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Television Technology – It’s Getting Better All the Time

Yet, because the concept of “home viewing entertainment” was new and completely novel, consumers at that time never complained. The reason why is obvious: you can’t be annoyed about not having something you’ve never seen or that doesn’t even exist. And in 1948, there was nothing available that was better than small black and white TV.

In fact, in 1948 – and for many years after television — and the technology that drove it – was in its infancy. Viewers had to watch small screens frequently filled with “snow” and other types of interference that had to be frustrating and very annoying. Adding to the problems that plagued consumers was the fact that those old TVs utilized a series of tubes and a picture tube, all of which had limited life spans and could – and did – break down.

It was not uncommon back then (unheard of today) to have a TV service repairman come to your home to “fix your TV.” And then, it would break again.

The first big technological advance came in the 1960s when black and white TVs slowly began to give way to full color television. Screens got larger, as well, but picture tubes were still in use. And they still continued to wear out and break down, creating expense and aggravation.

Then, TV technology took a quantum leap forward. It happened in the early 1970s. Tube-powered TV was replaced by a technology called “solid state.” This new kind of TV eliminated all of the tubes that had previously been used to power TVs and provide a picture on the screen.

More importantly, without tubes, there was nothing used in the operation of the TV that could break and require costly repair. Moreover, “solid state” TVs could, and ultimately did, last seemingly forever (actually their useful life was probably about 20 years, perhaps a little shorter. Of course, there was still room for improvement with picture quality and reception. But, that improvement was still years away.

Improved reception and picture quality finally did occur at about the same time as the new millennium. Today, there are flat screen TVs and plasma TVs with reception so sharp and clear, it “feels” as if the scene on the screen is taking place in your living room.

As with all technology, the accumulation of all the knowledge in the past was used to create this new technology and TV that is “better than ever.” There is no telling what lies ahead.
If you care to speculate, however, it is easy to imagine TV in the future that is “clearer than real life”… if that is possible.