New Communication Technologies: Screen Hardware Capabilities


Television is an expansive broadcast medium within society, comprising a utilisation of backlighting prominence which emits televisual imagery on screen. Historical and modern televisions manifest technology integration within the screen; the Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) is renowned as the earliest television technology. Modern communication devices have integrated an innovative televisual screen called the Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) to ameliorate the hardware capabilities of the visual user interface, power consumption, weight, bulk and ambient intelligence. Societys are influenced by the televisual medium, as the television broadcasts to divergent populations whilst displaying distant and local objectification. “Our ability to recognise, and our desire to experience, for example, places, peoples, animals, plants, cities, technologies, languages or cultural traditions outside our own culture, are all powerfully powered by the televisual.” (Fry 1999, p.243) Because of the historical CRT integration, the television continues to transform society, broadcasting and the hardware visual user interface.

CRT technology was integrated within the making of the television, after discovering that the analogue CRT emits electron beams, it was used as a component within the backlighting to prominence motion imagery. Monaco (1981, p.369) explains the function of the CRT as a component for converting the broadcast of frequencies to emit a televisual picture on screen.


Even though the CRT contributed historically to the television, it continues to influence recent communication technologies because the function is broad and can be applied to many other fields. The television began as a black and white picture tube; however, a group of scientists have declared that they “[…] have, therefore, newly developed a 3” color flat CRT utilizing a beam-indexing system.” (Yamano, et al 1985, p.163) Revolutionising the  brightness, image quality and colour resolution. Digital broadcasting technology is examined by Lozhkin (2013, p.82) who states that the current colour television receiver tubes have been superseded by plasma panels and liquid-crystal. In addition, the OLED screen has been remolded off the CRT, comprising of a cathode, emissive layer, a conductive layer, a substrate, and an anode. Given these facts, there is a possibility that the OLED will be replaced by the Organic User Interface (OUI). “Importantly, the OLED/sensing component module can be also integrated with thin film PDS and microfluidic structures in glass or plastic.” (Shinar & Shinar 2008, p.21) To create the Flexible OLED (FOLED), since screen types are already in production.

The hardware capabilities within phones today operate the same OLED screens as the digital television and can display broadcast television on a slim device. Making for a more convergent and convenient device, contributing to the utopian ideal. “Mobile phones are no longer just phones-they are GPS tracking devices, video and still cameras, wireless Internet connections, and pocket calculators.” (Hirst & Harrison 2012, p.7) Before the invention of the television; phones displayed an exposed keypad, in addition, today they are integrated within the visual user interface (the screen) as the television has developed from the analogue CRT to the digital OLED. Therefore, the use of communication technology has been affected by the televisual hardware development, considering that technology is ever transforming in demand of user needs.


The televisual screen has impacted the patterns of work, consumption and leisure. “This has meant less access to public culture for some, more work for others, and a host of new and fascinating possibilities.” (Faltesek 2011, p.242) The workforce has more jobs are a result of the industries who have utilized the television for their advantage over the market, either by broadcasting adverts, production lines of components for the television or by integrating the television within other fields to create new workplaces. As the television promotes materialism and effects the social interaction, there is evident control over the means of production within the delay in commercial television “Partly, this delay was caused by technical reasons; mainly, it was the result first of economic decisions, then of the intervention of World War II.” (Monaco 1981, p.370) The political economy continues to influence mainly propaganda within the public sphere, to control the broadcasting and digital myths. “What Marx realised was that exploitation and inequality in the distribution of resources and wealth were not inevitable and certainly not immutable.” (Hirst & Harrison 2012, p.20) However, the television has expanded further than industrialisation as leisure is also of concern as to whether more people are watching the television instead of partaking in outdoor or social activities. Dystopia is present within the televisual screen because the environment is ever changing to a more televisual interface and is environmentally degrading.


Hirst and Harrison (2012, p.366) states the traditional digital divide definition as a cause restricting people of communication technology. Viewers with combinations of cognitive problems and progressive perceptual may find issues within the user interface of the television. “This includes the poor design of remote controls, both in terms of their design consistency, tactile feedback and appropriate labeling of buttons.” (Springett, et al 2011, p.1) Modern televisions have bridged the digital divided viewers who found it hard to interact between the televisual screen and remote control to a more compatible visual user interface, whether the input is by voice command, sensors, touchscreen or some other interaction, the television screen is now the main application. The development of colour television involved “[…] extensive psychophysical testing, […]” (Schreiber, et al 1999, p.174) as the televisual stimulates cognitive responses, and as this research has been applied to screen hardware; this has greatly enhanced the visual interface.


Televisions quickly emerged as a household fixture, the invention of the television was to combine both audio and visual representations, creating a new educational and entertainment medium with the ability to stimulate visual cognition through communication and perception. The television broadcasts to the divergent communities and forces the attention span and education of viewers and can lead viewers to believe that the television is an authoritative source publicising memes. “Mimetic transmission is the vector for the propagation of digital myths […]” (Mosco in Hirst & Harrison, 2012, p.32). Effecting the viewer’s understanding of the right and wrong in an ideological means, including the dialect and culture changes within the digital revolution.

In conclusion, the television was a technological and cultural phenomenon, influenced by the political public sphere who control the broadcasting and digital myths. Overall, materialistic televisions became a fixture and fitting within the home environment, replacing audio with televisual. Firstly, the CRT technology was integrated within the historic analogue television and soon transitioned from black and white picture tubes to colour. Secondly, the CRT was superseded by the digital OLED, improving the hardware visual user interface and which then got incorporated within the OLED screen within modern phone. Furthermore, the televisual screen stimulates cognition of senses from the motion imagery which became a popular advertising medium within the home and business environment, which has been a major breakthrough with education, political and economic industrial relations. Ideology has been objectified by the broadcast media within the televisual, effecting dialect and culture. Therefore, the historic integration of the CRT influenced society, broadcasting and the hardware user interface.


Reference List (Harvard)

Faltesek, Daniel 2011, “The structural transformation of the televisual public sphere”, PhD diss., University of Iowa.

Fry, Tony 1999, “A new design philosophy: an introduction to defuturing”, UNSW Press.

Hirst, M. & Harrison, J. 2012, Communication and new media: broadcast to narrowcast, Oxford University Press Australia and New Zealand.

Lozhkin, L.D. 2013, “Color distortions on the screen of a television receiver as functions of ambient illumination and a method for correction of these distortions”, Journal of Communications Technology and Electronics, vol. 58, no. 1.

Monaco, James 1981 (1977), How to read a film: the art, technology, language, history, and theory of film and media, 2nd edition, Oxford University Press, United States of America.

Schreiber, W.F., Schreiber, W.F. & Buckley, R.R. 1999, “Introduction to “Color Television-Part I””, Proceedings of the IEEE, vol. 87; 84, no. 1.

Shinar, J. & Shinar, R. 2008, “Organic light-emitting devices (OLEDs) and OLED-based chemical and biological sensors: an overview”, Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, vol. 41, no. 13.

Springett, M., Rice, M. & Griffiths, R. 2013, “Towards inclusive digital television”, Universal Access in the Information Society, vol. 12, no. 1 (November).

Yamano, M., Hinotani, K., Hayama, H., Kishimoto, S., Sugishita, S. & Matsudaira, M. 1985, “A color flat cathode ray tube”, IEEE Transactions on Consumer Electronics, vol. CE-31, no. 3.

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Copyright © 2016 Zoë-Marie Beesley

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