Believe it or not, there was a time not too long ago in America when the public did not have television. If memory serves me well, television did not make its appearance in the American home until the late 1940s or early 1950s. Before that time those of us who were alive during that period had to depend on radio for our entertainment and world and local news.
This was an exciting time to be a child because when listening to the radio shows for entertainment along with the story line of the show, there were a variety of “special sound effects” that were added and we had to use our own imaginations to augment our “mental picture” of the story being told. This made the experience more personal.
When television entered the home, the viewer was at the mercy of the television writers to decide what program content should be viewed. Initially a variety of television programs were aired to determine what the public was interested in seeing. The writers then developed programs around those interests.
Since the television programs were “free” to the viewing public, advertising various commercial products to the consumers by manufacturers of consumable products paid the production cost of the programming. So in essence, the consumer actually picked up the cost in the end anyway by purchasing the products advertised. Slick move by the executives, eh?
Before there was cable TV, satellite TV and other media for broadcasting television signals, we were limited to the choices of the few TV stations that were available to the public. This included story content, show times and a variety of other options the viewing public had no control over.
One of the earlier advantages of cable TV was there were very few if any commercial advertisements being run. Nowadays it is hard to tell the difference between commercial and cable TV concerning this aspect.
With the progressive steps we have made in technology the number of TV stations available to the public has increased exponentially. Just about anything a person has interest in can be found on one station or another. There are many educational programs available for all ages and as far as entertainment is concerned, it runs the full spectrum from A-Z.
One good thing about television is the ability to search for what is interesting and being able to record and store a favorite show for viewing at a more convenient time. Also due to flat-screen technology, television can be set up and viewed in places that were previously unavailable and let’s not get started on the immense screen sizes available and the high definition. Amazing … I wonder where it will all end?