Television: The Rise of Home Entertainment

By Jair Martinez

Ever since the invention of the television, most people spend their time at home watching it. Especially with so many shows, movies, and sports that stream daily, who wouldn’t want to watch TV in their free time? Now, television has surpassed most forms of home entertainment like reading and listening to the radio, but let’s go back to the very beginning—before it even became a common household object and when the only way of seeing a motion picture was at a movie theater and where in the early years of motion pictures, there were only silent films.

Everyone is familiar with silent films. You know, the ones where there is no spoken dialogue. The only kind of dialogue in those movies were transmitted through muted gestures, mime and title cards with a written indication of the plot or important dialogue. During silent films, a pianist, theater organist, or, in large cities, even a small orchestra would often play music to accompany the films. But as technology improved, the motion picture industry evolved with it. Soon, the television was invented and allowed people to see films in their own home, changing home entertainment forever.

In 1948, in the early years of TV, only 0.4% of the US households had a television. Soon it became such a sensation that by 1954 that number jumped up to 55.7% and then just 4 years after that, that percent rose to 83.2%. Not even the telephone or indoor plumbing had ever spread so rapidly into so many homes. Of course, we are all well-aware of the impact that the television has on today’s society. We watch the news on it, sports, and mostly everyone nowadays has a favorite TV show that they keep up to date with. It is definitely safe to say that watching television has become the number one thing to do at home all around the world. 

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