The Timeline - Major Milestones in TV History

Philo Farnsworth transmits the first electronic television image and applies for a patent on the first complete electronic system, the Image Dissector. 

RCA debuts the first black and white television to the public at the 1939 New York World's Fair. The first MLB and NFL games are broadcast on tv -  the Cincinnati Reds and the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field, Brooklyn, and the Brooklyn Dodgers vs. the Philadelphia Eagles. 

Community Antenna Television (CATV) originates in the United States. Signals are sent by coaxial cable.

Nielsen ratings begin tracking audience statistics for television, similar to how they had gathered statistics for radio previously.

Color television kicks off with the first nationwide broadcast in the US: the Rose Bowl Parade.

The first wireless remote control is introduced, allowing viewers to change the channel or turn the tv on or off remotely.

720 million viewers watch live as Neil Armstrong walks on the moon.

Half of all TVs in the United States are color. HBO becomes the first pay-TV network in the US.

VHS recorders are introduced into homes.

98% of US homes have at least one television. 

HDTV is introduced in the US. MTV debuts as music video and reality programming for the 18-24 demographic.

The first Blockbuster store opens in Dallas, TX.

201 million TV sets in the United States, 900 million around the world.

One billion TV sets worldwide. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 is passed: "To promote competition and reduce regulation in order to secure lower prices and higher quality services for American telecommunications consumers and encourage the rapid deployment of new telecommunications technologies."

Netflix launches in April as a pay-per-rental service, offering 925 titles.

TiVo launches, allowing users to pause live tv, record shows and skip over advertisements.

The average American adult is watching 4 hours of television daily.

10 million in the US are using cable technology for internet services. Adobe Flash changes the way video and other content is streamed online.

YouTube is founded and launches its first video in April.

Western Union officially discontinues telegram services.

Hulu launches and Netflix expands to online streaming, in addition to the DVD and Blu-ray rental service. The first Apple TV ships out.

YouTube makes agreement to allow companies to upload full movies and TV shows for users to watch to compete with Hulu. Roku rolls out its first devices, with Netflix streaming capabilities. Amazon renames their Amazon Unbox service as Amazon Video on Demand.

All televisions go digital. Any analog television requires a convertor box to receive signal.

Apple unveils the iPad, kicking off the year that tablets begin to gain traction. For the first time, "cord cutters" have an impact on cable subscriptions - pay television saw quarterly subscribers drop. NBC seeks to track viewing traffic for the 2010 Winter Olympics across platforms (multi-devices, multi-channels). YouTube ranks as the third most viewed website behind Google and Facebook.

Netflix premieres its first original show, House of CardsPretty Little Liars has the most tweeted about episode in television history with their summer finale.

The Supreme Court rules that Aereo (on online live tv streaming provider) violated copyright law and is shut down. In the same year, CBS launched an internet TV service, and HBO and Showtime announce plans to make similar moves. The Season 4 premiere of Pretty Little Liars breaks another record, averaging 37,000 tweets per minute.

DishNetwork launches Sling TV, and over-the-top television service to allow live tv channels to be streamed online. Game of Thrones is the most tweeted about show of the year.

Netflix reports over 86 million users worldwide, with over 47 million in the United States.