10 most important innovations in TV technology

TV has changed massively since the first television was showcased in 1927. What are the most important technological advances in its evolution?

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Cathode ray tube

This technology dominated televisions from the 1930s to the 1990s. The rays built up red, green and blue dots to create a picture. The technology lasted until 2007.

Flat screen

When flat screens appeared in 1990s, they were plasma or LCD. The technologies had differing ways of creating the picture. Plasma used gas cells between glass, whereas LCD used lamps and crystal cells. Eventually, LCD took over as the dominant technology, partly due to its superior energy efficiency and dropping prices. Plasma was discontinued in 2014.


The process to switch from analogue to digital in the UK began in 2008 and was completed in 2012. By adding a digital box to your television, you could increase the number of channels available to you without a subscription.

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High-definition television began broadcasting in 2006. The compatible televisions had up to eight times the resolution of a standard television. Broadcasters responded by creating channels showing HD programmes.


3D televisions were being marketed from 2010 with promises of excellent content and a unique viewing experience. However, the general lack of interest meant that 3D didn’t make much of an impact on the market. All major brands have stopped producing the technology.


LED televisions gained prominence from 2015. Instead of lamps, they use tiny LED lights. Back-lit and edge-lit screens are available. Companies such as http://steveunettaerials.co.uk/services/tv-aerials-repair-and-installation-gloucester/ can set them up.


Smart TVs are sets that have built-in internet connectivity, often through a router at home. All major manufacturers are making smart TVs, and they are likely to continue to grow in popularity.


Organic light emitting diode televisions are being developed and are notable for being extremely thin and potentially able to roll up. Although they’re currently expensive, they will be accessible to all, for example, through Gloucester TV aerial installation.


Video on demand has revolutionised how and when we watch TV, whether it’s through subscription services or through smart TVs, phones or tablets.


The future lies in ultra HD/4K, which has four times the resolution of HD. With prices dropping, they will be a dominant force.