Television is an integral part of Australians everyday lives. 99.7% Australians have a TV and view on average 93 hours of television each month. However, viewers are now able to access televisions content online through catch-up services like ABC i view and Ten Play. Is this television? Does televisions define itself by the device the viewer uses to view the content, or the content?
Recent announcements by the Australian government about putting community TV online raise questions about how television is define at institutional, political and social levels. Are streaming services like Ustream live television?
What Is The Difference Between Television And Televisions?
Television simply means to see from a distance. This definition is problematic because it can be use to describe a variety of media and technologies. Another problem in defining televisions is its unique use to describe other components, such as set, program, and institution. This makes it difficult to define a problem that may seem contemporary but is actually historical.
Television In The Early Days
Television was not the first to be use to describe it in its early stages. Telephonoscope, telephane and other terms were also use. Televisions was first used in the contexts of technology during the 1900 International Electricity Congress. It was thirty years later that test broadcasts were commence in the United States and Britain. There was still much debate.
Moseley & Barton described televisions in Televisios. To-day & Tomorrow (1930) in two ways. First, as an aid to the public to. As if we were observers, we can witness what’s happening in a distant location.
The Second Definition Was:
The ability to see with the aid electrical transmissions, an image reproduction on a screen that shows moving or stationary objects at any distance from the observer. These definitions, while still broad in scope, are closer to the TV technology that was introduced in Britain at the time.
The 1930s saw the United States adopt a social view of television. This was covered in a New York Times article entitled Search Continues to the Right Word. Readers were asked to name the television’s owner, viewer and associated apparatus.
One Reader Said That
We see with our eyes and hear with our ears. You can combine them and create the term eyear (or earyer), which is more euphonic. Others suggestions from the readers were tellser or sightener, which refers to the television viewer. One reader suggested that the operator be called audivise, and the receiver audiviser.
Others suggested names included “for the owner or the viewer of a set and teleciever, which are both taken from the word spectacles.
However, not all opinions were favorable toward early television or its future. One reader said, “I recommend noisivision because it will be noisy.” This is just one example of the variety in early perceptions and uncertainty about what television would be like.
Television is define today using a multi-purpose approach. The Oxford Dictionary describes television in three different ways.
- A system to reproduce on a screen visual images that have been transmit (usu. With sound) via radio signals
- A device that can receive these signals from a screen
Television Signals In General
This multi-purpose approach can also seen in Dictionary of Media Studies (2006) which lists four definitions of television.
First, an electronic device that receives and reproduces the sound and images of a combined audio-video signal. Its second definition refers to a system for capturing images or sounds, broadcasting them via an electronic audio/video signal, and reproducing them to allow them to be view or listened to.
The third is the image, sound, or content of combined audio-video broadcast, and the fourth is the industry involve in making and broadcasting programs that combine images and sound.
This multi-purpose approach is a strong evidence of the single term approach we discuss earlier. It is evident that it is not easy to define a single definition.
Television has seen a lot of progress since its inception. Technologically, television has changed from a mechanical system that John Logie Baird, a Scottish engineer, created, to large, high-definition screens.
Culturally, we are moving away from viewing TV socially in a group to singular viewing on mobile devices. These changes have forced television organizations to reexamine their place in society.
Television is not dying. However, some might argue that it is. Televisions as an institution and as a term will continue to exist.
It is unclear how it will be define, or what it will look like. However, history has shown that the old media does not die.