The History of Australian Television

Most people believe that dogs are our best friends but the reality is that for most, television has supplanted these animals as our best friends. The bloodless coup occurred in the first half of the previous century – in the 1920s and 1903s; though it took a while before television sets became mainstream enough for every household in the western world to have one.

Television has changed our lives completely and we can’t imagine ever reverting to a life without the black box. The very first television broadcast demonstration happened in 1927 but it wasn’t until the 1970s that television sets became ubiquitous.

There are many individuals who were involved in creating the television experience that we’ve come to know and love. Three of the more interesting characters are Paul Nipkow, Philo Farnsworth and Vladimir Zworykin.

Nipkow developed a system that would transmit silhouettes of images in front of it and reproduce it on another machine. Farnsworth and Zworykin took the gist of Nipkow’s work and developed what we now know as the television.

The Second World War created a lull for television broadcasts throughout most of the world but that didn’t stop the Federal Communications Commission to give the ‘yes’ to 2 television stations in the United States. The end of the Second World War saw 6 of these television stations.

Television in Australia only really began in the 1950s because of public pressure on the government as well as the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games. The first television broadcast aired in 1956, which was just in time for the Olympic Games.

Television manufacturers were playing around with various designs and they started a small war when they tried to create the smallest television set. Micro television sets never quite took off – viewers want their screens to be as big as possible. This means that in recent years, LCD TV screens have become massive hits among television viewers.

Most of early Australian television comprised imports from the United States. But over time this started to change as Australians made regular appearances on national television. Australians finally got colour television in the 1970s, which the rest of the world already had since the early 1960s.

The future of television looks rosy despite the fact that the internet threatens to eliminate or at least subsume television. There are more television channels than ever, and a growing population ensures that there will always be enough viewers.

One thought on “The History of Australian Television

  1. Mainstream television was launched on 16 September 1956 in Sydney, NSW with network TCN-9-Sydney. The new medium was introduced by Bruce Gyngell with the words ‘Good evening, and welcome to television’.

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