The Evolution of TV in Australia

It’s been just over 60 years since TV entered the lives of Australians. Today we take it for granted that we can switch on a talking box in our living rooms but when it first came on the scene in the 1950s people were astonished. 

Love it or hate it, one thing’s for sure, TV is here to stay. It is fascinating to see the rapid technological advances over the last 10 or so years, and Android TV is the perfect example of Google’s innovation in television industry. The television is no longer simply made for watching free to air channels, there are many features available at your fingertips – you can play games, download apps through Google app store, use voice control, and stream your favourite shows.

QLED can also be thought of as innovative, the enhanced performance through the use of quantum dot technology has resulted in longer lifespan of your tv along with superior brightness and colour.

The History of TV

In this article we take a walk down memory lane and look at how TV began and has evolved over the last six decades in Australia.  

TV in the 50s, 60s & 70s

When did TV first go to air?

On September 16, 1956 the immortal words “Good evening and welcome to television” were uttered, and just like that TV was born. The first TV station to broadcast in Australia was Channel Nine in Sydney, but at the end of the year ABC and Channel 7 had also launched.

What was TV like back in the early days?

Shows were broadcast in black and white, and it was expensive to own one. A TV cost 6 to 10 times the average weekly wage. Only 1% of Sydneysiders and 5% of Melbournites had a TV in 1956. People that owned a TV held private parties so friends could come round and watch music shows such as: Bandstand, the Cool Cats Show and Hit Parade.

In the 1960s and 70s TVs started changing aesthetically. Built in stands were still popular, so as to make the TV blend in with your furniture. But more dials were added, and you could get a smaller portable TV so you could watch in the kitchen or bedroom. Remote controls also came on the scene making it easy to flick the TV on or off when you wanted.

Australian TV shows themselves were becoming more varied with game shows, talent shows and cop shows being aired. In the 1960s the most defining moment of TV was on 21 July, 1969 when people around the world collectively gathered in awe to watch Neil Armstrong’s broadcast from the moon. In 1971s variety TV show Hey Hey It’s Saturday started its almost 30 year reign on the Nine Network.

In 1975 colour arrived bringing a breath of fresh air along with a new generation of viewers. By 1978 70% of Sydney homes and 64% of Melbourne homes had TVs.

TV in the 80s & 90s 

In the 1980s a TV was a permanent fixture in most people’s living rooms, but could also be found in the kitchen, rumpus room or teenager bedrooms. All TV shows were being broadcast in colour at this stage and rabbit ears were often used for fine tuning if reception wasn’t the best.

People regularly tuned in for their fix of soaps Neighboursor Home and Away both of which are still running today, over 30 years later. But even the soaps couldn’t compete with the real life drama of Prince Charles and Lady Diana’s wedding which earned the highest rating broadcast of the decade.

In the 1990s TVs changed their look again with the minimalist black box style making an introduction. Black TVs are a mass produced design trend that is still with us today, but no one knows exactly who decided this would be a good thing.

Australians had been in love with American TV since the 1960s but in the 1990s we couldn’t get enough of it. The Simpsons and The Oprah Winfrey Show were firm favourites, along with Friends, Seinfeld and South Park.

By the end of the 1990s being able to afford cable TV was a status symbol as was having a TV with lots of buttons and special features. VHS players were on the out and DVD players were all the rage bringing cinema-style sound and picture quality into our homes (and you didn’t have to rewind them!).

How has TV changed in modern times?

The dawn of the new millennium in Australia brought with it sleek, black flat screen TVs, and in the last 20 years these have reached gigantic proportions. TV’s can now be bought in  just about any size you can think of, ranging from under 32 inch up to 75 inch and even 85 inches. The new status symbol is having a large enough living room or rumpus room to fit a 75 inch TV. 

New ways of broadcasting technology have emerged, such as digital HDTV, that makes picture quality sharper and clearer than ever before. And rather than miss your favourite reality TV shows, such as Master Chef, Dancing With The Stars, Australian Idol or The Voice, you can tune in later on your Smartphones or tablet thanks to Catch-up TV services such as: 9Now, ABC iView, TenPlay, Plus7, and SBS On Demand.

Our TV watching is also no longer limited to the main Australian broadcasting networks, we can stream our favourite TV shows and movies through Australian streaming company Stan TV or Netflix and watch whenever we get the urge. 

Will we still be watching TV 20 years from now? The future of TV still remains to be seen but if the last 60 years are anything to go by, the next 60 could be even more astonishing.

History of TCL Electronics

TCL Electronics was formed in 1981 and since 2015 we have maintained our ranking as the world’s third biggest television manufacturer.

TCL now have 35 major resource centres worldwide and our up to date TV technology is second to none. We sold over 20 million TVs in 2017 and have invested over 20 billion dollars in progressive production facilities. Every single aspect of the end to end production of a TCL product is created in house by TCL.

Our in-house approach to manufacturing is classified as vertical integration and TCL are one of only 3 television producers in the world to be able to make this claim. This business model allows TCL to control all costs and results in the best product technology can provide at the most cost effective output. This means the customer is the winner.