characteristics of television

Characteristics of Television: A powerful medium with far-reaching impact

Characteristics of Television

Television is one of the most powerful and influential media of our time. It has the ability to reach a vast audience and shape our perceptions of the world around us. Television can inform, educate, and entertain, but it can also be used to manipulate and control.

Television has both positive and negative impacts on society. Different characteristics of television make it such a powerful medium and make it a powerful force to influence our culture, our values, and our way of life.

An audio-visual medium

television as audio-visual medium

One of the most distinctive features of television is its ability to combine sound and sight. This makes television a much more immersive and engaging medium than other forms of media, such as radio or print.

Television is a medium that delivers an array of sensory information to us. It provides visual images, auditory sounds, and often emotional connections to the characters we see on the screen. As a result, this powerful combination of stimuli can profoundly impact our minds and emotions.

Features of other media

Television did not evolve independently but drew inspiration from other mediums, borrowing essential elements such as movement from the stage, the film camera, and the radio microphone. By combining these diverse components, television has become a uniquely innovative medium that continues to adapt to the needs of modern audiences. This amalgamation of influences has resulted in a dynamic and versatile platform that constantly evolves to meet the demands of its viewers.

Broad reach and high credibility

It’s a supreme medium of mass communication that has turned the world into a global village. It has turned our society into an information society. It has widened man’s mental horizon by humanising knowledge and making them feel like a citizen of the world. Its credibility lies in the fact that seeing is believing.

As per the FICCI & EY report on India’s media & entertainment sector released in April 2023, there were 120 million active pay TV homes and 45 million free homes in India. There are also 25 million Smart TV sets, of which 8 to 10 million are connected to the internet daily.

Because of its reach and believability, television has become a powerful medium for projecting the world of politics, sports, arts, personalities, events, and ideas.

A medium of the close-up

The size of the television screen makes it ideal for close-ups of human faces, expressions, reactions, and interactions between individuals. It presents interviews, discussions, and in-depth examinations of human emotions and relationships. This close-up perspective offers an intimacy that few other mediums can match.

A democratizing force

One of the most significant strengths of television lies in its democratizing nature. It is accessible to people from all walks of life, going beyond boundaries and catering to diverse sections of society.

Television plays a significant role in politics. Politicians use television to communicate with voters and promote their campaigns. News coverage of elections can also influence voters’ opinions. It can be used to promote social and political change.

Most television programs are created with the common man in mind, making it an inclusive medium that disseminates information, informal education, and literature to a broad audience.

Television can also be used to significant effect to educate and inform viewers. Documentary programs and news broadcasts provide insights into different cultures and perspectives and help stay informed about current events.

A living room medium

Television is more than just a screen; it is a medium designed for and around the family. Watching television often brings family members together, providing a shared experience and a platform for bonding. In many ways, it has become the centrepiece of our living rooms, facilitating family time and discussions.

A glamorous medium

Television often portrays a glamorous and idealized world filled with celebrities, fashion shows, and luxurious lifestyles. By showcasing the glitz and glamour of the world on the small screen, television has earned the title “the magic box.”

A medium of Immediacy

Television stands as the supreme reporter of our times. It can capture events unfolding, providing viewers a real-time connection to the world. Operating within fixed-time units, television demands discipline from performers, scriptwriters, and producers, ensuring that content is delivered promptly and accurately.

Advertisers Influence

In the modern era, television has emerged as a potent sales platform. Businesses leverage television to market their products and services, reaching out to a vast and diverse audience of potential and existing customers.

Television viewers are more likely to be persuaded by advertising messages than viewers of other media. This is because television advertising can use sight and sound to create a more robust and memorable impact.

Negative Impacts of Television

Television can also have several negative impacts on society. It can:

  • Promote unrealistic expectations and lead to feelings of dissatisfaction with one’s own life
  • Increase violence and aggression
  • Leads to addiction and social isolation
  • Promote unhealthy lifestyles and eating habits
  • Negatively impact children’s development


Television is a powerful medium that can have a significant impact on society. It is essential to be aware of television’s positive and negative impacts. Television can also be addictive. Excessive television viewing can lead to obesity, sleep deprivation, and other health problems. Television can also be used to manipulate and control people. For example, political propaganda and advertising can persuade people’s opinions and beliefs.

To reduce the adverse effects of television, it’s essential to limit the time we spend watching it. We should choose entertaining and informative programs and question the messages we are presented with.

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