We explain what television is, how it originated and the classification of this device. In addition, its characteristics and types of transmissions.

What is the television?

By television we understand a remote emission and reception system of sound and images that appear to move and, at the same time, the specific device designed to receive and display them.

Said transmission occurs through various systems and techniques , both public and paid, and today plays a preponderant role among the mass media . So much so that the massification of this device is considered the beginning of the era of telecommunications for humanity.

On the other hand, television is the mass media par excellence , so all the reflections made about media culture, the role of journalism and the "fourth power", concern it directly. Especially considering the fact that there is a television in practically every home in the West .

TV Features :

  1. Sign

The transmission of images and sound to television sets were traditionally produced by radio waves , which were received by an antenna located on the roof of the building or on the device itself that interpreted them and converted them into images and sound.

These signals could be of various types: NTSC, PAL or SECAM , according to their technical specifications that varied according to the geographical region. They were called “analog signals”.

  1. Invention


The first appearance of a television set was in 1900 , at the International Electricity Congress in Paris. It was introduced by Constantin Perskyi, a professor of electricity at the St. Petersburg Artillery Academy, who is credited with inventing the term "television."

At that time, the device was just a rudimentary approximation to what would be developed in Russia in 1911: the kinescope, from cathode ray boxes.

Then, in 1925, something much more akin to modern-day television would be developed by Scotsman John Logie Baird. But it would not be until the 1930s, when the first public television signal would be broadcast by BBC One in England and TF1 in France , as well as CBS and NBC in the United States.

  1. Transmission Options

The content broadcast on television can be live, that is, it occurs at the very moment of its transmission , or deferred, that is, it is recorded and produced prior to its transmission.

In this way , the television can be used to inform about events that take place in another place and simultaneously, or to re-present events from days, months or years ago.

  1. Types of Television

types of television

Broadly speaking, we can talk about four types of television:

  • Mechanics. It was the first model of television, which used a series of photographs in facsimile transmission from an invention called the "Nipkow Disk", which allowed an image to be scanned one line at a time.
  • Electronics. From cathode rays and the iconoscope, electronic television was developed, which functioned and became widespread for 50 years, since its launch in 1937.
  • Digital. The advent of computerized technologies allowed the development of digital television, capable of processing audio and video signals of better quality, which made the analog model of television obsolete. This new technology began to be implemented from the 90s.
  • SmartTV. It is the contemporary model of television, which takes advantage of 2.0 technologies and the push of the Internet for a much more advanced connection model.

  1. Color

Initially, televised images could only be in shades of gray and black and white . This is how this device became popular.

But from the transmission of basic colors: blue, white and red , a newer infrastructure transmitter allowed, after decades of experimentation, to broadcast the first color television signal in the 50s.

  1. Definition


There are two definition registers in television models, which means that there are two image quality models : standard definition (Standard Definition or SD) and high definition ( High Definition or HD).

The first allows, in its digital version, about 720×576 pixels (for a total of 414,720) of quality. The second, on the other hand, allows about 720 × 1280 pixels (for a total of 2,073,600).

  1. Aspect ratio

This is the name given to the relationship between the width and length of the image projected on the television, which can normally be of two types:

  • 4:3, the traditional formula of analog television.
  • 16:9, the format introduced in the 90s by digital television, much wider and more pleasing to the human eye .

  1. Transmission Modes

transmission modes

There are currently four models of television transmission:

  • Radial. Characteristic of television stations with an open or public signal, it is transmitted through radio waves.
  • By cable. Typical of pay television stations, which offer the client a wide and international programming in exchange for a monthly rental. It relies on fiber optic cables and coaxial connections to the TV.
  • By satellite. The images are transmitted from a repeater satellite, whose electronic signal is picked up by an antenna installed in the building or even in the window of the home, and then decoded by a module installed in the device.
  • IP television. Internet television, which replaces the television with new generation computers and receives its information via the web, through WiFi or conventional cable network signals.

  1. Genders

Television programming can be classified into the following broadcast genres:

  • Informative . They provide journalistic or current content to the public, such as newscasts , current affairs programs, entertainment, etc.
  • Educational. They pursue pedagogical or educational purposes in their audience, such as documentaries, educational shows, opinion programs, etc.
  • Childish Broadcasts aimed at children, such as cartoons or puppets.
  • Entertainment. Entertainment programs for adults and young people, such as comedy shows, satire, variety shows, talent shows or game shows.
  • Fiction. Fictional productions such as movies, series or soap operas.

  1. Importance


Television became established during the second half of the 20th century as a direct means of communication with the masses . Screens of this type were installed in homes, restaurants, waiting rooms and many public spaces, where people can watch and listen to the broadcast.

However, many attribute to this omnipresence a capacity for careful political and social manipulation , as well as the submission of public opinion to the editorial lines of the different existing channels.

The above content published at Collaborative Research Group is for informational and educational purposes only and has been developed by referring to reliable sources and recommendations from technology experts. We do not have any contact with official entities nor do we intend to replace the information that they emit.


Passionate about understanding and contributing to a world that does not stop changing. New forms of Work, Sustainability and Technology. For many years he has worked as a creative for large international companies. He has a Ph.D. in information technology and he has been doing quantitative research in the interdisciplinary areas of information systems, cyber security, data analytics and artificial intelligence. He continue to look for creative solutions through technology to help companies to be more humane and sustainable..

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