Infographic: The History of British Television
No invention has impacted human life as much as the television. While the Japanese hold a reputation or being the most technically advanced country on the planet and certainly lead the way with regards to television innovations, it’s the British who deserve most of the credit. Long before smart phones, tablets and even home computers, British-born inventor John Logie Baird created the world’s first mechanical television in 1925. While he wasn’t the first to propose the idea, he was the first to create moving greyscale image – which had a scan rate of a mere 12.5 pictures per second. During subsequent years he significantly advanced the technology and even managed to transmit a long-distance signal from London to Edinburgh (438 miles) through a telephone line in 1927.
But early history aside, the real history of television began decades later in the 1950s when it started to become a feature of the everyday home. During this time there were an abundance of innovations regarding analogue and digital technology, which paved the way for trends that are still present in the industry today.
1950s and 1960s
One of the first British television broadcasts was the current affairs programme Panorama, which is still one of the BBC’s most prized possessions. The 50s and 60s also brought us Blue Peter and the Apollo 11 moon landings. One of the most innovative shows of the time was Coronation Street, which is often credited as the first mainstream soap opera. It started in 1960 and was originally scheduled for only 13 episodes; however, even today it remains to be one of the most popular shows in the UK.
1970s and 1980s
During the 70s and 80s Hollywood started making its way to television screens. Movies were no longer reserved for the cinema and British terrestrial channels started to create single drams and mini serials. During the latter half of the 70s the video recorder was invented, which at the time was one of the most noteworthy innovations in the industry. In the early 80s the largest ever broadcast was aired – the wedding of Princess Diana and Prince Charles.
1990s and 2000s
The late 90s had the biggest technical innovation in the industry since the video recorder; the broadcasting of digital widescreen. In just over a decade this would phase out the old analogue models for good. In the 00s two of the most iconic television sitcoms ever created were launched, The Office and The Inbetweeners, which would go on to be remade in countries all over the world. This solidified Britain’s position at the forefront of creative broadcasting.
2010s and Beyond
Major changes occurred in the 2010s to the way we watch television. With the creation of online viewing platforms such as Netflix and Love Film, the whole industry moved portable. Now smart phones, tablets and laptop computers can access all of the latest television shows and movies anywhere in the world. This major change also caused a shift in the creative process. Many new television shows and movies are now “download only”, which has helped independent production companies find distribution and exposed the world to even more material.
ADS Digital have compiled a detailed infographic covering the history of British television programming since the 1950s. From the timeline we can see just how much the British television industry has influenced the world.
TV Business May Have to Start Trimming the Fat
In a recent Nielsen Ratings survey, statistics showed a staggering decline in the number of TV viewers in the year of 2012. With overall audience reduction nearing double digits, it leaves many to wonder what cause and effect such figures could have on the television industry.
It doesn’t take much retrospection to trace the decline in viewership back to the Internet. Prior to television’s hit on ratings, a similar industry, newspaper distributors was rattled by the introduction of the Internet. Speculators predicted in the late 90’s and early 21st century that the digital world would have a tremendous impact on newspaper user behavior. A shift in readership from paper to digital impacted the advertising industry, commerce, and hundreds of employees worldwide.
As with newspapers, the immediate impact of Internet availability on television usage has been minimal. However, in coming years, the TV business as we know it will be forced to evolve or it will cease to exist. The most visible changes in television consumption over the past six years include:
- Reduction in real-time viewing of television shows
- Simultaneous viewing of content on multiple outputs
- Increase in usage of On Demand and Streaming features
DVR systems are now commonplace in the vast majority of households with television sets. With the demanding schedules of individuals coupled with the convenience of digital video recorders, more and more people are opting to record and view programs at more opportune times. Modern day technology now enables sports enthusiasts and news junkies keep up to date with information using multiple outlets. A viewer may watch football on a laptop, smartphone, and television all at once. In addition to DVR systems, the Internet has also introduced the ability to stream live content directly to smartphones, tablets, and laptops anytime and anywhere with ipad and iphone tv apps.
The modern day consumer can watch exactly what they want while avoiding commercials as a result of the ability to stream content using sources like Hulu, Netflix, and On Demand. Now viewers have the ability to fast forward through ads and become more selective in what they choose to watch. As a result:
- Television networks will lose authority
- Satellite and cable television subscriptions will decrease
- Traditional television prices will fall
- Percentage of people who watch video on a computer will increase
As consumers become more selective in regards to when and what they watch, television networks will begin to break down. We can expect to see an improvement in content production, distribution, and acquisition of material. Plus, traditional networks will become more obsolete, uber-networks will acquire less profitable ones, and affiliate fees will decline. Selective demand will also reduce the amount of overpaid talent and managers which will trickle down to a consolidation of production, crews, and set costs.
In the end, cable and television companies will be forced to reduce their prices and become more efficient with the quality and quantity of material. As TV viewership declines, advertisements become less relevant, and the only solution is to “trim the fat.” Although television viewership is expected to fall drastically, but the TV business and related industries will undoubtedly suffer.
Author Bio: Jessica writes for iSatellitetv about directv packages and other tv technologies.
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Have you noticed that Realtors are hot again? Maybe you didn’t
I see all the media requests for interviews and I have been seeing more and more about real estate and real estate agents ( and yes I know a REALTOR and a real estate agent are different, so no emails about that please).
Magazines, TV Shows, radio shows all want to talk to realtors. Property values are going up. There was actually a SALE in my neighborhood. Those agents sent big letters letting me know they made sale. They acted like they had not eaten in a week and were now able to buy food!
My point is, if you are a real estate agent, there is something going on in your industry. I know because of all the media inquiries and magazines run 4-6 months ahead. Do yourself a favor and ride the wave of attention this time. Learn how to take advantage of media opportunities and even make your own. Otherwise it’s going to be those same three guys you always see on TV talking about real estate and they will be the same guys making all the money because of public perception.
Grab your 10 week PR Challenge CD and be ready for this new season of attention.
“I stay ready so I don’t have to get ready”- Will Smith
You say you want to make more money. Are you ready?