CBS developed a workable color system years before their rival, RCA,
but it was incompatible with the huge number of black and white sets
in homes around the country. CBS poured a lot of money into their new
color system, but it was all for nothing. RCA, motivated by CBS's work
on a color system, bet on their own color system. They soon had a color
system that would work on monochrome monitors too. After RCA demonstrated
their system, the NTSC adopted it for commercial broadcasting in 1953.
Over forty years later, we now talk to each other on digital cellular
phones and send email over a global network, but television in the United
States has stayed essential the same. Sure, we've seen a few incremental
advances, such as stereo sound, closed captioning, and better receivers,
but nothing has come along to shake up the way we think about television.
But that's about to change. Television is going digital.
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