Fun and Interesting Facts about Television

  • German inventor Paul Nipkow managed to achieve static black and white television transmission with his famous “Electric Telescope” in 1884.
  • The word “Television” was coined in 1900 by Russian scientist Constantin Perskyi.
  • The biggest pioneers of early television were Paul Nipkow, Boris Rosing, Vladimir Zworkin, John Baird, Philo Farnsworth, Charles Francis Jenkins and William Bell.
  • First American television station started working in 1928, and BBC transmission began in 1930.
  • Television became widely popular after the end of World War II. Over 1 million American homes had television in 1948.
  • 1960s brought great expansion of television. First TV satellite was launched in 1962 and in 1969 over 600 million people watched moon landings live from their homes.
  • First television sets had only modest picture capabilities 200-400 lines of resolution.
  • HD television standards were officially ratified in 1996, but even before that inventors all over the world created their own HD sets. Japanese used 1125 lines of resolution from 1981, and in 1943 John Logie Baird offered his own 1000 scanlines standard to British government, but they chose to ignore him.
  • Average American family watches TV for eight hours per day.
  • Currently there is over 275 million television sets in the United State.
  • American homes spend on average 4% on their electricity on powering television.
  • Commercials were not always expensive. In 1941 20 seconds of prime-time air time was $9. Today, prices can go up to $2.7 million for 30 seconds in the Super Bowl half-time break.
  • Studies say that only 18 percent of unwanted television sets were recycled between 2006 and 2007. The other 82 percent (around 20 million units were disposed mostly to landfills creating large amounts of harmful electronic waste.
  • First VCR was made by Sony in 1970, which enabled for the first time cheap way to record television shows.
  • More and more people are watching television programs on their smartphones.
  • Some of the most watched serialized television programs of all time are M*A*S*H (top viewership 105.9 millions), Cheers (80.4 million), Seinfeld (76.3 million), Friends (52.5 million) and Magnum P.I. (50.7 million).
  • Some are estimating that around 1 billion people watched live performance of Elvis Presley from Hawaii on January 14, 1973.
  • Commercial for Daily Mail was shown in 1928 by John Logie Baird on his first color television set that publicly was showcased in London.
  • First broadcasted TV commercial lasted for 20 seconds in 1941 during the game between Brooklyn Dodgers and the Philadelphia Phillies, and was for a clock manufactured by Bulova Corporation.
  • It is estimated that by the time average American child reach age 14, it sees around 11,000 murders on the television. By the age 18, that number goes to 200,000.
  • 99% of American homes own at least one television set, and 66% has at least three. More than half pay for cable.
  • Americans annually watch around 250 billion hours of television.
  • Average 65 year old person sees over 2 million TV commercials during his life.
Old Television News Program