A Brief History of Movies, TV and the Web


Film, television and the Internet share a long history.

The communication philosopher Marshall McLuhan told us the content of a new medium usually is built on and expands from the content of an older medium...

iPad
MOVIES BEFORE TELEVISION
1727

Johann Heinrich Schulze discovered that silver nitrate darkened upon exposure to light beginning the photographic technology that would be essential for movies.

Johann Heinrich Schulze
1870s

Rise of a middle class with discretionary time for amusement.

middle class house
1888

Edison Lab invented movie cameras and projectors.

kinetoscope
1912

Paramount began to form the first Hollywood studio system.

Paramount
1922

Fox introduced sound in newsreels.

Fox theater
1927

Jazz Singer was the first "talkie," distributed by Warner.

Black Pirate was the first color movie.

Jazz Singer movie poster
TELEVISION BEGINS
1927

Philo Farnsworth invented a tube to capture and transmit moving images.

family watching TV in 1958
1941

FCC adopts standards for U.S. television broadcasting.

FCC seal
1946

U.S. movie box office peaked at 90 million a week.

Bolex camera
1948

First network television feeds.

U.S. Supreme Court breaks Hollywood's vertical integration.

Hollywood hillside sign
1949

Cable television is introduced.

TV cable connector
1950s

Network television reduces attendance at movies.

drive-in movie theater
1961

FCC chair Newton Minow characterizes television as a "vast wasteland."

The communications satellite Telstar is sent to orbit.

Telstar satellite
1967

Congress establishes the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

CPB logo
1969

The Internet is invented.

Netflix rental logo
1970s

Multiscreen multiplex movie theaters are introduced in an attempt to rebuild the movie audience.

Multiplex theater
1975

HBO sends the first satellite-delivered programming to cable systems.

HBO
THE INTERNET INTERVENES
1990s

The Internet emerges as a commercial medium.

Streaming media starts on the Internet.

VHS and home movie rentals further reduces attendance at movies.

VHS tape
1990

The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) started providing information about movies, television shows and other visual entertainment media.

iMDB
1994

Direct-to-home satellite broadcasting begins.

University of North Carolina's college station WXYC becomes the first radio station in the world to broadcast its signal over the Internet.

gear
1996

The FCC started to phase in digital broadcast television standards.

WRAL-TV at Raleigh, North Carolina, became the first U.S. television station to broadcast a digital television signal.

digital TV set
1997

Netflix began offering video rental by mail and eventually on-demand video streaming over the Internet.

Netflix rental logo
2001

The Kazaa file-sharing service is founded.

Kazaa logo
2003

Apple introduces the online music service iTunes.

iTunes logo
2005

YouTube video-sharing website was launched.

YouTube logo
2006

Movie theaters began a 10-year plan to convert to digital projection.

Sony digital projector
2007

Hulu inaugurated a website offering ad-supported streaming video of TV shows and movies from many networks and studios.

Hulu logo
2009

All U.S. television stations were converted to broadcasting in a digital format.

Digital tv and Uncle Sam
2010

More than 2300 online TV stations listed at the World Wide Internet TV website enabled access to streaming live on-demand television broadcasts.

WWiTV logo


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© 2011 Dr. Anthony Curtis, Mass Communication Dept., University of North Carolina at Pembroke    910.521.6616    e-mail    home page
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