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A 1950s television set

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Television set, often shortened to simply television, abbreviated TV, or boob tube as it was known in 20th century Earth slang, was a form of entertainment medium consisting of live action two-dimensional visual images with sound, to be watched by the viewer via a display module which translated broadcast signals into viewable images known as video. Most information was broadcast by way of a format known as "shows" or "broadcasts". Television shows were typically supported or subsidized by commercials and broadcast in the form of episodes. (TOS: "Bread and Circuses")


20th century

Caspar Caveman and a dinosaur

On Earth, the first television signals were transmitted during the first half of the 20th century, and it became a popular form of entertainment during the 1950s, especially for its news broadcasts. (DS9: "Far Beyond the Stars")

When a Vulcan survey ship was stranded on Earth in 1957 and 1958, Mestral became enthralled in the technology, and a form of cuisine that was associated with television, known as TV dinners. Conversely, his crewmate T'Mir considered television to be an "idiotic device." (ENT: "Carbon Creek")

When the USS Voyager traveled back in time to 1996, Neelix and Kes enjoyed watching Earth television shows, particularly soap operas. When Harry Kim expressed that he couldn't imagine a non-interactive (holodeck) story, Kes responded by saying that Humanity had been spoiled by interactive stories. Voyager itself was also accidentally broadcast on a Los Angeles-based news report after entering a low-orbit to make use of their emergency transporters. (VOY: "Future's End")

21st century

During the 2020s, the multi-function Interface slowly began to replace the television, as it combined broadcast television, e-mail and access to the Net. (DS9: "Past Tense, Part I", "Past Tense, Part II") This trend started in the late 20th century with the introduction of the internet. (VOY: "Future's End, Part II")

Television as a form of entertainment did not last long after 2040. (TNG: "The Neutral Zone")

Presumably it was superseded by the Interface, which eventually evolved into the commonly used communication and computer monitor found throughout the Federation, in homes, on starships, and beyond.

22nd through 24th centuries

In 2152, Trip Tucker was familiar with The Twilight Zone, a 20th century television program. (ENT: "Carbon Creek")

Captain Christopher Pike had a television set in his quarters in 2254, during his time as captain of the USS Enterprise. (TOS: "The Cage")

Video transmitted by the planet 892-IV

By the 2260s television was referred to as an antiquated form of entertainment. Communications Officer Uhura was somewhat familiar with the form, however mistakenly referred to it as "video", when the crew of the USS Enterprise encountered the form on the planet 892-IV in 2268. Empire TV was a television network on this planet. (TOS: "Bread and Circuses")

During the 24th century the term was mostly unknown, except to those who enjoyed 20th century nostalgia.

William T. Riker was unfamiliar with the slang term "boob tube" when L.Q. Clemonds wanted to watch a baseball game on a replicator, which he had mistaken for a television screen. (TNG: "The Neutral Zone")

In 2372, Neelix began his own television-style broadcast aboard the USS Voyager, which featured news, educational material and entertainment. (VOY: "Investigations", "Macrocosm")

The 2372 holosuite program, Julian Bashir, Secret Agent featured many artifacts of 1960s Earth nostalgia, including the television, (DS9: "Our Man Bashir") as did the 2374 holosuite program Bashir 62. (DS9: "It's Only a Paper Moon")

While living in the holodeck recreation of 1962 in Bashir's latter program, following the loss of his leg in 2375, Nog spent many hours watching television, including several movies, in the hotel room of Vic Fontaine. (DS9: "It's Only a Paper Moon")

In 2376, B'Elanna Torres gave Tom Paris a television as a gift, including a remote control. (VOY: "Memorial") Paris often enjoyed watching cartoons and hockey on it. (VOY: "Workforce, Part II")

The remote control that appeared in "Memorial" belonged to a Zenith Electronics "Space Commander Six Hundred Color TV", with the original "Zenith" name brand covered, but leaving the model name visible.

TV shows

External links