How Utah Played a Part in the Invention of TV

There aren’t many things more popular than TV. Over 97% of Americans own a TV, and the average American spends three hours a day watching television. And this isn’t that surprising — TV is super popular for catching up on current events, watching sports, and getting sucked into soap operas. At Beehive Broadband, we’re proud to be based in Utah, the state that is so connected to the history of television. Although almost everyone uses TV, very few people know about the history of TV and how Utah played a big part in how it became so widespread.

Starting in Radio

Before we get into TV, we should talk about the radio — TV’s older cousin. In the early 20th century, Utah became a leading state in radio advancements. The Radio Club of Salt Lake was the first local wireless radio club in the United States, established in 1909. Utah radio clubs like The Radio Club of Salt Lake were some of the first in the nation to transmit voice and music over the airwaves. From those radio clubs, Utah’s first radio stations KZN and KDYL emerged and became popular.

The Invention of the TV

You may be surprised to find out that the Father of Television was a Utah native. Philo T. Farnsworth was born in Beaver and attended college at Brigham Young University in Provo. Farnsworth first developed the electronic television in 1927 when he was only 21 years old. This early TV used electrons to scan images and display them on screen over radio waves. He spent years perfecting his invention and eventually licensed his patent to RCA in 1939 for $1 million, which would be over $21 million today. Once his invention was licensed, television steadily grew in popularity in America for decades.

What TV Looks Like Now

TV has evolved quite a bit from its humble beginnings almost 100 years ago. We now have stunning HD picture quality and surround sound in our own homes. As with radio in the early 20th century, Utah is now ahead of the nation in internet use. As of 2018, 84% of Utah households had some kind of internet subscription, above the national rate of 78%. With the rise of the internet, the way we use television is changing. You can now watch television through the internet, instead of using satellite or cable. With Beehive Broadband, you can bundle your fiber-optic internet with BEEtv — an HD television service with all your favorite channels and DVR support.

From radio to early television to internet streaming, Utah has been at the forefront of innovation and progress. What other groundbreaking inventions will come out of Utah in the next 100 years?

Interested in getting BEEtv? Give our Beehive Broadband Connection Specialists a buzz at 844-390-3310 for any questions you might have about the service or to check out our other offerings.


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