Flat-screen televisions for sale at a consumer electronics store in 2008.
Television (TV) is a telecommunication medium used for transmitting moving images in
black and white), or in colour, and in two or
three dimensions and sound. The term can refer to a
television set, a
television program ("TV show"), or the medium of
television transmission. Television is a
mass medium for entertainment,
courtroom drama, vintage programming, politics, gossip and advertising.
Television became available in crude experimental forms in the late 1920s, but it would still be several years before the new technology would be marketed to consumers. 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 multiple types of archival storage media such as
local disks, DVDs,
flash drives, high-definition
Blu-ray Discs, and cloud
digital video recorders have enabled viewers to watch pre-recorded material—such as movies— at home on their own time schedule. For many reasons, especially the convenience of remote retrieval, the storage of television and video programming now occurs on
the cloud. 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 Internet through
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, and
plasma 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.
 In the near future, LEDs are expected to be gradually replaced by OLEDs.
 Also, major manufacturers have announced that they will increasingly produce smart TVs 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 a
transition to digital television is expected to be completed worldwide by the 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.