The Royal Television Society is a British-based society for the discussion, analysis and preservation of television in all its forms, past, present and future. It is the oldest and possibly the best-known television society in the world. It currently has fourteen regional and national centres in the UK, as well as branches in the Republic of Ireland, Canada and the USA.
The group was formed as The Television Society on September 7, 1927, a time when television was still very much in its experimental stage. Regular high-definition broadcasts did not even begin for another nine years until the BBC began its transmissions from Alexandra Palace in 1936.
The society held regular meetings, mostly consisting of scientists and engineers debating and discussing the development of television. It also published regular newsletters charting the development of the new medium, which now form important historical records of the early history of television broadcasting.
The society was granted its Royal title in 1966, and the current patron is HRH The Prince of Wales.
The society regularly holds meetings and seminars, attended by professionals from various areas of the television world, and it also publishes the monthly magazine Television, covering a broad range of television topics.
The society's highest profile event is the bi-annual Cambridge Convention, attended by delegates within the industry from all over the world. Other prominent events include the annual Fleming, Shoenberg and Huw Wheldon Memorial Lectures, which are delivered by high-profile television figures.
The Society also holds a vast archive of printed, photographic and audio-visual material of great value to television historians and scholars.
The Royal Television Society's Awards are one of the most prestigious acolades available in the British television industry, on a par with the BAFTA Television Awards. The annual Awards are decided by a jury of industry professionals, with a separate jury for each of the seven groups of Awards:
- Programme Awards
- Television Journalism Awards
- Television Sports Awards
- Craft & Design Awards
- Technical Innovation Awards
- Educational Television Awards
- Student Television Awards
Each group of Awards is presented at its own individual ceremony, usually sometime during the first few months of the year.
Official Society Site (http://www.rts.org.uk)