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Broadcasting is the distribution of audio and/or video signals which transmit programs to an audience. The audience may be the general public or a relatively large sub-audience, such as children or young adults.

Broadcasting antenna in Stuttgart

The original term "broadcast" referred to the literal 'sowing of seeds' on farms, by scattering them over a wide field.[1] It was first adopted by early radio engineers from the Midwestern United States to refer to the analogous dissemination of radio signals. Broadcasting forms a very large segment of the mass media. Broadcasting to a very narrow range of audience is called narrowcasting.

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Social impact

The sequencing of content in a broadcast is called a schedule. As with all technological endeavours, a number of technical terms and slang have developed. A list of these terms can be found at List of broadcasting terms. Television and radio programs are distributed through radio broadcasting or cable, often both simultaneously. By coding signals and having decoding equipment in homes, the latter also enables subscription-based channels and pay-per-view services.

In his essay, John Durham Peters wrote that communication is a tool used for dissemination. Durham stated, “Dissemination is a lens- sometimes a usefully distorting one- that helps us tackle basic issues such as interaction, presence, and space and time…on the agenda of any future communication theory in general” (Durham, 211). Dissemination focuses on the message being relayed from one main source to one large audience without the exchange of dialogue in between. There’s chance for the message to be tweaked or corrupted once the main source releases it. There is really no way to predetermine how the larger population or audience will absorb the message. They can choose to listen, analyze, or simply ignore it. Dissemination in communication is widely used in the world of broadcasting.

Broadcasting focuses on getting one message out and it is up to the general public to do what they wish with it. Durham also states that broadcasting is used to address an open ended destination (Durham, 212). There are many forms of broadcast, but they all aim to distribute a signal that will reach the target audience. Broadcasting can arrange audiences into entire assemblies (Durham, 213).

In terms of media broadcasting, a radio show can gather a large number of followers who tune in every day to specifically listen to that specific disc jockey. The disc jockey follows the script for his or her radio show and just talks into the microphone. He or she does not expect immediate feedback from any listeners. The message is broadcasted across airwaves throughout the community, but there the listeners cannot always respond immediately, especially since many radio shows are recorded prior to the actual air time.

Many businesses take advantage of communication dissemination by advertising over broadcasts. The options are close to limitless with advancing technology. The main goal is simply get the message across and it is up to the consumer population and audience to do what they wish with it.

Forms of electronic broadcasting

Historically, there have been several different types of electronic broadcasting mediums:

  • Telephone broadcasting (1881–1932): the earliest form of electronic broadcasting (not counting data services offered by stock telegraph companies from 1867, if ticker-tapes are excluded from the definition). Telephone broadcasting began with the advent of Théâtrophone ("Theatre Phone") systems, which were telephone-based distribution systems allowing subscribers to listen to live opera and theatre performances over telephone lines, created by French inventor Clément Ader in 1881. Telephone broadcasting also grew to include telephone newspaper services for news and entertainment programming which were introduced in the 1890s, primarily located in large European cities. These telephone-based subscription services were the first examples of electrical/electronic broadcasting and offered a wide variety of programming .
  • Radio broadcasting (experimentally from 1906, commercially from 1920): radio broadcasting is an audio (sound) broadcasting service, broadcast through the air as radio waves from a transmitter to an antenna and, thus, to a receiving device. Stations can be linked in radio networks to broadcast common programming, either in syndication or simulcast or both.
  • Television broadcasting (experimentally from 1925, commercially from the 1930s): this video-programming medium was long-awaited by the general public and rapidly rose to compete with its older radio-broadcasting sibling.
  • Cable radio (also called "cable FM", from 1928) and cable television (from 1932): both via coaxial cable, serving principally as transmission mediums for programming produced at either radio or television stations, with limited production of cable-dedicated programming.
  • Satellite television (from circa 1974) and satellite radio (from circa 1990): meant for direct-to-home broadcast programming (as opposed to studio network uplinks and downlinks), provides a mix of traditional radio and/or television broadcast programming with satellite-dedicated programming.
  • Webcasting of video/television (from circa 1993) and audio/radio (from circa 1994) streams: offers a mix of traditional radio and television station broadcast programming with internet-dedicated webcast programming.

Economic models

Economically there are a few ways in which stations are able to broadcast continually. Each differs in the method by which stations are funded:

Broadcasters may rely on a combination of these business models. For example, National Public Radio, a non-commercial network within the U.S., receives grants from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (which, in turn, receives funding from the U.S. government), by public membership and by selling "extended credits" to corporations.

Recorded broadcasts and live broadcasts

A television studio control room in Olympia, Washington, August 2008.

The first regular television broadcasts began in 1937. Broadcasts can be classified as "recorded" or "live". The former allows correcting errors, and removing superfluous or undesired material, rearranging it, applying slow-motion and repetitions, and other techniques to enhance the program. However, some live events like sports telecasts can include some of the aspects including slow-motion clips of important goals/hits, etc., in between the live telecast.

American radio-network broadcasters habitually forbade prerecorded broadcasts in the 1930s and 1940s requiring radio programs played for the Eastern and Central time zones to be repeated three hours later for the Pacific time zone. This restriction was dropped for special occasions, as in the case of the German dirigible airship Hindenburg disaster at Lakehurst, New Jersey, in 1937. During World War II, prerecorded broadcasts from war correspondents were allowed on U.S. radio. In addition, American radio programs were recorded for playback by Armed Forces Radio stations around the world.

A disadvantage of recording first is that the public may know the outcome of an event from another source, which may be a "spoiler". In addition, prerecording prevents live announcers from deviating from an officially approved script, as occurred with propaganda broadcasts from Germany in the 1940s and with Radio Moscow in the 1980s.

Many events are advertised as being live, although they are often "recorded live" (sometimes called "live-to-tape"). This is particularly true of performances of musical artists on radio when they visit for an in-studio concert performance. Similar situations have occurred in television ("The Cosby Show is recorded in front of a live studio audience") and news broadcasting.

A broadcast may be distributed through several physical means. If coming directly from the studio at a single radio or television station, it is simply sent through the air chain to the transmitter and thence from the antenna on the tower out to the world. Programming may also come through a communications satellite, played either live or recorded for later transmission. Networks of stations may simulcast the same programming at the same time, originally via microwave link, now usually by satellite.

Distribution to stations or networks may also be through physical media, such as analog or digital videotape, compact disc, DVD, and sometimes other formats. Usually these are included in another broadcast, such as when electronic news gathering returns a story to the station for inclusion on a news programme.

The final leg of broadcast distribution is how the signal gets to the listener or viewer. It may come over the air as with a radio station or television station to an antenna and receiver, or may come through cable television [1] or cable radio (or "wireless cable") via the station or directly from a network. The Internet may also bring either radio or television to the recipient, especially with multicasting allowing the signal and bandwidth to be shared.

The term "broadcast network" is often used to distinguish networks that broadcast an over-the-air television signal that can be received using a television antenna from so-called networks that are broadcast only via cable or satellite television. The term "broadcast television" can refer to the programming of such networks.

Legal definitions

United Kingdom

The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act of 1988 defines a broadcast as "a transmission by wireless telegraphy of visual images, sounds, or other information which is capable of lawful reception by the public or which is made for presentation to the public". Thus, it covers radio, television, teletext and telephones.

See also

References

Notes
  1. ^ Definition: Broadcast, American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 2000, updated 2009. Retrieved 24 November 2009.
Bibliography
  • Carey, James (1989) Communication as Culture, Routledge, New York and London, pp.201–30
  • Kahn, Frank J., ed. Documents of American Broadcasting, fourth edition (Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1984).
  • Lichty Lawrence W., and Topping Malachi C., eds. American Broadcasting: A Source Book on the History of Radio and Television (Hastings House, 1975).
  • Meyrowitz, Joshua., Mediating Communication: What Happens? in Downing, J., Mohammadi, A., and Sreberny-Mohammadi, A., (eds) Questioning The Media (Sage, Thousand Oaks, 1995) pp. 39–53
  • Peters, John Durham. "Communication as Dissemination." Communication as…Perspectives on Theory. Thousand Oakes, CA: Sage, 2006. 211-22.
  • Thompson, J., The Media and Modernity, in Mackay, H and O'Sullivan , T (eds) The Media Reader: Continuity and Transformation., (Sage, London, 1999) pp. 12–27

Further reading

External links


Simple English

In communications, such as radio and television, broadcasting means sending information such as television shows or music electronically to a large audience. The information is sent through the air in radio waves,through a wire, or by a satellite, and then the television viewers or radio listeners pick up the signal using their television sets and radio receivers (modules). Gugliemo Marconi invented wireless telegraphy (based on air signal), in December 1901 he transmitted first radio signals across the Atlantic Ocean, however it was Nikola Tesla who developed first radio concept.

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Types of broadcasters

Public broadcasters

Many countries have public broadcasters, which get funding from the government to broadcast television shows and radio programs. Examples of public broadcasters include the BBC in Britain, NHK in Japan, and the CBC in Canada.

In the US, the public broadcaster is called PBS. It is different than the other public broadcasters such as BBC, NHK and CBC, because the PBS gets a lot of its funding (money) from donations by viewers and listeners. Public broadcasters make programs that the private companies are not interested in making, such as educational children's shows, documentaries, and public affairs shows about current issues.

Private broadcasters

As well, there are private broadcasting companies. These are companies that broadcast television and radio programs. To make money, private broadcasting companies sell advertisements called commercials.

Community broadcasters

A third type of broadcaster is community broadcasters. There are community television stations and community radio stations.

Community television stations are often provided on cable networks. Community television stations usually have shows about local issues and community events. Some community television stations film and broadcast community cultural activities, such as musical performances or town hall meetings.

Community radio stations play music and have public affairs shows about community issues. Community radio stations are usually small organizations that are run by volunteers. Community radio stations often get their funding (money) from local governments, local universities, and from donations by listeners. Some community radio stations also have poetry readings by local poets, or performances by local musicians or singers.

Other meanings

Broadcasting can also mean sending a message to many users on a computer network at the exact same time, or sending a message from one computer to many other computers, giving information about itself, such as its name and location.

Sending information to a small selected group is called narrowcasting.








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