Modern Television Changing Ame Essay

1934 words - 8 pages

Television; Changing American Standards The year is 1999 and the entire world is looking toward the United States for leadership in technology. Since the end of the cold war, the nations of the world have agreed that the United States is the leader in defense and freedom, but what about technology in the household? Is it possible for the U.S. to remain the world leader if we fall so far behind other countries when it comes to the issue of advanced household technology? Has Japan become so much more technically advanced than America, that the mere idea of ever catching up seems ludicrous? What about the French and Germans; does America have the educational system in place to keep up with these two powerful nations? These are questions that every American should ask themselves. One thing is for certain, when it comes to the issue of high quality television; America falls in dead last against Japan, France, and Germany.The main reason the U.S. has fallen so far behind is because in the early 1950's when television was beginning to be broadcast across the country, the Federal Communications Commission made several bold and new decisions. First, The FCC had to decide on a bandwidth for which all television signals could occupy. The FCC had no problem in selecting a frequency at the time, considering the limited amount of signal producing devices that were available to the public. Second, the amount of resolution that the television sets could receive had to be determined. The FCC based this decision on the amount of information that black and white signals transmitted. The amount of resolution that the FCC decided on was and still is 525 lines. These two decisions by the FCC were put into law in the 1950's and all broadcasters who wished to broadcast in the U.S. were required to send 525 lines of resolution on the designated bandwidth to every household across America. It should be noted that in the 1950's the only form of a signal that humankind had invented was called an analog signal (Huering and Pizzello 209).In the 1950's, the mere idea of television and all of its capabilities was a miracle in itself. People across America couldn't believe that one could actually look into a little box and see other people talking. Another interesting point about the early stages of television is that only a few people could actually afford one; typically, one had to have an income of an upper middle class family or higher in order to afford a television set. Although there were only a few television sets on the streets in the early 1950's, people across America knew that this invention was here to stay.The original standards that the FCC imposed on broadcasters were very practical. The amount of lines of resolution and the signal bandwidth for which television signals would travel made perfect sense. However, those standards were based on the limited knowledge of 1950's engineering; since that time when those original standards were set by the FCC, no change...

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