100 days from today the television broadcast technology that has served us for nearly three generations will be shut down. On February 17, 2009 all full-power broadcast television stations in the US will stop broadcasting on analog airwaves and begin broadcasting only in digital.
The first television image was broadcast back in 1924, John Logie Baird transmitted a picture of the Maltese Cross. The TV system he developed was a mechanical system with a resolution of only 30 lines. It was the disruptive technology of the day. His 1928 trans-atlantic transmission of the image of a human face (right) was a broadcasting milestone.
In 1936, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) adopted a technology using the electronic television technology of EMI and began the first regular high resolution service of 405 lines per. It was the technology that won over Baird's.
Cable television was started by appliance store owners John and Margaret Walson in the spring of 1948 in the Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania. Local residents had problems receiving the three nearby Philadelphia network stations with local antennas because of the region's surrounding mountains. Walson erected an antenna on a local mountain to get signals from Philadelphia and connected the antennae to his appliance store via a cable and modified signal boosters. Eventually the signal was sent to his customer's homes.
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