What Are the Differences Between TV and Radio?


Radio and TV are two communication technologies that blossomed in the 20th century. Television transmits images and audio while radio transmits only audio. Radio and TV and print were the significant mediums for human information until the advent of the internet in the 1990s.

History of Radio

The concept of radio initially began in the 1800s but achieved its breakthrough in 1895. That’s when a Nobel Prize-winning physicist and inventor named Guglielmo Marconi successfully demonstrated how to transmit and receive long-range radio signals, which laid the fundamental groundwork for all radio technology to come. This breakthrough was originally called telegraphy by wireless. 

History of TV

Television, originally known as mechanical or electronic television, began when inventors started experimenting with the idea of creating moving images via radio waves and then transmitted into a picture on a screen. A young inventor named Philo Farnsworth first showed a demonstration of this in 1927. 

Unfortunately, competitive concerns arose when David Sarnoff, the powerful head of RCA Corporation, found ways to infiltrate Farnsworth’s laboratory and steal his secrets for image transmission. This competitive skullduggery forced Farnworth out of the early competition for the launch of TV, and due to RCA’s money, power, and status, RCA head David Sarnoff has, for many years, been credited with launching the commercialization of television in the United States. 

Characteristics of Radio

Radio has key characteristics that make it different from television. One, it is an audio-only medium that is heard through a range of physical devices and more recently heard through the internet. Second, it was originally a more portable medium than TV, due to the easy to carry devices that broadcast radio waves. 

Radio is discerned by people by detecting audio signals through our ears. These sounds come through hearing, and we then can comprehend the words and music via the radio speaker. 

Characteristics of Television

Television has key characteristics that make it different from radio. One, it is a visual medium that until recently was accessed through standalone sets with screens that broadcast the images. Today, these TV images can be accessed through computer screens, tablets, and mobile phone screens via the internet.

Television’s role of conveying information with audio and images helped to turn it into the dominant communications medium for the past 50 years. Because of its revolutionary makeup, TV has garnered a greater share of commercial investment through programming and advertising money over the years. 

Broadcasting Today

Television and radio are still popular means of human communication, but they are more closely linked together as a result of the rise of the internet in the past 25 years. No longer are radio and television broadcasts only available through physical radios and televisions. Radio broadcasts can also be heard, and TV broadcasts can be seen and heard via the internet.

Today, these “streams” of broadcasting mediums can be accessed through the internet with a few clicks of a keypad. This evolution has helped to democratize how we communicate information to one another on the internet, leading to a new form of radio broadcasting called podcasting.