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Britain Since the 1930s

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Television

In 1926 John Logie Baird demonstrated television in London. This was an amazing breakthrough in technology, but it was many years before ordinary people could afford to have a television set in their home.

In 1936 the BBC transmitted the first high-definition television service from Alexandra Palace in London. It allowed 50,000 viewers in the south-east England to watch the coronation of King George VI at Westminster Abbey. Televisions were small - their screens were around 9 inches (about 23 cm). The picture was grainy and transmission was easily lost. Passing cars even interfered with the picture!

Even at he beginning of the 1950s, television was only enjoyed by people with money to spare. By the 1970s virtually every home in Britain had a television.

1954 - Commercial television arrived

1964 - BBC 2 arrived

1967 - Colour TV

Further information

The First 75 Years
One of the greatest 20th century inventions. Learn about the history of TV-set design, development and marketing.

Early British Television
Who Invented Television? Includes timeline but there is much reading.

The History of Television www.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk
The Inventors

History of UK Television
Includes individual histories for the BBC, ITV, SKY, and other networks. Please wait for this page to load.