Home Entertainment: The Advances

100 years ago the idea of finding cheap contents insurance to cover your home entertainment system would’ve been dismissed as mere poppycock. “Who’d want to steal our gramophone and library of books?” they’d guffaw. But a century on and nobody’s laughing. Revolutionary advancements in technology have seen the home entertainment industry boom; from sound systems to home cinema via games consoles and computers. We take a look back at the progress made by the human race over the last ten decades.

1910’s – 1960’s

In the early part of the 20th century audio systems were the big player in home entertainment. The radio became widely available to the British public and the airwaves were used as a major source for disseminating news and entertaining the nation. Gramophones were still common but as the decades rolled on they were gradually superseded by modern record players thanks largely to the popularity of vinyl LP’s triggered by the birth of rock and pop music.

By the mid 50’s black and white television had become a regular fixture in the home and over the following decade TV became the most popular form of home entertainment, instigated by the advent of the colour television set. To coincide with this period of growth in communal home viewing the first VCR’s were bought and sold during the 1950’s.

1970’s – 1990’s

As the century wore on the growth of television continued both in terms of popularity and quite literally in size. By the early 70’s half of all TV sets were colour and they had become remote controlled. Fast forward to the mid 1990’s and there were a billion sets in homes worldwide, while the latter part of this decade heralded the birth of giant Plasma and LCD flat screens.

In the late 80’s TV screens began tuning in to direct broadcast satellite television with the launch of BskyB, offering the audience an alternative to terrestrial channels. The home cinema experience was enhanced with Betamax and VHS players before the DVD player swallowed its competition, while Dolby surround sound was introduced for the first time.

Music consumption in the home was ruled by cassette tape Hi-Fi systems before CD players reigned supreme as the technology advanced and radio was still a popular medium, reflected by the first sales of digital radios.

The 70’s and 80’s saw the birth and golden era of the games console, led initially by Atari, then Nintendo and Sega, before the Sony PlayStation usurped its predecessors’ popularity by the middle of the century’s final decade.

Arguably the most important development in home entertainment during this era was the first sale of the home computer. By the end of the 1980’s IBM and Apple had both started production on desktop computers and this coincided with the launch of the World Wide Web in 1991.

home entertainment

2000’s – present

Gaming became more interactive at the start of the 21st century with the introduction of the Nintendo Wii, Xbox and third generation PlayStation allowing first for wireless remote control followed by motion tracking gameplay.

TV viewing become more sophisticated as the set-top digibox revolutionised televisual consumption by allowing the viewer to watch at their own convenience, while screens became HD and 3D and the digital switchover spelt the end for analogue terrestrial television. Blu Ray players were also born, enhancing the home cinema experience with higher quality visuals and sound.

Throughout this time the progress of computers continued unabated. At the turn of the century approximately 1 billion PC’s had been sold around the globe, while laptop sales outstripped those of desktop for the first time as the end of the noughties saw devices get smaller and more portable.

The exponential growth of the internet offered the web savvy the chance to consume all of their home entertainment through one source and at their own leisure, with films, music and television all available to stream online. This accessibility was further enhanced as the mobile phone developed into the smartphone and mobile tablet, allowing you to experience all of this entertainment in the palm of your hand.

This article was written by Adam Davies, writer for the cheap home insurance quotes comparison site Confused.com.

Photo source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hightechdad/6967904986/

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