Television was not invented by a single inventor, instead many people working together and alone over the years, contributed to the evolution of television.
Broadcasting Pioneers: The Many Innovators Behind Television History
At the dawn of television history there were two distinct paths of technology experimented with by researchers.
Early inventors attempted to either build a mechanical television system based on the technology of Paul Nipkow's rotating disks; or they attempted to build an electronic television system using a cathode ray tube developed independently in 1907 by English inventor A.A. Campbell-Swinton and Russian scientist Boris Rosing.
Electronic television systems worked better and eventual replaced mechanical systems.
German, Paul Nipkow developed a rotating-disc technology to transmit pictures over wire in 1884 called the Nipkow disk. Paul Nipkow was the first person to discover television's scanning principle, in which the light intensities of small portions of an image are successively analyzed and transmitted.
In the 1920's, John Logie Baird patented the idea of using arrays of transparent rods to transmit images for television. Baird's 30 line images were the first demonstrations of television by reflected light rather than back-lit silhouettes. John Logie Baird based his technology on Paul Nipkow's scanning disc idea and later developments in electronics.
Charles Jenkins invented a mechanical television system called radiovision and claimed to have transmitted the earliest moving silhouette images on June 14, 1923.
Electronic television is based on the development of the cathode ray tube, which is the picture tube found in modern TV sets. German scientist, Karl Braun invented the cathode ray tube oscilloscope (CRT) in 1897.
Russian inventor, Vladimir Zworykin invented an improved cathode-ray tube called the kinescope in 1929. The kinescope tube was sorely needed for television. Zworykin was one of the first to demonstrate a television system with all the features of modern picture tubes.
In 1927, Philo Farnsworth was the first inventor to transmit a television image comprised of 60 horizontal lines. The image transmitted was a dollar sign. Farnsworth developed the dissector tube, the basis of all current electronic televisions. He filed for his first television patent in 1927 (#1,773,980).
Louis Parker invented the modern changeable television receiver. The patent was issued to Louis Parker in 1948.
Rabbit Ears - Antennae
Marvin Middlemark invented "rabbit ears", the "V" shaped TV antennae. Among Middlemark's other inventions were a water-powered potato peeler and rejuvenating tennis ball machine.
Color TV was by no means a new idea, a German patent in 1904 contained the earliest proposal, while in 1925 Zworykin filed a patent disclosure for an all-electronic color television system. A successful color television system began commercial broadcasting, first authorized by the FCC on December 17, 1953 based on a system invented by RCA.
Cable television, formerly known as Community Antenna Television or CATV, was born in the mountains of Pennsylvania in the late 1940's. The first successful color television system began commercial broadcasting on December 17, 1953 based on a system designed by RCA.
It was in June of 1956, that the TV remote controller first entered the American home. The first TV remote control called "Lazy Bones," was developed in 1950 by Zenith Electronics Corporation (then known as Zenith Radio Corporation).
The American Broadcasting Company first aired Saturday morning TV shows for children on August 19, 1950.
The very first prototype for a plasma display monitor was invented in 1964 by Donald Bitzer, Gene Slottow, and Robert Willson.
TV closed captions are captions that are hidden in the television video signal, invisible without a special decoder.
Web TV was rolled out in 1996.