Anirbaan Hritiq

Television is one of the greatest inventions of mankind, which not only changed the entire idea of entertainment but also revolutionised the entire media industry. To mark the significance of television, the United Nations declared 21st November as “World Television Day” after passing a resolution on 17th December 1996.

A brief history of Television

John Logie Baird, the Scottish inventor who gave the idea of modern-day television back in the 1920s, gave the world’s first public demonstration of silhouette images in motion at the famous Selfridge departmental store in London. John's ‘Baird Television Development Company’ broadcast the first transatlantic television signal between London and New York City in 1928, clearing the clouds about transmission barriers.

The year 1928 also witnessed the world’s first television station in the United States of America which is currently known as WRGB Television Network (formerly W2XB) and is still operational even after 94 years glorious years.

Meanwhile, in India, television took its infant steps in the early 1950s when the first television transmitter was installed in Government Engineering College, Jabalpur on 24th October 1951. India had its first experimental telecast on 15th September 1959.

It was until 1975 that a larger audience got a chunk of entertainment provided by television. Rest how hit television was in India, is history...!

The emergence of television entertainment in India

Usually, defamed as the idiot box in modern times, television has a legacy larger than any other medium. Television emerged as an expensive alternative to the radio which came out just a few decades earlier.

Television with aid of satellite networks dominated the entertainment industry worldwide. Especially, in India, the 80s is considered as the golden period of television. The introduction of colour television in the year 1982 changed the entire scenario.

Daily soaps such as Hum Log, narrated by Bollywood legend Ashok Kumar made television a wholesome source of entertainment for the entire family. Whereas mythological shows such as Ramayan (1987) and Mahabharat (1988) increased the mass following, making television popular amongst the general mass of India.

The social and economic reforms in 1991, opened doors for private players in the television media industry. Many foreign channels, along with local came into existence, further elevating the user experience by introducing new technologies.

As per the statistical database (2021), more than 915 satellite channels are operational in India, with approximately 210 million (2021) television users around the nation.

Is the existence of television in danger?

The emergence of the tech era has created new challenges for the television industry worldwide. The introduction of high-speed internet, smart devices, OTT platforms and other similar mediums have definitely affected the viewership of television.

However, the idea of inclusiveness promoted by television still gives it a firm foundation as the best source of entertainment.

The fun of watching a programme together with your family and friends can never be replaced by any other medium. Till humans retain their social values, a television set will always find a happy spot in their homes.