Timeline of Television - Important Moments in TV History

  • 1775 – Count Alessandro Volta discovered electricity made from friction.
  • 1831 - Michael Faraday and Joseph Henry developed many inventions in the field of electromagnetism, enabling future development of electronic communication.
  • 1862 – Abbe Giovanna Caselli became first person who transmitted still image over the wires. His invention Pantelegraph would soon after become copied and improved by many.
  • 1873 – Scientist started exploring the possibility of transferring information of visible light into electrical signal via selenium.
  • 1876 – George Carey from America first described full recording and reproducing camera system that was based on selenium.
  • 1880 – Famous American inventors Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison start working on a telephone system that could transmit image.
  • 1884 – German technician and inventor Paul Nipkow managed to transmit static image with 18 horizontal lines of resolution. His “Electric Telescope” quickly became the basis of many future mechanical television designs.
  • 1900 – The word “Television” was coined during the first International Congress of Electricity at the World's Fair in Paris by Russian scientist Constantin Perskyi.
  • 1906 – Boris Rosing managed to improve Nipkow’s “Electric Telescope” and produce first fully working mechanical TV system.
  • 1907 – Work on electric television continued with both Campbell Swinton and Boris Rosing managing to improve the work of cathode ray tubes.
  • 1923 – Russian Vladimir Zworkin patents his TV camera tube system which would later on become cornerstone of future TV technology.
  • 1924-26 – Scotland scientists Charles Jenkins and John Baird managed to demonstrate their image transmitting methods, in both mechanical and electrical form. John Baird then made television system with 30 lines of horizontal resolution and 5 frames per second.
  • 1927 – Bell Telephone preforms first transfer of video image between Washington D.C. and New York City. In the same year, Philo Farnsworth patents his own electronic television system.
  • 1928 – First television license in America was licensed to Charles Jenkins.
  • 1929 – Vladimir Zworkin produces cheap electrical system that can both transmit and receive video images.
  • 1930 – First commercial aired on Charles Jenkins’s television program, BBC begins its regular TV transmission.
  • 1936 – Over 2000 television sets are used in entire world, and first experiments with coaxial cable that can transmit video, audio and data were started in America.
  • 1937 – BBC introduces high definition broadcast, CBS is formed in US.
  • 1939-40 – Television was showcased in many fairs across America, with some models having radio for those who wanted to hear audio together with the image. 343 lines of resolution TV was introduced.
  • 1948 – Cable television comes to rural parts of United States, television hardware become cheaper enabling 1 million homes to have one set.
  • 1950-53 – FCC approves first two color television standards.
  • 1956 – Introduction of first practical videotape by Ampex, and first practical remote control by Robert Adler.
  • 1962 – First television satellite Telstar was launched by AT&T.
  • 1967 – Color television becomes commonplace.
  • 1969 – 600 million watched live transmission of first human landing on the moon.
  • 1967 – Betamax, first home videotape system by Sony.
  • 1981 – Japanese television company NHK introduced television system with 1125 lines of horizontal resolution – first HD television.
  • 1984 – Stereo TV broadcasts.
  • 1996 – FCC approved modern HDTV standard, 1 billion television sets are in use worldwide.
Television Picture