Television is a telecommunication
Telecommunication is the transmission of information over significant distances to communicate. In earlier times, telecommunications involved the use of visual signals, such as beacons, smoke signals, semaphore telegraphs, signal flags, and optical heliographs, or audio messages via coded...

 medium for transmitting and receiving moving images that can be monochrome
Monochrome describes paintings, drawings, design, or photographs in one color or shades of one color. A monochromatic object or image has colors in shades of limited colors or hues. Images using only shades of grey are called grayscale or black-and-white...

Black-and-white, often abbreviated B/W or B&W, is a term referring to a number of monochrome forms in visual arts.Black-and-white as a description is also something of a misnomer, for in addition to black and white, most of these media included varying shades of gray...

) or colored, with accompanying sound. "Television" may also refer specifically to a television set
Television set
A television set is a device that combines a tuner, display, and speakers for the purpose of viewing television. Television sets became a popular consumer product after the Second World War, using vacuum tubes and cathode ray tube displays...

, television program
Television program
A television program , also called television show, is a segment of content which is intended to be broadcast on television. It may be a one-time production or part of a periodically recurring series...

ming, television transmission
Transmission (telecommunications)
Transmission, in telecommunications, is the process of sending, propagating and receiving an analogue or digital information signal over a physical point-to-point or point-to-multipoint transmission medium, either wired, optical fiber or wireless...


The etymology of the word has a mixed Latin and Greek origin, meaning "far sight": Greek tele , far, and Latin visio, sight (from video, vis- to see, or to view in the first person).

Commercially available since the late 1920s, the television set has become commonplace in homes, businesses and institutions, particularly as a vehicle for advertising
Advertising is a form of communication used to persuade an audience to take some action with respect to products, ideas, or services. Most commonly, the desired result is to drive consumer behavior with respect to a commercial offering, although political and ideological advertising is also common...

, a source of entertainment, and news
News is the communication of selected information on current events which is presented by print, broadcast, Internet, or word of mouth to a third party or mass audience.- Etymology :...


1925    John Logie Baird performs the first test of a working television system.

1927    The first fully electronic television system is achieved by Philo Taylor Farnsworth.

1928    Charles Jenkins Laboratories of Washington, D.C. becomes the first holder of a television license from the Federal Radio Commission.

1947    The World Series, featuring the New York Yankees and the Brooklyn Dodgers, is televised for the first time.

1947    ''Meet the Press'' makes its television debut (the show went to a weekly schedule on September 12, 1948).

1948    ''Toast of the Town'', later ''The Ed Sullivan Show'', makes its television debut.

1948    ''Candid Camera'' makes its television debut after being on radio for a year as ''Candid Microphone''.

1949    ''The Goldbergs'', the first sitcom on American television, first airs.

1949    Fireside Theater debuts on television.

1949    KC2XAK of Bridgeport, Connecticut becomes the first Ultra high frequency (UHF) television station to operate a daily schedule.


The luminous screen in the home carries fantastic authority. Viewers everywhere tend to accept it as a window on the world... It has tended to displace or overwhelm other influences such as newspapers, school, church, grandpa, grandma. It has become the definer and transmitter of society's values.

Erik Barnouw|Erik Barnouw, The Sponsor: Notes On a Modern Potentate (Oxford University Press, 1978), ISBN 0-19-502614-4, p. 75

For intellectual authority, the appropriate version of Descartes's cogito would be today: I am talked about, therefore I am.

Zygmunt Bauman, The Individualised Society, 2001

It is a medium of entertainment which permits millions of people to listen to the same joke at the same time, and yet remain lonesome.

T.S. Eliot, Ney York Post (Sept 22, 1963)

Television has done much for psychiatry by spreading information about it, as well as contributing to the need for it.

Alfred Hitchcock, Alfred Hitchcock Presents|Alfred Hitchcock Presents. 1960

like the invention of indoor plumbing. It didn’t change people’s habits. It just kept them inside the house.

Alfred Hitchcock, NY Journal-American 25 Aug. 1965