Television (Encyclopedia of Science)
The term television refers to any system for transmitting visual images at a distance. Research on such systems dates back to the 1880s, when German scientist Paul Nipkow (1860940) invented a device known as the Nipkow disk. This device was made of a metal or cardboard disk perforated with a series of square holes in a spiral pattern. As the disk was spun, a light was shined through the holes and onto a target. By looking through the holes, one could see the target revealed as a series of horizontal lines.
Nipkow's invention had no practical applications, but it established a model on which later television systems were based. The modern television system was invented in the 1920s at about the same time by two inventors working independently: American Philo Farnsworth (1906971) and Russian-born American Vladimir Zworykin (1889982). Of the two, Zworykin experienced the greater success in patenting and marketing his ideas.
How television works
A television system consists primarily of two parts: picture transmission and picture reception. A television camera used to photograph a television program is similar in some ways to a still camera. Light bounces off the subject being photographed and enters the lens at the front of the television camera. The lens forms a clear image of the subject being photographed on a screen, which is located behind...
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Television (West's Encyclopedia of American Law)
Television is the most powerful medium of mass communication seen regularly by most persons in the United States. Television signals may be delivered by using antennas (broadcast), communication satellites, or cable systems. Because of television's societal impact, the federal government regulates companies that operate television systems.
Experimental television systems were developed in the 1930s, but commercial exploitation did not occur in the United States until the late 1940s. Initially, television signals were broadcast from antennas and received by a television set in a person's home or business. Improved technology led to the replacement of black-and-white images with color signals in the 1960s.
The FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION (FCC), which was established by the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C.A. § 151 et seq.), originally was charged with the regulation of radio. With the introduction of television and the need for television stations to obtain FCC licenses to use broadcast frequencies, the FCC assumed sole jurisdiction over the television industry.
Television broadcasts may be regulated for content. Typically, this regulation has focused on broadcasts of allegedly obscene or indecent material. The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld regulations banning obscene material, as OBSCENITY is not protected by the FIRST AMENDMENT to the U.S....
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Television (Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity)
Limited news coverage of major genocides and crimes against humanity prior to the second half of the twentieth century allowed those events to continue outside the glare of public scrutiny that has become possible. The advent of modern television news networks allows for rapid, even instantaneous visual reporting of international crises. Television news coverage of genocide and crimes against humanity can thus inform and shape world opinion, eliciting responses to such atrocities.
The CNN Effect
Television news coverage plays a critical role in ensuring that the global public is informed about international events. It is, in fact, the preferred means by which the majority of the Western public receives its news. The existence of Cable News Network (CNN) and other global television news networks dedicated to instantaneous coverage means that concerned nongovernmental groups and the public at large are often exposed to international news events at the same time as governments. This exposure to international news allows the public to formulate opinions and influence government policy. The broad international reach and the speed of modern television news coverage thereby create pressure on governments to respond quickly to international crises. This phenomenon whereby aggressive television news coverage of live events indirectly shapes the course of those events is known as the CNN Effect or the CNN Factor.
Television news coverage of genocide and crimes against humanity has the potential to limit the extent and severity of those incidents by motivating timely action and resource allocation by governments and nongovernmental groups like relief agencies. Such coverage may even help to prevent future occurrences; an informed public can encourage governments to monitor potential international crises and take preventative action when necessary.
Factors in Television Reporting
The television news media is also a business, and as such is limited by practical considerations. News stories themselves are limited in scope; in a given news segment, each story tends to last no more than one to three minutes. Likewise, the news media's attention to any one event is limited in duration, with sustained coverage rarely lasting longer than a period of a few weeks. The television news media generally only cover one such major event at a time, meaning that while one important international crisis may get the attention it deserves, other crises may go under- or unreported. Moreover, the complicated logistics of reporting from remote, undeveloped locations make certain events of humanitarian concern inaccessible to the media and therefore unavailable to the public.
Profit considerations similarly influence news coverage. The television news media tend to seek out sensational storieshich are most often highly negativeecause those stories gather viewers. The global public has demonstrated a tendency toward voyeurism; that is, the public is more interested in seeing exceptional, negative news than in seeing ordinary and/or positive news.
Distortion and Manipulation
The television news media's proclivity to report the sensational can lead the public in developed countries to harbor incomplete and erroneous opinions about the developing world. These misconceptions can lead to frustration and a belief that the situations in the developing world are hopeless and beyond the reach of international aid or intervention. Thus, just as the television media may promote action by news coverage of international crises, the prolonged focus on such negative events may eventually lead to a decline in timely responser any responseo similar occurrences. This phenomenon is commonly known as "compassion fatigue."
In addition to the editorial and practical decisions made at the studio and executive news media levels, decisions made by reporters in the field may also influence the global public's knowledge of humanitarian crises. For example, the television news media may often provide the global public with unintentional but ignorant misinformation. Coverage of crisis events may be based primarily upon secondary rather than primary accounts of the situation, and the coverage may lack a basic foundation or recognition of the history and context of the situation, thus likely misinforming the public about those events.
Similarly, television reporting of international crises can distort the public's perception of the crises through the camera eye itself. That is, the way a camera shot is framed or angled, in addition to the editing of shots after they are taken, can misrepresent reality. For example, a camera may portray a shot of a well-armed soldier looming in the foreground over the dead body of a child. What the camera eye may not show is that in reality the soldier is standing fearful, surrounded by a large and angry mob of armed youths. The reaction of the public to crisis situations can thus be significantly affected by the distorted picture of reality that the media may intentionally or unintentionally present.
Furthermore, television can also be manipulated in closed societies to intentionally misinform the public. Governments can use the television news media to disseminate propaganda, encourage stereotypes, and incite hatred and violence against certain religious, ethnic, or political groups (just as radio was used during the genocide in Rwanda in 1994).
Television news coverage of genocide and crimes against humanity may also affect victims of the events. If journalists are not sensitive to the trauma of victims, and are instead imprudent in their investigation and reporting, victims may easily be re-traumatized. On the other hand, thoughtful inquiry and reporting may be quite valuable: Victims often welcome a chance to tell their stories and explain what happened to them; in doing so, the public learns more about the effects of genocide and crimes against humanity on individuals and groups directly affected by those events.
The television news media can be a powerful force in informing and shaping world opinion, and in eliciting responses to international humanitarian crises. While the importance of the CNN effect cannot be understated, the global public should be aware of the limitations that do exist in television news media coverage. By recognizing the practical and editorial decisions behind the images on the TV screennd by seeking knowledge of international crisis situations through additional sourceshe global public will have a fuller, more accurate opinion of world events. Such a better informed public will be more capable of encouraging appropriate and timely responses to threats of genocide or crimes against humanity.
SEE ALSO Film as Propaganda; Films, Dramatizations in; Films, Holocaust Documentary; Photography of Victims; Propaganda; Radio
Adelman, Howard, and Astri Suhrke, eds. (1999). The Path of a Genocide: The Rwanda Crisis from Uganda to Zaire. Rutgers, N.J.: Transaction Books.
Gradney, Jeff (2000). "Focusing on the Humanity." In Covering Violence: A Guide to Ethical Reporting about Victims and Trauma, ed. William E. Coté and Roger Simpson. New York: Columbia University Press.
McLaughlin, Greg (2002). War Correspondent. London: Pluto Press.
Minear, Larry, Colin Scott, and Thomas G. Weiss (1996). The News Media, Civil War, and Humanitarian Action. Boulder, Colo.: L. Rienner.
Newman, Edward (1995). "Realpolitk and the CNN Factor of Humanitarian Intervention." In The United Nations in the New World Order: The World Organization at Fifty, ed. Dimitris Bourantonis and Jarrod Weiner. New York: St. Martin's Press.
"Prosecutor v. Radoslav Brdjanin and Momir Talic: Decision on Motion to Set Aside Confidential Subpoena to Give Evidence." June 7, 2002. In the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia website. Available from http://www.un.org/icty/brdjanin/trialc/decision-e/t020612.h... .
"Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court." International Criminal Court website. Available from .
Rotberg, Robert I., and Thomas G. Weiss, eds. (1996). From Massacres to Genocide: The Media, Public Policy, and Humanitarian Crises. Cambridge, Mass.: The World Peace Foundation.
Seib, Philip (2002). The Global Journalist: News and Conscience in a World of Conflict. Oxford, U.K.: Rowman & Littlefield.
Shaw, Martin (1996). Civil Society and Media in Global Crises: Representing Distant Violence. New York: Pinter.
Kelly Helen Fry
Television (How Products are Made)
Among the technical developments that have come to dominate our lives, television is surely one of the top ten. In the United States, more than 98% of households own at least one television set and 61% receive cable television. The average household watches television for seven hours per day, which helps to explain why news, sports, and educational entities, as well as advertisers, value the device for communication.
The device we call the television is really a television receiver that is the end point of a broadcast system that starts with a television camera or transmitter and requires a complicated network of broadcast transmitters using ground-based towers, cables, and satellites to deliver the original picture to our living rooms. The U.S. television picture, whether black and white or color, consists of 525 horizontal lines that are projected onto screens with a four to three ratio of width to height. By electronic methods, 30 images per second, each broken into these horizontal lines, are scanned onto the screen.
The development of the television occurred over a number of years, in many countries, and using a wide application of sciences, including electricity, mechanical engineering, electromagnetism, sound technology, and electrochemistry. No single person invented the television; instead, it is a compilation of inventions perfected by fierce competition.
Chemicals that are conductors of electricity were among the first discoveries leading to the TV. Baron Ȯns Berzelius of Sweden isolated selenium in 1817, and Louis May of Great Britain discovered, in 1873, that the element is a strong electrical conductor. Sir William Crookes invented the cathode ray tube in 1878, but these discoveries took many years to merge into the common ground of television.
Paul Nipkow of Germany made the first crude television in 1884. His mechanical system used a scanning disk with small holes to pick up image fragments and imprint them on a light-sensitive selenium tube. A receiver reassembled the picture. In 1888, W. Hallwachs applied photoelectric cells in cameras; cathode rays were demonstrated as devices for reassembling the image at the receiver by Boris Rosing of Russia and A. A. Campbell-Swinton of Great Britain, both working independently in 1907. Countless radio pioneers including Thomas Edison invented methods of broadcasting television signals.
John Logie Baird of Scotland and Charles F. Jenkins of the United States constructed the first true television sets in the 1920s by combining Nipkow's mechanical scanning disk with vacuum-tube amplifiers and photoelectric cells. The 1920s were the critical decade in television development because a number of major corporations including General Electric (GE), the Radio Corporation of America (RCA), Westinghouse, and American Telephone & Telegraph (AT&T) began serious television research. By 1935, mechanical systems for transmitting black-and-white images were replaced completely by electronic methods that could generate hundreds of horizontal bands at 30 frames per second. Vladimir K. Zworykin, a Russian immigrant who first worked for Westinghouse then RCA, patented an electronic camera tube based on the cathode tube. Philo T. Farnsworth and Allen B. Dumont, both Americans, developed a pickup tube that became the home television receiver by 1939.
The Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) had entered the color TV fray and battled with RCA to perfect color television, initially with mechanical methods until an all-electronic color system could be developed. Rival broadcasts appeared throughout the 1940s although progress was slowed by both World War II and the Korean War. The first CBS color broadcast on June 25, 1951, featured Ed Sullivan and other stars of the network. Commercial color television broadcasts were underway in the United States by 1954.
The television consists of four principle sets of parts, including the exterior or housing, the audio reception and speaker system, the picture tube, and a complicated mass of electronics including cable and antennae input and output devices, a built-in antenna in most sets, a remote control receiver, computer chips, and access buttons. The remote control or "clicker" may be considered a fifth set of parts.
The housing of the set is made of injection-molded plastic, although wood cabinets are still available for some models. Metals and plastics also comprise the audio system. The picture tube requires precision-made glass, fluorescent chemical coatings, and electronic attachments around and at the rear of the tube. The tube is supported inside the housing by brackets and braces molded into the housing. The antennae and most of the input-output connections are made of metal, and some are coated with special metals or plastic to improve the quality of the connection or insulate the device. The chips, of course, are made of metal, solder, and silicon.
The design of the television requires input and teamwork on the part of a range of design engineers. Audio, video, plastics, fiber
Image Pop-UpDiagram of a television receiver.
Conceptual plans for the new set are produced by the engineering team. The concept may change and be redrawn many times before the design is preliminarily approved for manufacture. The engineering specialists then select and design the components of the set, and a prototype is made to prove out the design. The prototype is essential, not only for confirming the design, appearance, and function of the set, but also for production engineers to determine the production processes, machining, tools, robots, and modifications to existing factory production lines that also have to be designed or modified to suit the proposed new design. When the prototype passes rigid reviews and is approved for manufacture by management, detailed plans and specifications for design and production of the model are produced. Raw materials and components manufactured by others can then be ordered, the production line can be constructed and tested, and the first sets can begin their ride down the assembly line.
The Manufacturing Process
- 1 Almost all television housings are made of plastic by the process of injection molding, in which precision molds are made and liquid plastic is injected under high pressure to fill the molds. The pieces are released from the molds, trimmed, and cleaned. They are then assembled to complete the housing. The molds are designed so that brackets and supports for the various components are part of the housing.
2 The television picture tube, or cathode ray tube (CRT), is made of precision glass that is shaped to have a slightly curved plate at the front or screen. It may also have a dark tint added to the face plate glass, either during production of the glass or by application directly to the inside of the screen. Darker face plates produce improved picture contrast. When the tube is manufactured, a water suspension of phosphor
Glass for picture tubes is supplied by a limited number of manufacturers in Japan and Germany. Quantities of the quality of glass needed for picture tubes are limited, and the emergence of large-screen sets has created a shortage in this portion of the industry. The large screens are also very heavy, so flat-panel displays using plasma-addressed liquid crystal (PALC) displays were developed in the 1980s. This gas plasma technology uses electrodes to excite layers of neon or magnesium oxide, so they release ultraviolet radiation that activates the phosphor on the back of the television screen. Because the gas is trapped in a thin layer, the screen can also be thin and lightweight. Projection TVs use digital micro mirror devices (DMDs) to project their pictures.
A shadow mask with 200,000 holes lies immediately behind the phosphor screen; the holes are precisely machined to align the colors emitted by three electron beams. Today's best picture tubes have shadow masks that are manufactured from a nickel-iron alloy called Invar; lesser quality sets have masks of iron. The alloy allows the tube to operate at a higher temperature without distorting the picture, and higher temperatures allow brighter pictures. Rare-earth elements have also been added to the phosphor coating inside the tube to improve brightness.
The electrons are fired by three tubular, metal electron guns that are carefully seated in the neck, or narrow end, of the tube. After the electron guns are placed inside the tube, the picture tube is evacuated to a near vacuum so air does not interfere with the movement of the electrons. The small opening at the rear of the tube is sealed with a fitted electrical plug that will be positioned near the back of the set. A deflection yoke, consisting of several electromagnetic coils, is fitted around the outside of the neck of the picture tube. The coils cause pulses of high voltage to direct the scanning electron beams in the proper direction and speed.
- 3 The housing also contains fittings for speakers, wiring, and other parts of the audio system. The speakers are usually made by a specialized manufacturer to the specifications of the television manufacturer, so they are assembled in the set as components or a subassembly. Electronic sound controls and integrated circuitry are assembled in panels in the set as it travels along the assembly line.
Image Pop-UpThe electrons are fired by three tubular, metal electron guns seated in the neck, or narrow end, of the picture tube. After the electron guns are placed inside the tube, the picture tube is evacuated to a near vacuum so air does not interfere with the movement of the electrons. A color selection filter with 200,000 holes lies immediately behind the television screen; the holes are precisely machined to align the colors emitted by three electron beams.
- 4 When the picture tube and the audio speakers and attachments are assembled in the set, other electronic elements are added to the rear of the set. The antennae, cable jacks, other input and output jacks, the electronics for receiving remote control signals, and other devices are prepared by specialty contractors or as subassemblies else-where on the assembly line. They are then mounted in the set, and the housing is closed.
As with all precision devices, quality control for the manufacture of the television is a rigid process. Inspections, laboratory testing, and field testing are performed during the development of prototypes and throughout manufacture so the resulting television is not only technologically sound but safe for use in homes and businesses.
There are no byproducts from the manufacture of the television, although many other devices are a part of the television "family" and are often produced by the same manufacturer. These include the remote control, computer monitors, video recorders (VCRs), laser disc players, and a host of devices that may require compatible design and components. Specialized televisions are produced for some industries, including television studios and mobile broadcast facilities, hospitals, and for surveillance applications for public safety and use in inaccessible or dangerous locations.
Wastes may include metals, plastics, glass, and chemicals. Metals, plastics, and glass are isolated and recycled unless they have been specially treated or coated. Chemicals are carefully monitored and controlled; often, they can be purified and recycled, so disposal of hazardous wastes can be minimized. Hazardous waste plans are in effect in all stages of manufacture, both to minimize quantities of waste and to protect workers.
The future of television is now. High Definition Television (HDTV) was developed by the Japanese Broadcast Corporation and first demonstrated in 1982. This system produces a movie-quality picture by using a 1,125-line picture on a "letter-box" format screen with a 16 to nine width to height ratio. High-quality, flat screens suitable for HDTV are being perfected using synthetic diamond film to emit electrons in the first application of synthetic diamonds in electronic components. Other developments in the receiver include gold-plated jacks, an internal polarity switch on large screens that compensates for the effect of Earth's magnetic field on image reception, accessories to eliminate ghosts on the screen, the Invar shadow mask to improve brightness, and audio amplifiers. Liquid crystal display (LCD) technology is also advancing rapidly as an alternative to the cumbersome television screen. Assorted computer chips add functions like channel labeling, time and data displays, swap and freeze motions, parental channel control, touch screens, and a range of channel-surfing options.
Digital television of the future will allow the viewer to manipulate the angle of the camera, communicate with the sports commentator, and splice and edit movies on screen. Two-way TV will also be possible. Current screens may be used thanks to converter boxes that change the analog signal that presently energizes the phosphors on the back of your television screen to digital signals that are subject to less distortionnd are the language of computers. Computer technology will then allow a world of manipulation of the data as well as broadcast of six times as much data.
The future of television manufacture may be anywhere but in the United States. Thirty percent of all televisions manufactured by Japanese companies are made in factories in Mexico. The factories themselves will soon be producing hybrids in which the television, computer monitor, and telephone are a single unit, although this development will take further improvements in compatibility between machines that speak analog versus digital language and the creation of PC-to-video bridges. Proof of the possibility of this integrated future exists now in Internet access that is now available through television cable converters and the living room TV screen.
Where to Learn More
Barker, Dennis P. "High-tech tubes: today's technology delivers the best TV pictures ever." Popular Mechanics, April 1997, p. 60.
"Bell Atlantic puts on its producer's hat." Business Week, April 18, 1994, p. 116E.
Braithwaite, Lancelot. "Ghost busted: a first look at Magnavox's ghost canceler unearths new levels of image clarity." Video Magazine, November 1996, p. 56.
Doherty, Brian. "Made in America?" Reason, August/September 1993, p. 50.
Fisher, David E. and Marshall Jon Fisher. "The Color War." Invention & Technology, Winter 1997, pp. 8-18.
Goldberg, Ron. "Adding TV to the PC." Popular Mechanics, April 1993, p. 138.
Heald, Tom. "The next wave." Video Magazine, September 1996, p. 32.
Levine, Martin. "Dark tubes stake a claim." Video Magazine, November 1993, p. 64.
Lewyn, Mark. "Two-way TV isn't quite ready for Prime Time." Business Week, April 13, 1992, pp. 38-39.
Miller, Michael J. "Yet Another Dinosaur?" PC Magazine, September 14, 1993, p. 81.
"Mi TV es Su TV?" Business Week, November 1, 1993; p. 8.
"Romancing the Stone." Video, December 1993, p. 12.
"TV design receives gas assist." Design News, August 15, 1994, p. 28.
"TV does digital: in a world of bits and bytes, you control the camera angles and everything you see on TV." Science World, February 7, 1997, p. 18.
"Videotest: ProBono." Video, April 1996, p. 53.
i>Gillian S. Holmes
Television (Contemporary Musicians)
Punk rock music began in New York City in the mid 1970s. It was then that bands like Television, the Ramones, Patti Smith, and the band that would later become Blondie, the Stilettoes, set the stage for a new kind of music. "On the nascent New York punk-rock circuit of the mid-1970s," wrote Kurt Loder in Esquire, "Television was a wondrous curiosity scragged-out Bowery quartet that enriched its witty punk-squak tunes with gorgeous, extended improvisations by two very distinct guitarists, Richard Lloyd and songwriter Tom Verlaine."
In late 1973 Tom Verlaine was walking through New York's Bowery section complaining to a friend about the difficulties of finding clubs in which to perform. Together they stumbled upon CBGB's and its owner Hilly Kristal. After a casual discussion, Kristal told Verlaine that his band should come by and audition. Until then the bar featured Irish folk music and was a biker bar a couple nights a week.
The band, consisting of Verlaine and Lloyd on guitars, Billy Ficca on drums, and Richard Hell on bass, placed some mimeographed posters around town and bought their own ads. But after only a month of playing one or two nights a week, other like-minded musicians began showing up. The Ramones were looking for a place to play, as was Patti Smith, and the Stilettoes.
Not a Rebellion, but a Counter-Revolution
Early punk music was not so much a rebellion, as a counter-revolution. "The first punks were not a new generation," wrote Bill Flanagan in Musician, "but the underbelly of the 60s generation who remembered the glory of their youth and wanted to reclaim rock from Pink Floyd, the Doobie Brothers, the Moody Blueshoever they felt had blown it."
Many people erroneously think that punk rock began in England, but it was only an Englishman who took the New York look and sound back to England. Malcolm McLaren was managing the campy, glam band called New York Dolls in the mid-1970s. The members of Television wore ripped clothing because they didn't know how to sew, and McLaren was obsessed with their look. "It was very much like, 'Just play and I'll do everything elseou'll have a record out in six months, I guarantee it will be top ten,'" Verlaine recalled in Musician. Where Hell liked the idea, neither Lloyd nor Verlaine trusted McLaren; they told him "no thanks." McLaren went back to England, and within nine months the Sex Pistols surfaced on the London scene, sporting Richard Hell's hairdo and Television's ripped-up look.
In 1974 producer Brian Eno helped record a Television demo. Before long, an A & R (artists and repertory) person at Island Records was calling it half of an album. But none of the band liked the production style of the demo, and asked to begin again with a different producer. Around this time Richard Hell left Television due to friction among the members and formed the Voidoids. When the Stilettoes broke up, Verlaine invited their bass player, Fred Smith to join Television.
Postponed Major Label Deals
Meanwhile, Sire records was offering record deals to many artists. Patti Smith was the first of CBGB's acts to sign with a label, releasing her ground-breaking album Horses on Arista in 1975. Television released a single "Little Johnny Jewel" in 1975, but instead of accepting a deal with Sire, as the Ramones and the Talking Heads did, Television decided to wait for a better deal.
Finally, in 1977, Elektra records released Television's Marquee Moon, which is considered a landmark album. Rolling Stone's David Fricke wrote, "the stunning ice-blue guitarchitecture and defiant spirit of free-jamming wanderlust on Television's debut album ... blew wide holes through cream-puff AOR rock and the already calcifying primitivism of punk." In Spin, Andrew Schwartz called Marquee Moon "Television's one uncontestable masterpiece ... the album's ingeniously orchestrated guitar parts and stark fables of spiritual transcendence amid urban decay left marks still evident in the music of [today's bands] U2, Sonic Youth, and Ride, to name a few."
Although Television is always mentioned among the first punkers who vastly influenced British punk and subsequent "alternative" subgenres, their sound was actually much different from other bands. As James Rotondi wrote in Guitar Player, "Television's improvisational bent and poetic streak set them off from most of their contemporaries." Schwartz felt that "Television plays rock'n'roll, not as high-speed eighth-notes or monolithic bar chords, but as a series of improvisations by a deft, powerful Smith-Ficea rhythm section and two virtuoso guitarists, Verlaine and Lloyd."
Set Apart From Their Contemporaries
As a songwriter, Verlaine has certainly managed to set the band apart from their contemporaries. His lyrics usually begin as odd narrative tales that eventually lose any discernible story line. Most of his influences came from flying saucer songs on his childhood radio. Schwartz asserted that "Verlaine draws less from [early rocker] Chuck Berry than from 50s films and 19th-century poets such as Arthur Rimbaud. If there was anger and defiance in the music, it was more in the spirit of [poet] Allen Ginsberg's "Howl" than of teenage rebellion." Pulse! noted that Television's "fat-free twin guitar attack and sparse lyrics helped pave the way for punk rock's economy."
Television's 1978 follow-up album, Adventure, paled by comparison to their debut, although it too impressed critics. They did not record a third album until 1992. This delay caused people to believe that the band had broken up and later made a comeback, but Television insisted they'd just been on hiatus for 13 years. It was their live performances, however, and not their albums, that made them legendary. They were performances considered rarely equaled in rock. Though they released only two official albumseither of which sold even 150,000 copiest least 16 bootleg releases have surfaced since.
All four members worked on various projects during their "sabbatical." Verlaine regularly received critical kudos for his solo works. And although not as prolific as Verlaine, Lloyd was also critically lauded for his solo efforts, as well as for his lead guitar work with singer/songwriter Matthew Sweet, and with X's leadman John Doe on his side projects.
The sparks that flew on stage between Lloyd and Verlaine were considered the same sparks that broke up the band. But their differences were not apparent on 1992's Television. Spin's Celia Farber called Television "a damned good, maybe even great, record." Some critics had mixed feelings, but nobody could deny that Television still had their gifts. Surprisingly, reviewers did not romanticize the comeback, but evaluated it with a careful ear. In Esquire Loder said that "these gleaming tapestries of (for the most part) straight-through-the-amp Fender guitar soundow mellowed somewhat, but more compelling than everre one of art-rock's richer rewards."
As of the mid-1990s Television's status was unclear. Capital Records had produced Television as a one off. Although their reunion tour was well received, the members did not have plans of giving up their solo work. Regardless of Television's plans, as Guitar Player proclaimed, "for their balance of subtly shaped tones, their intertwining of rich melodies, their dynamics, and their jagged rhythmic interplay, they are as crucial to modern guitar as any band of the past 20 years."
Marquee Moon, Elektra Records, 1977.
Adventure, Elektra Records, 1978.
The Blow Up, ROIR CD, 1978.
Television, Capital Records, 1992.
Verlaine's solo albums
Flashlight, IRS Records.
Words From the Front, Warner Bros.
Warm and Cool, Rykodisc, 1992.
Lloyd's solo albums
Field of Fire, Moving Target, 1985.
Real Time, Celluloid, 1987.
Esquire, January 1993.
Guitar Player, January 1993.
Metro Times, October 21, 1992; March 3, 1993.
Musician, September 1992; June 1995.
Pulse!, September 1992; November 1992.
Rolling Stone, October 29, 1992; January 7, 1993.
Spin, November 1992; January 1993.