This article is about television as a medium. For the appliance itself, see
Flat-screen televisions for sale at a consumer electronics store in 2008.
Television or TV is a
telecommunication medium used for transmitting moving images in
black-and-white), or in
color, and in two or
three dimensions and sound. It can refer to a
television set, a
television program ("TV show"), or the medium of
television transmission. Television is a
mass medium, for
Television became available in crude experimental forms in the late 1920s, but these did not sell to the public. After
World War II, an improved form of black-and-white TV broadcasting became popular in the
United States and
Britain, and television sets became commonplace in homes, businesses, and institutions. During the 1950s, television was the primary medium for influencing
 In the mid-1960s, color broadcasting was introduced in the US and most other developed countries. The availability of storage media such as
VHS tape (1976),
DVDs (1997), and high-definition
Blu-ray Discs (2006) enabled viewers to watch prerecorded material at home, such as
movies. At the end of the first decade of the 2000s,
digital television transmissions greatly increased in popularity. Another development was the move from standard-definition television (SDTV) (
576i, with 576
interlaced lines of resolution and
high-definition television (HDTV), which provides a
resolution that is substantially higher. HDTV may be transmitted in various formats:
720p. Since 2010, with the invention of
Internet television has increased the availability of television programs and movies via the
streaming video services such as
In 2013, 79% of the world's
households owned a television set.
 The replacement of early bulky, high-voltage
cathode ray tube (CRT) screen displays with compact, energy-efficient, flat-panel alternative technologies such as
OLED displays was a hardware revolution that began with computer monitors in the late 1990s. Most TV sets sold in the 2000s were flat-panel, mainly LEDs. Major manufacturers announced the discontinuation of CRT, DLP, plasma, and even fluorescent-backlit LCDs by the mid-2010s.
 LEDs are expected to be replaced gradually by OLEDs in the near future.
 Also, major manufacturers have announced that they will increasingly produce smart TV sets in the mid-2010s.
Smart TVs with integrated Internet and
Web 2.0 functions became the dominant form of television by the late 2010s.
Television signals were initially distributed only as
terrestrial television using high-powered
radio-frequency transmitters to
broadcast the signal to individual television receivers. Alternatively television signals are distributed by
coaxial cable or optical fiber,
satellite systems and, since the 2000s via the
Internet. Until the early 2000s, these were transmitted as
analog signals but countries started switching to digital, this
transition is expected to be completed worldwide by late 2010s. A standard television set is composed of multiple internal
electronic circuits, including a tuner for
receiving and decoding broadcast signals. A visual
display device which lacks a
tuner is correctly called a
video monitor rather than a television.