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Lecture 9

Media, Information and Technoculture 2000F/G Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: Vladimir K. Zworykin, Radio Wave, Stratovision

Media, Information and Technoculture
Course Code
MIT 2000F/G
Daniel Robinson

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Television History
Crappy medium at the time
o Everything else is bidirectional
o Less capable
o Terrible aesthetics
o Grainy
o Static would come in and out
o While cinema is in rich colour with good graphics
Mass Audience
o Lowest Common Denominator
Upper class elites would talk about TV has having lowest
common denominator programing
The content was low brow
Cognitive Impairment
o Postman Amusing Ourselves to Death
Watching TV promoted a kind of cognitive impairment
Discontinuity of emotion hat television promotes
)t was a source of intellectual pride in yourself if you say )
dont have a TV and instead you own books, etc.
People would assume youre a bright eyed intellectual
The technology isnt very great, it doesnt provide bidirectional possibilities,
and a lot of people said that what was on TV sucked
o Higher class would look down on the TV viewing public
TV was transformative
o A lot more than other mediums
o In the way that home life changed, how family dynamic changed, how
leisure time changed in the home
Leisure; Family Interaction
o Bringing more marketing and advertising into the home
o Commercialization of the living room
o Brought in with radio, but TV was thought to be far more direct and
intrusive because it was sound and moving images
o Government plays an important role in TV
o TV viewing happens through broadcasting signals
o Who was gonna decide what TV station gets what signal?
o The government has to play a role, as it did in radio, but it does not
play a role in newspaper, magazines, etc.
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o They are unique in that the state is a fundamental player in the spread
of those particular mediums
o The president felt empowered to pick up the phone and ream out
broadcasting because he knew that broadcasting were federal
Presidents can intimidate broadcasters because broadcaster
have to deal with the federal regulation of their industries
Effect on Existing Media
o Print
In the 1950s and 60s, it is the start of the end of the era of the
mass newspaper
o Radio
Photofax Transmission (1880s-1900s)
o Wire new photos, 1920s
o You take a photo, and its the ability to transmit that photo to another
location through electrical impulses, through a wire
o Like using a telegraph to transfigure hat photo into electrical
impulses, and at the other end of the wire you can remake the photo
o )ts a still photo, sending photographs
o The photos in one country can be in a newspaper in another country
Radio Transmission of Photos (1920s)
o Start to be transmitted through radio wave technology
o Not limited to where the wires are
o They can go wherever there is a receiver to pick them up
Fascimile machine (1930s)
o Broadcast newspapers
Envisioned that people would have all these receivers in their
homes, and you would be able to broadcast a number of pages
per day that would come to the home, and it would print off
like a fax machine out of these receivers
Thought there would be a new type of newspapers
o Telefon Hirmondo
John Baird (1926)
o Early pioneer of it
o Spinning disk as electrical information
o First demonstration of television
o BBC 1929-1935 early experiments
Vladimir Zworykin (1932)
o He is doing experiments to make the viewing on a TV screen better
Bases for all conventional TV sets and computer monitors
o Cathode rays/images on fluorescent screen
o Experimental broadcasts
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