The Royal Television Society (commonly known in the television industry as the RTS) is a British-based society for the discussion, analysis and preservation of television in all its forms, past, present and future. It is the one of the oldest television societies in the world. It currently has fourteen regional and national centres in the UK, as well as branches in the Republic of Ireland, Canada and the USA.
The group was formed as The Television Society on 7 September 1927, a time when television was still very much in its experimental stage. Regular high-definition broadcasts did not even begin for another nine years until the BBC began its transmissions from Alexandra Palace in 1936.
In addition to serving as a forum for scientists and engineers, the society published regular newsletters charting the development of the new medium. These documents now form important historical records of the early history of television broadcasting.
The society was granted its Royal title in 1966, and the current patron is HRH The Prince of Wales.
The society regularly holds meetings and seminars, attended by professionals from various areas of the television industry, and it also publishes the monthly magazine Television, covering a broad range of television topics.
The society's highest profile event is the biennial Cambridge Convention. Other prominent events include the annual Fleming, Shoenberg and Huw Wheldon Memorial Lectures, which are delivered by high-profile television figures.
The society also holds a substantial archive of printed, photographic and audio-visual material of value to television historians and scholars.
The Royal Television Society's annual awards are decided by a jury of industry professionals, with separate juries for individual categories within each of the six groups of Awards:
Each group of Awards is presented at its own individual ceremony, usually sometime during the first few months of the year.
Regional centres also hold their own award ceremonies.
In 2007 RTS Futures was launched for young people interested in television. RTS Futures holds regular events and has an interactive website featuring exclusive content, discussion and debate.