Talk:History of television

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Mainly color[edit]

This article is mainly on color TV. What about the history of the Black and White TV? AbCarter 10:52, 12 August 2006, CET

Farnsworth's World's *First* Public (All-Electronic) Demonstration?[edit]

This article currently states: "Farnsworth gave the world's first public demonstration of a complete all-electronic television system on 25 August 1934 at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia."

I am confused. Can anybody enlighten me on how this 1934 demonstration compares to the 1931 German Funkausstellung in Berlin demonstration by Manfred von Ardenne? It would be very helpful if somebody could comment on the "all-electronic" status of the Berlin demonstration. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cyberroach (talkcontribs) 22:01, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

The key word in the sentence you quoted above is "complete". The all-electronic system that Manfred von Ardenne demonstrated in 1931 did not have a camera tube; it used a cathode ray tube as a flying spot scanner to scan motion picture films and slides. A fuller explanation comes in the same paragraph of the article:
But Farnsworth was the first to coordinate both electronically scanned television cameras and electronically scanned television receivers, and present live, moving, half-tone (grayscale) images with them.
According to the relevant Wiki articles, half-tone (or halftone) is NOT synonomous with grayscale. Rather duotone seems to include grayscale. There is far too much confusion on this in these articles. Rico402 (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 11:08, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
For the record, the correct term is "monochromatic images". Cheers, Rico402 (talk) 13:07, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
Von Ardenne's accomplishment is mentioned in a footnote to that paragraph. For more information, see Zworykin, Pioneer of Television by Albert Abramson, p. 111. — Walloon (talk) 15:43, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

ANSWER: According to UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE Hungarian Kálmán Tihanyi invented the full electric TV broadcast sytem in 1926 (8 years before Zworykin), its name was radioscope, and iconoscope and crt were parts of Tihanyi's radioskop (radioscope). Thanyi's patent 8 years older. Tihanyi won all litigations against Zworykin [!!!] in US. After that Zworykin was no more than a successful widespread contumacios urban legend.

(Memory of the World, UNESCO's programme aiming at preservation and dissemination of valuable archive holdings and library collections worldwide. "Documentary heritage concerning Hungary and recommended for inclusion in the Memory of the World International Register", Hungary - Kalman Tihanyi’s 1926 Patent Application "Radioskop", 13 Nov. 2006.

FALSE: UNESCO's "Memory of the World" makes no such claim. The document referenced above is only "recommended for inclusion in the Memory of the World International Register". (Emphasis added.) Furthermore, Tihanyi’s U.S. patents (#2,133,123 and #2,158,259) only address improvements in the display and camera tubes, and make no reference to improvements in the radio transmission or reception of television signals, much less invention of "the full electric TV broadcast sytem" (sic).
Update: Tihanyi’s 1926 patent application is included in the MOTW archive. (Registered in 2005, however I can't seem to find the correct url.) Note, however, that this does not grant Tihanyi priority re invention of electronic television. Cheers, Rico402 (talk) 23:33, 18 September 2009 (UTC)
Zworykin headed the Television Development Department at RCA, which spent nearly two decades and several million dollars refining a primitive system into a commercially viable consumer product. There's ample evidence that Zworykin was less than scrupulous in his early work - "borrowing" from the likes of Farnsworth and Tihanyi - but that certainly doesn't negate his work or that of his team at RCA and their contribution to the development of modern television. The notion that Zworykin's standing is merely an "urban legend" is just plain silly.  : D
Cheers, Rico402 (talk) 13:07, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

Modern TV?[edit]

This article covers from the early days of television to the 60s and 70s. Why is modern television history not included? Items such as ATSC (over-the-air ditigal broadcasts), HDTV and satellite television are all parts of television history that are not included. Any particular reason? EvilReborn 03:59, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

I wrote much of the material from the 1920s to the 1950s, and I plead guilty. I have not read up on television developments past that period. Hopefully someone who has, can put some balance into this article. — Walloon 06:46, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

Willard Geer[edit]

Removing paragraph:

Of note, though RCA is largely credited with developing the first commercial color television in the United States, the invention was actually first patented by University of Southern California (USC) physics professor Willard Geer in 1944. One month after he patented this invention RCA also filed for a patent, then sued Mr. Geer. Willard Geer eventually won the suit and was paid $15,000 by RCA.

But RCA is not "largely credited with developing the first commercial color television" in the U.S. Color television had been demonstrated as far back as 1928 by John Logie Baird. The first commercial color television system was by CBS, approved by the FCC in 1950, on the air in 1951, with the first CBS brand sets manufactured in 1951. The NTSC system, with hardware developed by RCA, was not approved until 1953, and the first RCA brand sets were manufactured in 1954, several months after Westinghouse had color sets on the market. — Walloon 00:09, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

González Camarena[edit]

Guillermo González Camarena filed his first color television patent in Mexico, for a field sequential color adaptor, on August 19, 1940. Peter Goldmark, chief engineer for CBS television development, first demonstrated his field sequential color system at the CBS Laboratory in June 1940 to CBS management on a 3-inch screen enhanced with a magnifier placed in front of the screen. CBS first broadcast its field sequential color system as early as August 28, 1940, and demonstrated it for a delegation of FCC Commissioners and engineers on September 4, 1940. Article by Robert B. Cooper.

And let's not forget that John Logie Baird had already displayed color television in 1928, and Bell Labs had demonstrated it in 1929. Baird gave another demonstration of color television, this time using a cathode ray tube and a revolving disk of colored filters, in 1939 — essentially what González Camarena offered in his 1940 patent.

Also, the patent (note spelling, not "pattent") number 2,296,022 listed for González Camarena's 1940 invention in an earlier version of this article is actually for a "monogram attachment" by inventor M. Chernow, filed in 1939. The correct patent number for González Camarena is 2,296,019.

González Camarena is written about in the "Mexico" subsection of the History of Color Television section. — Walloon 09:18, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

Broadcast television: relay[edit]

The sentence "At first, terrestrial broadcasting was the only way television could be distributed. Because bandwidth was limited, government regulation was normal." is unclear. High frequency radio relays were used (something like microwave?) very early for remotes and for feeding broadcasts to nearby cities. The article implies that, say, Philadelphia would pick up a New York broadcast from their regular broadcast frequency and repeat it to their viewers, which I do not believe to be the case. The second sentence does not seem to follow from the first.

The book "The Future of Television" by Orrin E. Dunlap, New York: Harper, 1942 says (p8) that coax was installed between New York and Philadelphia by that date for TV relays, and that high frequency radio relays were in the works. NBC had used such a radio link to send pictures from Camp Upton.L.I. to NYC 68 miles with 2 repeaters. Edison 14:18, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

First sports broadcast[edit]

I have removed the following paragraph:

The first-ever sports broadcast on television took place on May 17, 1939 at the second game of a double-header between the Columbia University Columbia Lions and the Princeton University Tigers football teams at Columbia's Baker Field in upper Manhattan. NBC wanted to experiment with using television to broadcast live sporting events. The test was so successful that they soon began broadcasting major league sports.

England's BBC had been broadcasting sports events for several years before this, and Germany televised the 1936 Summer Olympics. — Walloon 01:06, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

The two men who told me this are now dead, so I have no reference. According to the late Ellery Tuller, K8CVO, early video broadcasts of major league baseball games were first married to AM play-by-play by amateur radio operators. Of course us hams like to take credit for any development in technology.--W8IMP 06:45, 14 April 2007 (UTC)


What about the Telephane invented by the Australian Henry Sutton in 1885 [1]. Ozdaren 15:16, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

Sutton's invention was published but never demonstrated. On the transmission side it was really no different from Nipkow's proposal. On the receiver side, its innovation was to use a Kerr cell (a small glass cell holding a drop of carbon bisulphide) as the optical medium stimulated by electrodes. Baird in the 1920s and others experimented with Kerr cells, but the illumination was always insufficient. — Walloon (talk) 16:29, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Old tv.jpg[edit]

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BetacommandBot 05:32, 13 September 2007 (UTC)


Could information from this article from the 1907-02-24 edition of The New York Times be incorporated? It seems to contain one of the first mentions of the concept of 'television':

The new 'telephotograph' invention of Dr. Arthur Korn, Professor of Physics in Munich University, is a distinct step nearer the realization of all this, and he assures us that 'television,' or seeing by telegraph, is merely a question of a year or two with certain improvements in apparatus.

Thanks. --the Wild Falcon (talk | log) 13:48, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Actually, the concept of television, if not by name, had been written about since the 1880s. Per your suggestion, I have linked the New York Times article on Dr. Korn to the existing text about photo telegraphy in 1907 (which was referring to his demonstration). — Walloon 16:57, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

First TV Series[edit]

What was the first live TV series? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:26, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Records of broadcast schedules in the US and UK are hard to find from the period 1928–1930. We do know that regularly scheduled television series were on the air in New York in 1931, such as The Television Ghost.

Kenjiro Takayanagi[edit]

The first to create a working prototype of the cathode ray tube based, fully electronic television receiver was Kenjiro Takayanagi, a Japanese inventor, who successfully demonstrated the device at Hamamatsu Industrial High School on Christmas, 1926. This was the world's first example of the all-electronic model of the television; the basic architecture still used in present day (pre LCD) television.

I have removed the paragraph above from the article because it is incorrect. According to the Web site The Evolution of TV: A Brief History of TV Technology in Japan,

Takayanagi constructed a system that utilized a mechanical Nipkow disk and a photoelectric tube in the transmitting device, and an electric Braun tube in the receiving device. He succeeded in displaying a clear image of the character “[Japanese character]” on a Braun tube on December 25, 1926 (on a mechanical and electrical system with 40 scanning lines).

In order words, he demonstrated in 1926 what Boris Rosing and his student Vladimir Zworykin had achieved in Russia in 1911, also using a Braun tube. See the section in this Wikipedia article on mechanical television. — Walloon (talk) 15:36, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Peacock NBC presentation in RCA color.JPG[edit]

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Image:Peacock NBC presentation in RCA color.JPG is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to ensure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images lacking such an explanation can be deleted one week after being tagged, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you. BetacommandBot (talk) 14:11, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

Hovhannes Adamyan[edit]

I have removed the following three paragraphs from the section on electronic color television:

In 1905 in the laboratory of Berlin Univerisity Professor Arthur Korn, a student of the same University Hovhannes Adamyan made his first invention, when he improved the device constructed by his teacher and gave a transmittable picture. In 1908 the Kaiser's License Office of Berlin issued a license to Adamyan "For creating a device for transmission of a picture or several pictures through electricity". For the first time in history of television development Adamyan substantiated the idea of transmitting a black-and-white picture to the scientific world.[citation needed] The license was followed by testing of the two-color TV in Berlin, the first experience ever in transmitting of the color picture.[citation needed]
Adamyan has been acknowledged as the inventor of the color television.[citation needed] The scientist received French and Russian licenses for his invention in 1908. In 1921, during the all-Russian Electro technical Conference in Moscow, he presented the results of his studies for transmitting a picture on long distances. In a letter addressed to his sister, Adamyan wrote: "Although I am invited to Germany, I wish to make my first large scientific experiment in my Motherland". In 1925 Adamyan presented the first scheme of the color television sequential system at the Yerevan State University, the tri-color television, which was named "Herates" (the far-sighted). Adamyan's invention was applied three years later in London. In 1930-ies Adamyan was also acknowledged as the inventor of the prototype of the modern video player.[citation needed]
In 1945-1951 US Columbia (CBS) Radio company tested Adamyan's invention and only in 1953 it was accepted, and later replaced by NTSC system.[citation needed]

Adamyan's name does not appear in Television: An International History edited by Anthony Smith, Television: An International History of the Formative Years by R.W. Burns, or The History of Television, 1880 to 1941 by Albert Abramson. His name appears on the Web only on Armenian-oriented sites. — Walloon (talk) 05:52, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

Kalman Tihanyi’s U.S. patents for "Television Apparatus"[edit]

There is no mention of "storage" in Tihanyi’s patent application for his camera tube. (United States Patent Office, Patent No. 2,158,259, May 16, 1939.) Rather, "storage of the image producing signals so that the electro-optical effects which result are maintained substantially throughout the entire scansion cycle" appears in his patent application for his display tube. (United States Patent Office, Patent No. 2,133,123, Oct. 11, 1938.) Both patents were assigned to RCA Corp. (Patent pdf files accessible from, registration required.)

Appropriate edits are required.

Cheers, Rico402 (talk) 04:29, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

PS- Doug Elliot's "The Beginning of Television" (History Magazine, Vol. 7 No. 3, March 2006, Moorshead Magazines Ltd.) gives us the following-

"Throughout 1931 Zworykin continued to increase the efficiency of his camera tube. Using earlier electronic television patents of Hungarian researcher Kálmán Tihanyi, he managed to get the tiny photosensitive elements at the back of the tube to store an electrical charge."

But I don't see any reference to "store an electrical charge" in Tihanyi’s patent application for his camera tube. (United States Patent Office, Patent No. 2,158,259, May 16, 1939.) Go figure...

Cheers, Rico402 (talk) 08:33, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

Addendum: Although "storage" of electrical charge is not explicitly mentioned in Tihanyi’s patent for his camera tube, it is implied in column 2, lines 9-16 as follows (numbers in parentheses refer to the included diagram): "Thus, as the light from the image (15) strikes the photoelectric areas the grid member (21), which is maintained at a positive voltage by means of a battery (23), collects the photoelectrons and they are passed to ground at (11). The result is that charges are built up between the photoelectric elements (7) and the back plate (9) connected to ground..."
Cheers, Rico402 (talk) 02:12, 22 January 2009 (UTC)


Someone(s) has been using the term "halftone" in Wikipedia articles about the history of television. But that is not a correct term to use. Reason: halftones are from printing technology, in which the tiny black dots that make up an image vary in size, creating an overall look of grayscale when seen together and from a distance. With television, the image elements never varied in size. The holes or lenses in the mechanical disks were always the same size, and the pixels on a cathode ray tube were always the same size; they never varied in size as the image varied. Halftones were produced in facsimile technology, but only where the transmission result was on paper, not as a live viewing experience, i.e. television.

The correct term to use in the history of television is "grayscale". Facsimile systems had been able to produce grayscale still images since the first decade of the 20th century, and were used extensively by newspapers from then onward. But, before moving grayscale images were first achieved by Baird in late 1925/early 1926, television could transmit only moving "duotone" images, also called silhouette images. — Walloon (talk) 20:56, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

"Halftone" is indeed incorrect, but "grayscale" should perhaps be avoided when referring to analog television, as it now most commonly refers to digital imaging, wherein each pixel is created from a finite set of discrete values representing image intensity, rather than a theoretically infinite set of intensity values representing continuous tonal variation. "Duotone" - literally "two-tone" - is a photographic and printing technique used to achieve continuous tonal variation, and is not synonymous with "silhouette", which suggests binary tone, each pixel being either black or white. "Black & white" and "monochromatic" are the terms I grew up with when refering to non-color television, the latter being more accurate.
Regarding- "AT&T's Bell Telephone Laboratories transmitted halftone images of transparencies in May 1925", which should be corrected. What type of images did Bell Labs transmit in 1925? Likely not "halftone"; probably monochromatic with continuous tonal variation. But I don't have a solid reference.
Cheers, Rico402 (talk) 19:03, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Historical perspective[edit]

To say "From the latter would eventually descend..." modern TV is missing the big picture, essentially denying that all-electronic TV is a descendent of mechanical TV. In fact, mechanical TV is also an ancestor of electronic TV, and these techniques co-existed overlapped in developments of the 1920s and 1930s, even both with the same labs of some pioneeers. Let's not write it in a way that ignores this branch of ancestry. Dicklyon (talk) 00:34, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

Personally, I don't agree that the phrase misses "the big picture". Rather, it merely states that electromechanical TV was abandoned in favor of fully electronic TV. Nonetheless the offending bit has been deleted.
Cheers, Rico402 (talk) 10:57, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
PS- The "mechanical" scanning elements were abandoned, is my point, not the whole of the electromechanical system. Rico402 (talk) 12:17, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

Television Sets[edit]

"Meanwhile in North America the original NTSC 525-line standard from 1941 was retained, although analog television will be totally replaced for broadcast purposes in February 2009."

I think this needs to be clarified (although I could be wrong). As the sentence begins with "North America," it implies that all of North America will be switching to digital broadcasting as of 2009. This is not true, as Canada will not be switching until 2011.

Ice crazi wow (talk) 01:34, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

Kinescope? Videotape?[edit]

Can't be much of a History of Television if it doesn't even mention the media that made re-runs possible! (Doesn't even LINK to either subject on this date...) Twang (talk) 07:51, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

Please add the missing content at your disgression. (I have enough grief with changes to existing content and warding off the vandals.) Cheers!, Rico402 (talk) 12:59, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

Peter Carl Goldmark[edit]

Hungarian Peter Carl Goldmark (Hungarian: Goldmark Péter Károly) (December 2, 1906December 7, 1977) had gotten his first exposure to television in 1926 while in graduate school in Vienna. He later hoped to work with John Logie Baird but was turned down for a job after meeting Baird for lunch in London. In 1936, Goldmark joined CBS Laboratories, and one year later he became a naturalized citizen of the United States. Goldmark developed a technology for color television while at CBS. The system, first demonstrated on August 29, 1940, and shown to the press on September 3rd [1] used a rapidly rotating color wheel that alternated transmission in red, green and blue. The system transmitted on 343 lines, about 100 less than a black and white set, and thus was incompatible with most television sets currently on the market.[2].

Although CBS did broadcast in color with the Goldmark system in 1951, the "compatible color" technology developed for RCA and NBC (by a team led by Richard Kell, George H. Brown and others) was compatible with existing black and white TVs. Goldmark and others have pointed out that the CBS color wheel system did provide better picture quality than RCA's system, but the compatibility problem proved its downfall. As a result, the RCA/NBC color system became the industry standard chosen by the FCC in 1953. (Ironically, cameras using the color wheel system continued to be used for scientific research for several more decades, including at least one of the 1970s NASA moon landings.)

Goldmark spent the next two decades at CBS Laboratories working on various inventions, chief of which was EVR, the Electronic Video Recorder. This futuristic home video playback device used reels of film stored in plastic cassettes to electronically store audio and video signals, and was first announced in 1967. A B&W prototype was demonstrated in 1969 (promising color playback in future models), but the invention floundered when it proved to be difficult and costly to manufacture. CBS was also concerned about the potential of competition from home video devices, particularly those that could record -- a fear that eventually proved prescient. As with color television, Goldmark's EVR film-based system was superseded by other technology, in this case Sony's U-Matic 3/4" videocassette format in late 1971, since the cassette tape format was cheaper and more effective.

On November 22, 1977, President Jimmy Carter presented Goldmark with the National Medal of Science "For contributions to the development of the communication sciences for education, entertainment, culture and human service."[3]


  • Coleman, Mark (2005) PLAYBACK: From the Victrola to MP3, 100 Years of Music, Machines and Money, Published by Da Capo Press (ISBN 0-306-81390-4)
  • Fisher and Fisher, "The Color War", Invention and Technology, Winter 1997
  • Goldmark, Peter (1973) "Maverick Inventor: My Turbulent Years at CBS", published by Saturday Review Press (ISBN 0841500460)
  • Reitan, Jr., Edward Howrd, "Ed Reitan's Color Television History,", retrieved July 1, 2007. (talk) 13:35, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

You're conflating two different RCA color television systems. The RCA color system presented to the FCC in 1949-1950 was inferior to the CBS system in many ways (although the CBS system had lower resolution). The RCA color system presented to the FCC in 1953, and made the national color broadcasting standard that December, was by all accounts superior to the CBS system and the previous RCA system. — Walloon (talk) 23:38, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

Editing "Electronic television"[edit]

I've reverted the "Electronic television" section back to my edit of 15 May 2009. There was no deletion of facts or other important relevant material in this edit; it mostly comprised corrections/adjustments for style and accuracy. Only the following was deleted:

"The "principle of storage" is the basis of modern Television system. His [Tihanyi's] patents operated perfectly on the same method as the latter mass produced Television systems."

Fully modern television systems don't exploit Tihanyi's "principle of storage" because they employ charge-coupled devices (CCDs) rather than a camera tube such as the orthicon or its forerunner the iconoscope. Granted CCDs are image storage devices, but there are considerable differences compared to Tihanyi's camera tube. But moreover, no single innovation or component is "the basis of modern Television". (You could make a better argument that "digital technology" is "the basis of modern Television", since the "state of the art" in TV is a "fully digital" system.)

The second sentence is simply redundant and poorly written; Tihanyi's contributions are amply covered in the article as is, including the importance of "charge storage" to the design of the iconoscope.

Cheers, Rico402 (talk) 15:09, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

Leon Theremin and television?[edit]

"The concept of breaking a single video frame into interlaced 'fields' was first demonstrated by Russian inventor Léon Theremin in 1927" (Albert Glinsky: Theramin, University of Illinois Press, 2000)

First of all, I do not doubt that Theremin invented his electronic instrument "Theramin" and other things in the 1920s. These are proven facts.

But with all respect, I very much doubt this whole Theremin / television inventor / interlaced inventor stuff. This sounds like one of those classic Russian/Soviet falsifications to me.

The whole story is just based on a single source, which is the book mentioned above - published in 2000. The other source would be Theremin's own few lines about this issue in the book "A.F. Joffe - Memories [my own translation], Academy of Sciences Press [again my own translation], Moscow, 1973", offering a phantastic story how he invented television devices with a few lines up to 62 and even 120 lines (incorporating interlaced 'lines' technique) within 2 or 3 (!) years (from 1924 or 1925 to 1927) as part of his academic thesis! Moreover, he was travelling a lot during that period to present his 'Theramin', to negotiate lincence issues for his 'Theramin', etc. His alleged development of television of course had to be temporary halted during his extensive travels in 1925/26. He also claims to have invented in 1927 a portable(!) camera or whole television system with 100 lines, which could operate outdoor and under daylight conditions! (Meaning without any additional light source - in 1927!!!)

Should these claims be true, Theremin would have been ways ahead of all other television pioneers. I think - and 'early television buffs' would agree - about one decade ahead wouldn't be exaggerated in this case. The story of early television would have to be rewritten.

The stupid thing, now, about all of these phantastic 'achievements' regarding television devices is that there is not a single proof for not even one of these claims. No photos, no patent files, no drawings, no working schemes, no technical descriptions, nothing detailed and nothing general, no presentations (he travelled a lot and had his own laboratory in the US during the early 1930s), no contemporary articles. Absolutely nothing. Zero.

However, Theremin himself claims that there had been an article in the magazine Ogonyok [my own translation] in the 1920s. But even if that would be true, it wouldn't change anything about the non-existing proofs: Theremin maybe indeed has written a (theoretic) thesis about television and maybe did some research. But if one remembers the tons of propaganda, which had been put out especially by the early Soviet Union, to show how 'progressive' and 'modern' the largely backwards country was, it is not unlikely that Ogonyok somehow 'sexed up' its article a little bit.

There is some literature about Theremin from (communist) East Germany, a soviet puppet state, which glorified everything Soviet/Russian. Theremin had been a big celebrity in East Germany due to his various achievements. But in none of this literature I could discover anything new about his alleged achievements in the field of television. If at all, it's always the same few statements, which I tried to give above in my own words.

So I have good reason to assume that this whole 'Theremin-television story' is nothing more than a huge fake!

I can only hope that it's only Russian chauvinists that spread such allegations via the 'University of Illinois Press' and all over corresponding Wikipedia articles.

I for my part will erase those non-proven statements about Theremin and television.

Greets. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:52, 5 August 2009 (UTC)

Someone is using fake bibliographic references.[edit]

In the section about the electronic television, one of the authors says that there is a bibliographic reference [32] for Farnsworth's multipactor in page 148 of (1987) Albert Abramson's book: The History of Television, 1880 to 1941. Nevertheless, I just look for the word "multipactor" in the copy of Abramson book located in google-books, and I found nothing; please read the link [[2]]. On the other hand, I also look for the words "electron multiplier" in the same copy of Abramson book and I found three references in pages 148, 244, and 245; please read the link [[3]]. I suppose that the author is intentionally or unintentionally confusing a multipactor with an electron multiplier.

This could be an accident, but it could also be that one of the authors is trying to use fake bibliographic references. One solution to this problem is that every author explicitly includes a web-link to google-books where we can all read what the original document says.

-- (talk) 04:23, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

Indeed there is mention no of a "multipactor" anywhere in Abramson (1987), so this is a bad citation, as you say. On page 248 we see, "On March 3, 1930, P.T. Farnsworth applied for a patent covering an electron multiplier." This refers to, Farnsworth (1930), Electron Multiplier, Patent No. 1969399, and was the device that initially boosted the light sensitivity of the image dissector. According to Paul Schatzkin, Farnsworth hadn't worked out the details of the multipactor until winter 1935, and had yet to begin actually building the device. (Schatzkin, Paul (2002), The boy who invented television: a story of inspiration, persistence, and quiet passion, p. 139.) So it seems rather obvious that the electron multiplier is being confused with the multipactor. Very good of you to point this out.
What would be later called the "multipactor" was initially filed for patent on March 12, 1935. (Farnsworth (1935), Means for Electron Multiplication, Patent No. 2143262.) "Multipactor" would appear in the title of a later application filed on June 1, 1936. (Farnsworth (1935), Multistage Multipactor, Patent No. 2141837.) The importance of the multipactor seems to me to be highly exaggerated, as in Schatzkin, Paul (2002), The boy who invented television: a story of inspiration, persistence, and quiet passion, and George Everson (1949), The story of television: the life of Philo T. Farnsworth. Schatzkin's a real Farnsworth cheerleader, so one has to be cautious when citing his material, as he often lacks objectivity. And Everson too may be less than objective; he was a personal friend of Farnsworth's and very involved in financing his early work. Everson is heavily referenced in this section, and indeed may be the source of some of the confusion, but I don't have this book, and there's very little available on Google Books.
This screw up may not be so nefarious. Sometimes text gets edited and the refs get left behind; sloppy work for sure, but I don't think intentionally deceptive. In any case it requires correction. I can't get to it now, maybe later; or perhaps one of the regular contributors will read this and fix things up. Cheers, Rico402 (talk) 14:51, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
Rico402, please let me disagree with you about when Farnsworth invented his "multipactor". Looking in google patents for the first application bearing the name "multipactor", we can find the US patent number 2,071,517 [Multipactor Phase Control]. This patent is also mentioned in 2001 Godfrey book Philo T. Farnsworth: the father of televisio. Farnsworth says in the second paragraph of his patent Multipactor Phase Control that these devices have been described in detail in the prior applications: electron multiplier, serial number 692,585, filed on October 7, 1933 [[4]]; oscillation generator, serial number 733,837, filed on July 5, 1934 [[5]]; and methods of electron multiplication, serial number 706,965, filed on January 17, 1934. So that the first patent on the "multipactor" may be at least traced back to October 1933.
I have not been able to find the patent entitled "methods of electron multiplication" serial number 706,965, but I suspect it is the base of the five patents filed (all of them) the same day, on March 12, 1935: Amplifier, Means for Electron Multiplication, Cathode Ray Tube, Detector, and Oscillator.
There is still being an open problem, Farnsworth filed for the US patent number 1,969,399 for an electron mutiplier in 1930, so is it a multipactor o not? In the wikipedia-article about the multipactor effect it is explicitly said that this effect occurs when electrons are accelerated by radio-frequency (RF) fields. Since there is not mention to a RF source in US patent number 1,969,399, we can safely conclude that it is not a "multipactor".
In any case, my general point is still being the same: every author should explicitly include a web-link where we can all read what the original document says.-- (talk) 20:03, 21 February 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Broadcast formats, technologies entirely missing[edit]

An article called "history of television" (this one is actually about TV technology, so needs re-naming) needs to cover the different broadcast formats: local, network, live, film, kinescope, videotape and recording. Tape changed everything, and the early era, before it, depended on kinescopes (many lost).

This article does not even mention those essential technologies by name, nor the effect they had on the medium. Twang (talk) 00:25, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

I agree with Twang: this article should be re-named. In addition, Wikipedia needs a separate but linked article on the History of television programming.Kdammers (talk) 05:24, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

B&W sets, In what year did they disappear?[edit]

I think it is probably true that at least in the US, the black and white TV has mostly disappeared from the market sometime in the 1980's, but in what year?. I would like to see additional information on this with cited sources.Smiloid (talk) 03:28, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

Source of my information[edit]

I see that when I typed in that television viewers were originally not called "viewers" but "lookers on" or "lookers in", some one deleted it and gave the edit summary - "Undid potentially interesting, but unsourced addition by ACEOREVIVED". The first thing I would like to say is I thank the person for being so well-mannered with his or her edit summary - it is not often that when things are deleted due to being unsourced on Wikipedia, one gets an edit summary with as much as courtesy as that! The source where I heard this information was that "Today" programme on BBC Radio Four, on All Soul's Day 2011. There was a lot about the history of television that day because it was then that it was 75 years to the start of television broadcasting in the United Kingdom. If one goes to the website of "Today" for November 2 2011, one might be able to do a podcast of this radio programme, where one could hear this information (I seem to recall that it was near the end of the programme). ACEOREVIVED (talk) 11:54, 3 November 2011 (UTC) |}

Wrap up[edit]

So in modern times this is just video content. Article sort of trails off without any treatment of much in the last 20 years except the US broadcast conversion to digital. (talk) 17:58, 17 February 2013 (UTC)

Crystal Palace[edit]

The article states John Logi Bairds first color broadcast as being from Crystal Palace in 1938... I think they mean Alexandra Palace in north London... as the Crystal Palace burnt down in 1936Goonerdude (talk) 05:48, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

  1. ^ Current Broadcasting 1940
  2. ^ Color Television System Development - CBS System
  3. ^ US NSF - The President's National Medal of Science: Recipient Details