Visual media consists of photography, movies, and television. Each of them play an important role in mass media.
Photography has played an important role in our visual culture and has had continued importance in mass media. Photography has two main functions– surveillance and cultural transmission. Photography was used and is still used to day to verify facts. They are also used to tell stories through a single frame.
Technological changes have impacted the film and television industries. For one, the advancement in technology led to a popularity uprise in fictional genres due to the ability to produce higher quality material. In the development of television broadcasting, there were originally four channels that were distributed via terrestrial. Since this limited viewership to those with really great reception, cable television and satellite television was developed.
Cable was created for areas where reception was nonexistent so it was built into land, forming a “tree branch network.” Satellite is distributed to satellites on peoples’ homes for a more direct connection.
In the past years of people waiting for movies and tv shows to come out on DVD or streaming services, there has been a decline in movie ticket sales. This has led to a five percent rise in ticket prices across the United States and a push to make films in 3D to gain profits from glasses fees. Because of this, DVD rentals and sales become a huge money generator for films, sometimes more than the box office. An example of this is the film Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, where the film was a box office bomb, but it broke several DVD sales records.
The development of the television begins with the cathode ray tube, which was developed in the 19th century and was the beginning of audio and video transmission together. Then, David Surnoff demonstrated 411 television in New York and it became nationally developed after World War II. In 1948, there were officially four commercial networks: ABC, NBC, CBS, and Dumont, which no longer exists. Color television broadcast began in 1951. Digital television was being developed since the 1980’s and by 2009, all broadcasts were digital.
There’s been convergence with telecommunications companies and content companies over the past several years. With cable becoming less and less popular with online streaming and direct to home fiber optics, cable companies offering phone and internet services make the companies more appealing to subscribers.
In conclusion, visual media has been a apart of our society since the first photograph was taken during the civil war, and there’s no end in sight to it contributing to mass communication.