July 7 – At David Sarnoff's request for an experiment of RCA's electronic television technology, NBC's first attempt at actual programming is a 30-minute variety show featuring speeches, dance ensembles, monologues, vocal numbers, and film clips. It is shown to 225 of RCA's licensees on 22 centimeter screens, 343 lines per picture, 30 pictures per second.
August – 72 hours of medium-definition (180-line) television broadcasts of the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin are seen by approximately 150,000 people in public viewing rooms in Berlin and Potsdam.
November 2 – The first regular high-definition (then defined as at least 200 lines) television service from the BBC, based at Alexandra Palace in London, officially begins broadcasting (after test transmissions began in August). The service alternates on a weekly basis between John Logie Baird's 240-line mechanical system and the Marconi-EMI's 405-line all-electronic system. Programmes are broadcast daily, Monday to Saturday, at 15:00–16:00 and 20:00–22:00.
November 6 – NBC in New York demonstrates electronic television to invited members of the press, with a 40-minute program of live acts and films, received on 30 centimeter television screens.
First coaxial cables are laid between New York and Philadelphia by AT&T; they will transmit television and telephone signals.
By this year there are approximately 2,000 television receivers worldwide.