When TV Moved From Mechanical To Electronic

Radioskop_1926It may have been Scotsman John Logie Baird who changed the world by broadcasting a moving image using his mechanical Televisor device, but a lot of the credit for the fully electronic televisions we watch today goes to Hungarian Kálmán Tihanyi, who pioneered a fully electronic system and the development of the use of cathode ray tubes.

Tihanyi applied for his first television patent in 1926 (page 10 of which is the pic above), the same year Baird publicly showcased his mechanical TV. However his system – which he called Radioskop – was fully electronic, using a cathode ray tube to display the moving images. It used a technology known as the “storage principle” which according to Wikipedia involves “the maintenance of photoemission from the light-sensitive layer of the detector tube between scans. By this means, accumulation of charges would take place and the “latent electric picture” would be stored.”

Initially, Tihanyi didn’t quite have a lot of success selling his idea. In 1928 he took his invention to Berlin to Telefunken and Siemens, who both decided to pursue the mechanical television path. It was only in 1930, when the American company RCA approached him about developing his patents, that the fully electronic television really began to take off. In 1934, RCA purchased Tihanyi’s patents and developed them, showing off their first fully electronic TV at the 1939 World’s Fair and beginning broadcasts at the same time.

And it was at this point, you could argue, that TV really started to take off.

History of TV is Giz AU’s month-long look back at the development of the world-changing medium and its influence on our daily lives.

[Pic from Wikipedia]