Television as Transitional Medium (30/05/2019)

Lothar Mikos

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The development of television is never complete. It is a medium in permanent change, even if some aspects of television outlasted several decades. Television in the second decade of the 21st century looks different than in the 1950s of the 20th century. The screens are bigger, the picture is colourful, and the reception possibilities are more diverse, even mobile. Since the invention of television in the 1920s, the medium has undergone major changes, both in terms of technology and content. Television can therefore be seen on the one hand as a transitional medium - quasi a medium in permanent transition, because it repeatedly takes up and unites various technical developments. On the other hand, television can also be described as a transmedial medium because it incorporates aesthetic and narrative forms from other media into its programmes and at the same time has developed programme forms that radiate onto other, newer media (e.g. forms of television series form an important content on the Internet as web series or as an offer on streaming platforms such as Amazon Prime Video. Movistar+, Viaplay or Netflix). This double configuration of television as a transitional and transmedial medium makes up its fluid character. In the following, an initial attempt will be made to approach television in order to work out what actually constitutes this medium. Afterwards, the technical and institutional development of television is dealt with, before the development of programme forms is described. Finally, current developments resulting from the digitalization of television are presented.
copyrightIJFMA 2019 (by-nc-nd)
placeFilm and Media Art Department/ Lusófona University
publisherInternational Journal of Film and Media Arts
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