Edited by Ruth Towse
Chapter 58: Television
Christopher Maule The production and transmission of pictures electronically was invented in the USSR and the USA in the 1920s. By the 1950s, television content and carriage had become a commercial mass medium competing for audiences with radio and other media. Since then developments have included the introduction of colour, cable, the videocassette and personal video recorder, the remote control, satellites, digitalization and compression technology, and currently the Internet and interactive television. Each technological development has altered the economic organization of the industry, moving it from the traditional broadcast one-way medium to a narrowcast and interactive medium, with viewers having greater control over what and when to watch. There are two dimensions to consider – content and carriage. Television content now includes both television programmes and other forms of video content transmitted in non-traditional ways such as via the Internet. The website YouTube is an example of how all types of video content are available on demand via the Internet, as well as complete commercially produced television programmes and excerpts from these programmes that have already been broadcast. In October 2009, YouTube served over one billion videos a day. Other examples of hybrid forms of delivery include electronic editions of newspapers that include a video window. As viewers gain greater control over what and when they watch, and what they choose to pay for, changes are occurring to the way video content is produced, financed and delivered. These and future developments will allow viewers to control a wealth of content but...
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