14 Interesting Facts About The Television To Teach Your Child

From box-like to sleek and flat screened, black-and-white to all-colour...the tv has evolved and how! On World Television Day, let's look back at how the 'Idiot box' has transformed entertainment.

By Ashwin Dewan

14 Interesting Facts About The Television To Teach Your Child


Today, the humble television is an essential part of every household. Of course, mobile phones and tablets have gained in popularity, but the TV has held its own. It has been a source of entertainment for decades. From the ubiquitous reality shows to the adventure ones, from nature shows to the latest news, from moviesto music, the TV is the ultimate entertainment tool.

Little did anyone know that when the TV was invented in 1927, it would go on to become a part of our daily lives. TV has lots to offer to everyone in terms of educational, religious, sporting, animation, and travel content. Children, in particular, can take their pick ranging from cartoons, educational shows, DIY shows, etc. TV can keep your children occupied for hours and, in the process, gives you ample time to do household chores.

Television can be informative for children. However, at the same time, children can access inappropriate content on television, which can have an adverse effect on them. It might be useful for parents to know certain parental lock features.

We look at 14 interesting facts about the humble television to teach your child.

  1. The abbreviation for television, which is TV, was coined first in 1948.
  2. All of us see dreams in colour. However, a large majority of the people who grew up watching a black and white television often saw dreams in black and white. In fact, a study, "Do we only dream in colour? A comparison of reported dream colour in younger and older adults with different experiences of black and white media" published in 2008 states people who had access to black and white media before colour media experienced more greyscale dreams than people with no such exposure.
  3. The British love to watch the television. In fact, in 2004, the number of televisions in every household overtook the number of people.
  4. American military show M*A*S*H holds the record for a show whose last episode, aired in 1983, was the most-watched in television history. 103 million viewers tuned in for the last episode. The first episode was aired in 1972. The show went on to become extremely successful and ran for a long period.
  5. Did you know the word television was first coined by a Russian scientist Constantin Perskyi in 1900?
  6. The first video cassette recording (VCR) was made by Sony in 1970 paving the way forward for people to record television shows in an inexpensive way.
  7. Some of the most watched television serials of all time are M*A*S*H (105.9 million viewers), Cheers (84.4 million viewers), Seinfeld (76.3 million viewers) and Friends (65.9 million viewers).
  8. The first TV commercial was broadcast in 1941 during a baseball game played between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Philadelphia Phillies. It was a commercial for Bulova watches and at that time it cost a mere 9 dollars for a time of 20 seconds.
  9. Cable TV, which was invented by John Walson, an American, in the spring of 1948, became popular in India in the 1990’s with the entry of many foreign companies like Star TV network in 1991, MTV and others. Cable TV started in Mumbai in 1984.
  10. The first remote control was made by a company named Zenith in 1950 and was connected to the television by a wire. It was not until 1955 that the wireless remote followed.
  11. Did you know that the much-loved MTV first went on air in 1981? It went live with the words “ladies and gentlemen, rock and roll.” The first video to be played was the song “Video Killed the Radio Star” by the Bugles.
  12. When it comes to television, people are going for bigger sizes. According to several research firms in 2016, the average size of the television around the world is approximately 40 inches or more.
  13. Latin actress Sofia Vergara is the highest paid tv actor. She takes home a whopping $1 million per episode for Modern Family.
  14. Although John L Baird is widely considered the inventor of the television, there were others like Leon Theremin and Philo Farnsworth who played an active part in helping design the TV system.

A sneak peek into the history of TV in India

  • Television broadcast in India started on an experimental basis from Delhi on 15 September 1959.
  • The first colour programmes in India were the live telecast of the Independence Day parade on 15 August 1982. This was followed by the telecast of the Asian Games held in New Delhi.
  • During the 1980’s, many popular serials were telecast by Doordarshan such as Buniyaad, Hum Log and the Ramayana.
  • As per the latest Broadcast India survey (BI-2018) by the joint industry body BARC India the country now has 197 million TV homes, up from 183 million in 2016. 

So, there you go! The next time you switch on the ‘idiot box’ you will know that the humble television has an interesting history. If utilised in a proper manner by parents, the television can be an extremely useful medium to teach children about various things like mother nature in general, the animal kingdom, how cultures differ from one place to another, the food eaten in different parts of the world, famous historical figures like Mahatma Gandhi, the history of different civilisations, etc.

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