the discovery of electricity, photography, radio and motion pictures (Williams 15). Television was invented by different scholars like Philo Taylor Farnsworth, John Logie Baird, Vladimir Kuzmich Zworykin and Charles Francis Jenkins. The first television set with moving images was introduced in 1925 (“Introduction to Electronic Media” 36).
In 1936 and 1939 public television services have emerged in Great Britain and the United States correspondently. But the full investment in television transmission occurred only in the late 1940s and early 1950s (Williams 30). In the middle of the XX century, many television programs were available. These were news, TV shows, movies, and live broadcasting. In the 1960s and early 1970s, the color television had come into wide use. In Britain, color broadcasting was used by BBC1, BBC2 and ITV (“Introduction to Electronic Media” 37). The 2000s were mostly famous for 3-dimensional technologies which were widely used in the cinema industry.
Television has definitely more advantages than the traditional printed press since it facilitates information distribution faster and widens the coverage of the audience. For this reason, current television broadcasting focuses on the marketing strategies which are aimed at advertising and selling goods via television. Since the broadcast media are primarily financed by advertising, they add commercials as much as possible. The researches show that over the last 9 years the number of advertisements on television has increased dramatically (van Dijk 72). The marketing professionals imply the advertising videos between TV shows in order to have a wider audience. No wonder that the greatest number of advertisements occur during the prime time.
By using such an imposing technique, marketing managers make the sales higher. While watching a news program or a favorite TV show, people unconsciously memorize the products that are being advertised during the commercial break. Nowadays, it is easier to transmit a great amount of information with the help of television. Even if the people do not need such an extensive way to perceive the news and advertisements they obtain it by means of television. In the modern world, this trend of commercial activities becomes widespread with the help of broadcasting.
Another important field of television usage is politics. The main function of the television in terms of politics is to provide information so that people can make decisions and get involved in politics. In the United States, for example, TV still reaches more people than any other type of the media — printed or electronic and remains an important source of political information (van Dijk 98). By means of television, the candidate’s appearance and voice can be transmitted visually to every voter in the country without travelling to the local electorate. The broadcasting media tent to provide the audience with the more condensed version of the information which is usually presented in the newspapers. In such a way, television cuts out all the unnecessary information and leaves the most important parts. This strategy is also used during the electioneering campaigns. In a short video, a candidate may include only his or her slogans or a short version of his political agenda. For the political figure, it is more than enough to create an impression on the audience.
With the advent of the Internet, television has changed a lot too. The technologies of the television incorporate the abilities of Internet access and developed a brand new type of TV programs and news. Subscription TV and pay TV have brought a significant advantage over traditional one-way television distribution (van Dijk 52). Two-way TV links provide the viewers with the opportunity to respond to broadcasting programs. It is a development of the interactive television which enables the customers to make choices and produce the input into the program (van Dijk 52). Although the XXI century is best known for its fast data exchange and digitalization of information, television still plays a vital role in the transmission throughout different channels of humans’ perception. Television has become more individualized since the customers are now able to choose the programs, various TV shows and series by themselves. In this way, both television and the Internet have turned into the multimodal form of the mass media.
As is seen, television has gone through the different stages of its development as a form of the media. It affected almost every sphere of human life — cultural and social areas, economic development, politics. Television has made a great contribution to the distribution of information and created viral access to it. Even nowadays, this type of broadcasting remains an important source of information worldwide.
- Introduction to Electronic Media. University of Calicut, 2014, pp. 3-52.
- van Dijk, Jan A.G.M. The Network Society. 2nd ed., SAGE Publications Inc., 2006, pp. 42-125.
- Williams, Raymond. Television: Technology and Cultural Form. Schocken Books, 1975, pp. 32-44.