Saturday, February 6, 2010

When Was The Television Invented

�When was the first television invented� is as controversial as who invented the first television. You would think something like a date for an invention would be an easy thing to determine. The problem isn�t so much when was the first television invented but rather the definition of what a television is.

The first cathode ray scanning tube was invented in 1897 in Germany. It worked basically the same as the present day CRTs and was capable of displaying images on its surface. But none had yet figured out how to get the images on the tube. Then Nipkow invented a mechanical scanning device that used two-foot diameter spinning disks with hole cut in concentric patterns that could scan images one dot at a time. When connected to a circuit that could produce sound waves, the images could be sent to a receiving device where the process was reversed and the light was projected on a cathode ray screen. Figured out when was the first television invented?

The first broadcast was in 1926 in England by Baird who later founded the British Broadcasting Company (BBC). That began the era of mechanical television transmission. The first successful public broadcast was in 1928. Meanwhile in 1927, Philo Farnsworth invented an electron beam that could scan images by varying the currents intensity as it passed over the picture. He also built a transmitting and receiving device patterned on the radio receivers in wide use at the time and successfully transmitted moving pictures at 20 frames per second. 20 frames a second is fast enough to capture true motion. Farnsworth applied for and was granted a patent in 1930. Found a definitive answer to when was the first television invented yet?

However, David Sarnoff of RCA and Zworykin held a patent on a similar device that was basically a primitive video camera. Since Sarnoff didn�t want to pay royalties to Farnsworth, he filed suit against him in court for patent infringement. The lawsuit prevented either company from marketing their devices. Eventually in 1945, Farnsworth won the lawsuit since Zworykin had never really built a working device. Know When was the first television invented yet?

However, television manufacturing was suspended during World War II and Farnsworth sold his patent to ITT. The question �When was the first television invented� was left unanswered. Was it in 1897 when the picture tube was invented, or 1925 when mechanical TVs were the rage or was it in 1927 when the first electronic TV was demonstrated? When was the first television invented? I don�t know�you decide.

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