There is something about sitting in a dark theater…
Whether you are with a friend, family or alone, whether you go to laugh, to cry, to be scared or just be taken away from life for two hours, there’s something about the movies.
Think about your favorite movie, how it made you feel, how you feel every time you see it, how it transports you…now, Imagine Life Without…the cinema.
On the coattails of the phonograph was the innovation of the cinema and filming. The very first patented film camera was designed by Frenchman Louis Le Prince in 1888. He developed a single lens camera which he used to shoot the first sequences of moving film in the world, the Roundhay Garden Scene and Leeds Bridge.
Taking moving pictures a step further, the French born Lumière brothers held their first public screening of projected motion pictures at which admission was charged on December 28, 1895, at Salon Indien du Grand Café in Paris. This history-making presentation featured ten short films, including their first film, Sortie des Usines Lumière à Lyon (Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory).
The origins of television stretch back to the late 19th century, to a time before it was even technically feasible. In 1877, civil servant George Carey was already sketching drawings for a “selenium camera” that would allow people to “see by electricity.” At the same time, Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell were theorizing about telephones that could transmit images along with sound.
It was John Logie Baird who created the first televised moving images in 1926 at Selfridge’s department store in London.
Modern television was demonstrated in 1939 at the New York World’s Fair In 1949, fewer than 1 million U.S. households had a TV; four years later, that number had ballooned to 25 million. The television made all of the difference when it came to the Nixon and Kennedy debate in 1960.
Remote Control (1950)
The first remote control, invented in 1950 by Zenith, was a simple device called, ironically, Lazy Bones. It was connected to the TV by a wire.
Later remote controls, which also had colorful names like Flashmatic and Zenith Space Command, clicked when operated, hence the device’s early nickname – the “clicker.”
In 1970, Philips developed a home video cassette format specially made for a TV station in 1970 and available on the consumer market in 1972. Philips named this format “Video Cassette Recording” (VCR) (although it is also referred to as “N1500”, after the first recorder’s model number).
VCRs gained more popularity in the late 1970s which sent Hollywood into a tizzy over copyright concerns. In a 1982 congressional hearing, Jack Valenti, the president of the Motion Picture Association of America, said, “We are going to bleed and hemorrhage unless Congress at least protects one industry whose future depends on its protection from the savagery and the ravages of this machine. I say to you that the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston Strangler is to the woman home alone.” The legal battles dragged on until 1984, when the U.S. Supreme Court finally approved home taping.
CD Video (LaserDisc) (1972)
Launched in 1972 as VLP, the “LaserDisc” became popular mainly in Japan and the USA among movie enthusiasts and – especially in Japan – lovers of karaoke. To make optical discs into a video medium, the joint license holders Philips en Sony announced the development of a CD with a video capacity in 1987, under the name “CD Video.” Three disc sizes – 12, 20 and 30 cm – were developed. The 12 cm “CD with video” was referred to as “CDV.” It contained up to 5 minutes of (analogue) video (like LaserDisc) plus up to 20 minutes of CD digital audio, which could be played on any CD player. Philips intended these discs to be an ideal carrier for video clips. 20 and 30 cm CD Video discs were also introduced, with playing times of 40 to 120 minute.
By 2000, the roles of CD Video and LaserDisc were taken over by DVD.
DVD Player (1994)
The prototype DVD player, developed in 1994 by Toshiba, was a pile of circuit boards nicknamed the “fire watchtower.” Though unstable, it proved that DVD quality crushed that of VHS. Players themselves came out in 1996; the first DVD movie release, Twister, in 1997.
Digital HDTV (1998)
In 1987, Japanese engineers showed off their MUSE hi-def system in Washington, D.C. Policymakers responded by pushing for new broadcast standards, and after much debate and many delays, HDTVs arrived in stores in 1998. Today, they are in more than half of all U.S. households.
Digital Video Recorder (2002)
When ownership of this gadget crept past 1 million in 2002, TV and advertising execs worried aloud that DVRs, by enabling viewers to skip commercials, were surefire TV killers.
Innovation has not stopped following the introduction of the DVR, although it is considered one of the most recent disruptive devices to the entertainment industry. In fact, 18 years after unveiling its first digital video recorder at CES, TiVo’s Bolt+ set-top DVR was named a CES 2017 Innovation Awards Honoree.
The Bolt+ has a three-terabyte storage capacity, is capable of recording up to 450 hours of HD content via six tuners, which can record six different shows simultaneously AND it can also stream 4K content.
From sitting on folding chairs in a dark room watching a short film to relaxing at home watching your favorite movie on a 4K television screen to even watching a movie on your smart phone, we’ve certainly come a long way. Without the imagination and innovation of the cinema, the entertainment industry would be quite different…
Like we’ve said before, your next great idea could launch an industry, so set your DVR, sit back, relax, grab your popcorn and submit your next great idea now!