Click on the decades to see notable dates in television history.
AT&T and Bell Labs demonstrate long-distance TV transmission.
Federal government issues experimental TV station permits. First regular newscasts are farm and weather reports, three times weekly.
First TV commercial airs, for which experimental broadcaster Charles Jenkins is fined by regulators. BBC begins regular TV broadcasts.
Federal Communications Commission is established as a permanent agency.
AT&T lays first experimental coaxial cable between New York and Philadelphia. About 200 TV sets are in use around the world.
Experimental era ends. First FCC-approved broadcast: "Truth or Consequences" game show. First approved commercial: "America runs on Bulova time." FCC approves black-and-white TV standard.
Harry Truman makes broadcast from the White House. A World Series game is telecast.
Cable TV venture starts in Pennsylvania mountains. About 350,000 sets are in use in the United States.
First political ads run in presidential election. "I Love Lucy" sets a record, watched by 10.6 million households.
FCC introduces the second, and ultimately successful, color TV standard. Half of American households (about 25 million) have TVs.
Zenith creates wireless TV remote, called "Flash-matic." Bright sunlight tends to change channels randomly. Sixty-four percent of U.S. households have TV.
Nixon-Kennedy debates introduce split screen, make live TV a political force. Eighty-seven percent of U.S. households have TV.
AT&T launches Telstar, the first TV satellite.
TV is transmitted from the moon. Six hundred million people watch. Ninety-five percent of U.S. households have TV.
Half of TVs in states are now in color.
Home Box Office opens its doors. One of HBO's first broadcasts is the "Thrilla from Manila" boxing match, between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier.
Sony introduces the Betamax videocassette recorder.
Japan's NHK demonstrates HDTV.
Supreme Court rules that Betamax is legal. Regulators approve stereo TV broadcasts. First Mac commercial airs, just once, at Super Bowl.
Half of U.S. TV households (about 55 million) subscribe to basic cable.
DirecTV is the first high-powered direct satellite TV system in the states.
FCC approves standard for HDTV and sets time line for digital-TV transition in the United States. More than 1 billion people worldwide have TVs.
First TiVo products, able to store digital video and skip commercials, are shipped to retailers.
The average American adult watches about four hours of TV every day.
Salt Lake City Olympics hosts first official, international joint HDTV production. MTV reports that it reaches 250 million homes worldwide.