Celebrating 80 Years of ‘High-Definition’ of TV


Alexandra Palace in London.

This month marks 80 years since the BBC Television Service started broadcasting in “high-definition” television. The station broadcast a series of shows from the Alexandra Palace in London. The BBC erected a huge antenna for these first series of broadcasts. On Nov. 2 1936, Elizabeth Cowell, the first female television announcer, spoke the famous words: “This is direct television from the studios at Alexandra Palace.”

In 1936, high-definition TV was an increase from 30 TV lines, to 240 TV lines, which was how resolution used to be measured.  Previously, TV systems were based on mechanical systems with fewer than 30 lines of resolution. The ongoing competition to create true “HDTV” spanned the entire 20th century, as each new system became more HD than the last. This race continues into this century with 4k, 5k and current 8K systems.

Today, TV remains the center of our content consumption at 89% of viewing time. Even with the penetration of mobile and tablet devices, many still gather around a TV to be entertained and informed.

Not only are the screens getting better, but access to so much great, high quality, content has never been better. TV budgets are now rivaling that of movies, with HBO’s latest offering, Westworld reportedly costing $100 million for the first season, and $25 million for the pilot. Netflix, at nearly 20 years old, will reportedly spend billions on original content in the next year.

TDS works with a company called ARRIS, based in Georgia, which has helped TDS customers provide set-top boxes, internet modems and more. All of these products help TDS deliver a fast and reliable service.

Cheers to 80 years of “high-definition” television.


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