From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Broadcasting is the distribution of audio and/or video signals which transmit programs to an audience. The audience may be the general public or a relatively large sub-audience, such as children or young adults.
There are wide variety of broadcasting systems, all of which have different capabilities. The largest broadcasting systems are institutional public address systems, which transmit nonverbal messages and music within a school or hospital, and low-powered broadcasting systems which transmit radio stations or television stations to a small area. National radio and television broadcasters have nationwide coverage, using retransmitter towers, satellite systems, and cable distribution. Satellite radio and television broadcasters can cover even wider areas, such as entire continents, and Internet channels can distribute text or streamed music worldwide.
The sequencing of content in a broadcast is called a schedule. As with all technological endeavors, a number of technical terms and slang have developed. A list of these terms can be found at list of broadcasting terms. Television and radio programs are distributed through radio broadcasting or cable, often both simultaneously. By coding signals and having decoding equipment in homes, the latter also enables subscription-based channels and pay-per-view services.
The term "broadcast" was coined by early radio engineers from the midwestern United States. Broadcasting forms a very large segment of the mass media. Broadcasting to a very narrow range of audience is called narrowcasting.
Economically there are a few ways in which stations are able to continually broadcast. Each differs in the method by which stations are funded:
- in-kind donations of time and skills by volunteers (common with community broadcasters)
- direct government payments or operation of public broadcasters
- indirect government payments, such as radio and television licenses
- grants from foundations or business entities
- selling advertising or sponsorships
- public subscription or membership
- fees charged to all owners of TV sets or radios, regardless of whether they intend to receive that program or not (an approach used in the UK)
Broadcasters may rely on a combination of these business models. For example, National Public Radio, a non-commercial network within the United States, receives grants from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (which in turn receives funding from the U.S. government), by public membership, and by selling "extended credits" to corporations.
 Recorded broadcasts and live broadcasts
One can distinguish between recorded and live broadcasts. The former allows correcting errors, and removing superfluous or undesired material, rearranging it, applying slow-motion and repetitions, and other techniques to enhance the program. However some live events like sports telecasts can include some of the aspects including slow motion clips of important goals/hits etc in between the live telecast.
American radio network broadcasters habitually forbade prerecorded broadcasts in the 1930s and 1940s, requiring radio programs played for the Eastern and Central time zones to be repeated three hours later for the Pacific time zone. This restriction was dropped for special occasions, as in the case of the German dirigible airship Hindenburg at Lakehurst, New Jersey in 1937. During World War II, prerecorded broadcasts from war correspondents were allowed on U.S. radio. In addition, American radio programs were recorded for playback by Armed Forces Radio stations around the world.
A disadvantage of recording first is that the public may know the outcome of an event from another source, which may be a spoiler. In addition, prerecording prevents live announcers from deviating from an officially-approved script, as occurred with propaganda broadcasts from Germany in the 1940s and with Radio Moscow in the 1980s.
Many events are advertised as being live, although they are often "recorded live" (sometimes this is referred to as "live-to-tape"). This is particularly true of performances of musical artists on radio when they visit for an in-studio concert performance. This intentional blurring of the distinction between live and recorded media is viewed with chagrin among many music lovers. Similar situations have sometimes appeared in television ("The Cosby Show is recorded in front of a live studio audience").
 Distribution methods
A broadcast may be distributed through several physical means. If coming directly from the studio at a single radio or tv station, it is simply sent through the air chain to the transmitter and thence from the antenna on the tower out to the world. Programming may also come through a communications satellite, played either live or recorded for later transmission. Networks of stations may simulcast the same programming at the same time, originally via microwave link, and now mostly by satellite.
Distribution to stations or networks may also be through physical media, such as analogue or digital videotape, CD, DVD, and sometimes other formats. Usually these are included in another broadcast, such as when electronic news gathering returns a story to the station for inclusion on a news programme.
The final leg of broadcast distribution is how the signal gets to the listener or viewer. It may come over the air as with a radio station or TV station to an antenna and receiver, or may come through cable TV  or cable radio (or "wireless cable") via the station or directly from a network. The Internet may also bring either radio or TV to the recipient, especially with multicasting allowing the signal and bandwidth to be shared.
The term "broadcast network" is often used to distinguish networks that broadcast an over-the-air television signal that can be received using a television antenna from so-called networks that are broadcast only via cable or satellite television. The term "broadcast television" can refer to the programming of such networks.
 See also
- Broadcast license
- Broadcasting network
- Dead air
- European Broadcasting Union (EBU)
- History of broadcasting
- Internet radio
- Internet television
- List of broadcast satellites
- Nonbroadcast Multiple Access Network (NBMA)
- Outside broadcast
- Streaming media
- Television studio
- Kahn Frank J., ed. Documents of American Broadcasting, fourth edition (Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1984).
- Lichty Lawrence W., and Topping Malachi C., eds. American Broadcasting: A Source Book on the History of Radio and Television (Hastings House, 1975).
 External links
- Radio Locator, for American radio station with format, power, and coverage information.
- Arbitron Offers studies on American radio listening habits and basic station information.
- Answers to several questions about radio and television
- TVNewsday, Current news about the U.S. TV broadcasting industry
- Waveguide Broadcasting News
- SWDXER ¨The SWDXER¨ - with general SWL information and radio antenna tips.
- Broadcasting Timeline
- Stories about the inventions of Radio and television
 Further reading
- Barnouw Erik. The Golden Web (Oxford University Press, 1968); The Sponsor (1978); A Tower in Babel (1966).
- Briggs Asa. The BBC--the First Fifty Years (: Oxford University Press, 1984).
- Briggs Asa. The History of Broadcasting in the United Kingdom (Oxford University Press, 1961).
- Covert Cathy, and Stevens John L. Mass Media Between the Wars (Syracuse University Press, 1984).
- Douglas B. Craig. Fireside Politics: Radio and Political Culture in the United States, 1920-1940 (2005)
- Tim Crook; International Radio Journalism: History, Theory and Practice Routledge, 1998
- John Dunning; On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio Oxford University Press, 1998
- Ewbank Henry and Lawton Sherman P. Broadcasting: Radio and Television (Harper & Brothers, 1952).
- Gibson George H. Public Broadcasting; The Role of the Federal Government, 1919-1976 (Praeger Publishers, 1977).
- Maclaurin W. Rupert. Invention and Innovation in the Radio Industry (The Macmillan Company, 1949).
- Robert W. McChesney; Telecommunications, Mass Media, and Democracy: The Battle for the Control of U.S. Broadcasting, 1928-1935 Oxford University Press, 1994
- Gwenyth L. Jackaway; Media at War: Radio's Challenge to the Newspapers, 1924-1939 Praeger Publishers, 1995
- Lazarsfeld Paul F. The People Look at Radio (University of North Carolina Press, 1946).
- Tom McCourt; Conflicting Communication Interests in America: The Case of National Public Radio Praeger Publishers, 1999
- Peers Frank W. The Politics of Canadian Broadcasting, 1920- 1951 (University of Toronto Press, 1969).
- Alan Taylor. We, the media...", The Hollywood Representation of News Broadcasting, 1976-1999, Peter Lang, 2005, pp. 418, ISBN 3631518528
- Ray William B. FCC: The Ups and Downs of Radio-TV Regulation (Iowa State University Press, 1990).
- Rosen Philip T. The Modern Stentors; Radio Broadcasting and the Federal Government 1920-1934 (Greenwood Press, 1980).
- William A. Rugh; Arab Mass Media: Newspapers, Radio, and Television in Arab Politics Praeger, 2004
- Scannell, Paddy, and Cardiff, David. A Social History of British Broadcasting, Volume One, 1922-1939 (Basil Blackwell, 1991).
- Schramm Wilbur, ed. Mass Communications (University of Illinois Press, 1960).
- Schwoch James. The American Radio Industry and Its Latin American Activities, 1900-1939 (University of Illinois Press, 1990).
- Slater Robert. This . . . is CBS: A Chronicle of 60 Years (Prentice Hall, 1988).
- F. Leslie Smith, John W. Wright II, David H. Ostroff; Perspectives on Radio and Television: Telecommunication in the United States Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1998
- Sterling Christopher H. Electronic Media, A Guide to Trends in Broadcasting and Newer Technologies 1920-1983 (Praeger, 1984).
- Sterling Christopher, and Kittross John M. Stay Tuned: A Concise History of American Broadcasting (Wadsworth, 1978).
- White Llewellyn. The American Radio (University of Chicago Press, 1947).