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Television is a popular modern technology for centralized audio/video broadcasts. Tvs are found in a large percentage of modern households. The first public broadcasts occured in Germany in 1936. In 1941 the USA agreed upon television standards. By the late 1950's 10's of millions of units were purchased. Current estimates suggest television sets are numbering close to 1 billions units. Watching and listening to television is an extremely popular leisure activity in many places around the world.
The standard digital television definition is 720 x 576 pixels at 25 frames per second. In some countries there are high definition broadcasts. Tv may be free-to-air broadcasts or pay-to-view subscription via scrambled code from a satellite or cable.
Television is a moderately good source for multimedia content such as movies, documentaries, entertainment and news. Most of the material transmitted is under copyright and there is a lot of advertising, censorship, false information and propaganda. Television is also a major platform for journalism and the mass media.
Most jurisdications require a license to transmit television programs and a rating system for classification of offensive language, sex scenes, extreme violence, etc. Tv broadcasts are presently moving from analog to digital form, which presents viewers with more options, like audio only music broadcasts, multiple camera angles and a clearer picture. Another trend is for younger viewers to be watching less television than previous generations did in their youth.
Television can be very dramatic and generally it serves only to reinforce public opinion. Both these characteristics are found in movies and radio as well. All three mediums are useful cultural vehicles for the popular mass distribution and consumption of information and knowledge. The ability of the the television to mass communicate has made it a platform of choice for those abusers seeking to manipulate opinion and alter behaviour for their own gain. Early research into the psychological effect of television noted its ability to modify cognition.
- Television and the Hive Mind
- XMLTV - Beta, command line set of tools based on XML which can be used to work with TV listings.