Experience TV

Who invented television and when did it begin in Britain? What does a vision mixer do? What did television sets look like in the sixties? Why do we have adverts on television and how much are we influenced by what we see? Find the answers to all these questions and explore the exciting world of television in our interactive Experience TV gallery.

The Race for Television

Objects from our Television collection illustrate the evolution of television. Understand the scientific principles behind television technology and read about its earliest pioneers. You will see John Logie Baird's original apparatus and learn about the development of television, from the first scientific breakthrough in 1877 to the evolution of colour transmissions, recording devices and satellite television.

Gallery of Televisions

In this section of the gallery you will see a large selection of domestic television receivers on display, taken from the world's largest collection of television technology. Use our interactive guide to learn about each TV set.

The Production Zone

Cast actors in a brand new drama, vision mix a soap opera, present the news, operate a camera in our mock-up studio and experiment with video editing. You can try your hand at any of these roles in our Production Zone. Learn about the chromakey technique and be the star of your own show - walk with dinosaurs, forecast the weather or hang out with the Teletubbies.

BBC Collection

Evolve, our flexible exhibition space dedicated to TV technology, is currently displaying a selection of objects from the recently acquired BBC Collection - an invaluable record of the growth and development of the BBC over the past 90 years. Explore some of the objects online.

Experience TV continues in the opposite gallery, across the staircase.

The Business of Television

Uncover the business behind the small screen and discover how television is funded, who decides what we watch and how the industry has changed over the years. You will learn about the art of advertising, and the three R's: research, regulations and ratings. We will explain the importance of scheduling, and you can try out our special interactive to see how many viewers your channel would get.

The Power of Television

Is television the most influential invention of the 20th century? In this final section, you will discover how television can shape our attitudes, knowledge and lifestyles, and reflect upon the importance of shared experiences. Learn about how television is used to influence public opinion and highlight important issues. Step into our viewing booth to watch iconic moments from the history of television; how many do you remember?

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