Television is one of those few inventions that have huge impacts on human society and it has changed people’s life profoundly. Television viewing has played an important role in transmitting information, shaping social environment, and changing human relationship. Since 1920s the development of television has evolved fast with various new technologies emerging and changing people’s experience in viewing television. The development of television has always been driven by both social and technical factors and will in return influence the society both culturally and technically. Therefore, when analyzing the development of television, technical, social, cultural factors should be taken into consideration.
This project is going to explore the television development in China by diving it into three phases. The first phase will focus on the experimenting phase when both technology and popularity of television was far behind compared with other countries. The second part will explore the blooming period of television development in China, during this phase, new technology continuously to emerge and great accessibility of television has been realized. The last part will discuss the latest individual-oriented development era when television viewing become more personalized. Since the development of television in China is greatly influenced by its political, economic, technical and cultural conditions, the analysis of it will be incorporated into the large narrative of China’s development story. Therefore, the three period is not only divided by technology development but also by socioeconomic conditions in China. In this way, this project will combine the physical development of technology with the soft power of cultural and social factors to illustrate how these two arena can influence each other in multiple ways.