The Television - 500 years of evolution
Evolution into a truly Smart-TV
At the end of the 20th Century all prognostics looked good for the modern television. Audiences around the world brought the television into their households. The added benefit of having pictures to sound quickly made it superior to the radio and eventually became more attractive than it. The television was like bringing a cinema into one's home.
The television's future seemed golden; progressively the television was purchased in the four corners of the world. Those with enough money purchased even multiple televisions! Some households would boast having a television in every room.
Yet, already at the turn of the 21st Century, the growing popularity of the Internet as a source of information made it increasingly a more popular choice of medium for news. The Internet was a powerful competitor to the television which progressively gathered more and more of the features that were unique to the television just half a century before.
Television had to fight back or become extinct by the late 21st Century. Progressively television sets boasted the capabilities of connecting to the internet and of being able "through the click of one's remote control" to do exactly what the internet could do.
An important communications tool well into its dying days
The television was able to survive because sufficient economic strength resided in the services providing the audio-visual programming, as well as the services involved in manufacturing and repairing the televisions, and more.
These interconnected economic interests were able to adapt the television technology fairly well against the growing competition being placed upon it by the PC. In the century that followed, the television and the PC would be involved in a struggle for market shares the likes capitalism had rarely seen.
Around the world, television audio-visual programming differed largely from country-to-country; these differences became less overt as globalisation ran its course through the audio-visual programming companies and governments.
Some nations maintained well into the late 21st century some government control over television broadcasting within their own states - a good example of how the television well into its dying days was still seen to be one of the most important medium of communication (and of propaganda).
The technology that wouldn't die
Eventually, at first in the North America, followed soon thereafter in Europe, and then in Asia, these interconnected interests merged together to form huge media conglomerates capable in their own rights to produce everything from the television, to the audio-visual programming, as well as the networks (satellite and cable) needed to bring that programming into the television unit.
These conglomerates effectively squelched most expressions of regional specificities by out-buying them into extinction - though the continuing pressures of the Internet (as well as some culturally-minded Governments) made it all but impossible to squelch these specificities entirely.
The television had one thing going for it - it was a much simpler interface than the internet's own PC-based interface. Yet as generation upon generation became increasingly accustomed first to the internet rather than the television this strength soon became a weak argument in favour of the television.
Satellite television and cable television fought hard against this trend - in the mid-21st century, the first combined television/PCs were produced. Inside one's television was also a fully-capable PC set-up.
Impact of the rise of the Personal Access Networks
This bought time for the dying technology - Indeed, until the rise of the Personal Access Network; this technology would exist side by side with the PC. Most televisions were still able to survive the creation of the MLNAU systems [see Internet - 500 Years of Evolution].
However, with the Personal Access Networks, television makers were finally forced to throw in the towel. The Personal Access Networks combined all of the features of a television with an ever more intuitive interface. The television and the PC were destined to go out of existence at the same time - having fought a battle with each other to win the hearts and minds of their human audiences.
The Personal Access Networks did not signify the end of these media conglomerates who by their very nature became excellent ambassadors of Terran audio-visual programming to the rest of the known universe. These conglomerates often ensured superior Terran know-how in reaching the masses on other planets.
The Supremacy of the Personal Access Networks
In the 26th Century, all of the things we commonly refer to as "trademarks of the services given by a television" are handled by the Personal Access Networks.
Some interfaces, usually communal offer cinema quality visual experiences - quite often these interfaces display repeating advertisements or local news feeds.
These features of the 26th century's "television" have been remarkably carried through most of the species of the known universe. There is however, varying degrees of acceptance of the use of Personal Access Networks in order to broadcast audio-visual information to large groups of people.
Censorship and propaganda in the 26th Century
A number of species close to Divid have some strong laws banning the use of audio-visual broadcasting to the masses for religious reasons. Gohorn Minor and the Gohorn Directorate keep a very tight control over these broadcasting types but do not ban it outright - preferring to use it for propaganda purposes.
The Rosebourg Monarchy has some laws in place controlling the hours of broadcasting, the number of advertising per broadcasting "period," as well as provincial specificities that used to be common place when Earth was not a united planet.
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