Wednesday, June 23, 2010

First Television Invented

The first television invented is surrounded by a lot of controversy. The British say that John Baird of Scotland is the inventor. RCA corporation says that David Sarnoff and Vladimir Zworykin invented television. Most Americans say that Philo Farnsworth invented the first television. Both when the first television invented and by whom is open to debate.

The first television invented by John Baird used a mechanical image scanning device that he invented himself. It was patterned after an image scanning device invented by Nipkow in 1884. Baird used two hatboxes and a coffin lid coated with selenium. There were holes in the hatbox bottoms drilled in concentric patterns. The two disks spun at different rates slicing the light reflected from the images into rows that could then be turned into sound waves by an electronic circuit and then transmitted by conventional radio to a receiving device where the process was reversed. The image was then displayed on a simple cathode ray tube. Karl Braun invented the cathode ray tube in 1887.

The first television invented by David Sarnoff and Vladimir Zworykin wasn�t really a television but was a very primitive video camera. Zworykin and his employer, RCA, held a patent for his device. However, his device could record the images but not actually transmit then to a receiver.

Meanwhile the first television invented by Philo Farnsworth was the first totally electronic device invented. Farnsworth successfully transmitted moving pictures using his device in 1927. He applied for a patent and received one in 1930. RCA sued him for patent infringement and building electronic televisions was put on hold until the case was finally settled in 1941. Farnsworth won the case and then sold his patent to ITT Corporation

The first television invented by Farnsworth was destroyed. So in 1977, several of the people involved in the original building and testing of the Farnsworth device, gathered for a reunion at the Foothill Museum in Palo Alto, CA. Cliff Gardner, one of the original helpers, built a working replica of the Farnsworth device, which was called an image dissecting tube by hand. To see a video of the first television invented click on the link

Sunday, June 20, 2010

First Color Television Show

The first color television show broadcast in America was Dragnet, a popular show about a stone-faced police sergeant named �Friday�. Dragnet was broadcast in color in 1953. The second program broadcast in color was the Tournament of Roses Parade in early 1954. It is ironic that the first color television show was a cop show. It seems detective and police programs have always been extremely popular with the general public. I guess we really just like to hear all about how cruel and brutal one human being can be to another. Of course, way back in 1953, the show was bland by today�s standards, but still basically the typical actions show without thee profanity and graphic gore.

The first color television show was followed in 1955 by the president of the country at that time, Dwight D. Eisenhower, addressing the American people from the white house. Later in the same year, the World Series was televised in color. That year, the World Series was played between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Yankees, who were bitter rivals. Thousands of fans flocked to local bars and department stores that had color TV sets on display to marvel at America�s favorite past time in living color. Until that time, only high budget movies were filmed in color.

Nine years after the first color television show, Walt Disney�s Wonderful World of Color premiered. Disney�s show was what persuaded millions of TV viewers to go out and buy a color TV set. Disney�s World of Color was always bigger than life and was also the first totally family oriented program to be broadcast in color. Mom and Dad were finally willing to spend money so they could share in the wonder that was Disney with their children. In 1962, the Jetsons became the first cartoon broadcast in color to the delight of children everywhere.

Thirteen years after the first color television show NBC pioneered the technology that made the color that we take for granted today possible. It was a turning point in television history. It still took approximately 25 years from the introduction of the first color television show for the general public to accept the new technology and for 90% of them to finally get rid of all of their old black & white TV sets.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Cable TV News Ratings

When considering cable tv news ratings, a number of questions come up. Do cable tv news ratings really tell us who is #1? Do cable tv news ratings accurately indicate how many people watch cable news versus broadcast?

In the last year, cable tv news ratings have tried to convince us that audiences are rising. But are they?

A realistic look at cable tv news ratings indicates that the audience for cable news is no larger today than it was several years ago. Then why are we led to believe that there has been such a tremendous surge in viewers?

It all has to do with the creative manipulation of numbers. Cable tv news ratings, which are provided to the networks by Nielsen, are often converted into annual "averages". Because of a major news story such as hurricane Katrina, which brought an enormous although brief spike in cable tv news ratings, it would indeed appear that audiences are increasing.

These �average� cable tv news ratings are the ones supplied to the press. So we will read that Fox News showed an audience increase of 53 percent. Or that CNN had a 24 percent rise in cable tv news ratings.

It all looks very good. However �averaging� cable tv news ratings creates the false impression that the figures are spread evenly throughout the year. In reality, cable tv news ratings are among the most volatile in journalism. They are consistently spiking or falling according to current news events.

The truth is that cable tv news ratings have a normal base level. They remain consistent from month-to-month punctuated by occasional spikes during rare major news events.

In mathematical terms, the median or middle value should be the one considered when looking at cable tv news ratings. Not the average for a year.

If you were to analyze the month-by-month cable tv news ratings over the past five or six years, you would find little growth. Not nearly the amount of growth cable tv news networks would like you to believe.

Yes, according to realistic cable tv news ratings, there has been a gradual increase of perhaps three percent in prime time cable news audiences. However, there has been no increase in day time viewing.

So the next time you read in a newspaper that cable tv news ratings indicate a tremendous surge in viewers, take it with a grain of salt. The cable tv news ratings on which the article is based are probably an �average� for the year. Misleading? Yes! But it�s how cable tv puts on their best face.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Antique Television Appraisals

Antique television appraisals are necessary for your personal record keeping, for insurance purposes, for tax records if you plan to donate the item to charity and for inheritance taxes after you die. A professional evaluation of each item is necessary to ascertain whether it has real monetary value or whether it only has sentimental value to your family. Antique television appraisals are based on the condition and how rare each individual item is.

The methodology of antique television appraisals is simple. You either take the item to a qualified professional or have them come to your home if that is more appropriate for the piece. TV sets are portable but it is probably better to get the appraiser come to your home to avoid possible damage to the set. Good quality photos taken from every angle and a video of the set working may be sufficient to get the appraisal done. You need to have the entire historical information ready such as model, manufacturer, year made, technical specifications, etc.

Most people don�t realize how much their antique TV set is worth. Usually it was passed down through the family as a collectible item or maybe they just found in a deceased relative�s attic or basement. That is why they should have antique television appraisals done. The value will be determined by the physical appearance of the set, whether or not it is in working condition, how rare that particular model is and whether there is a market for that particular item. One way to get a monetary benefit from your antique without having to try and find a buyer is to donate it to a museum, library or school to be put on display.

If you have an antique television appraisals done, you can deduct the stated value on the appraisal form as a charitable contribution on your income tax return. Just remember that an antique television appraisals is just an informed opinion of the value of the item. As with all opinions, its validity depends on the expertise and educational background of the person providing it.