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However video technology was to be deployed in analog television broadcasting long before it could become practical—or popular—for videophones.
During the first manned space flights, NASA used two radio-frequency (UHF or VHF) video links, one in each direction.
Many of these technologies, such as the Media space, are not as widely used today as videoconferencing but were still an important area of research.
The first dedicated systems started to appear as ISDN networks were expanding throughout the world.
The news media were to become regular users of mobile links to satellites using specially equipped trucks, and much later via special satellite videophones in a briefcase.
An example of that was the German Reich Postzentralamt (post office) video telephone network serving Berlin and several German cities via coaxial cables between 19.
The development of the crucial video technology first started in the latter half of the 1920s in the United Kingdom and the United States, spurred notably by John Logie Baird and AT&T's Bell Labs.
Very expensive videoconferencing systems rapidly evolved throughout the 1980s and 1990s from proprietary equipment, software and network requirements to standards-based technologies that were available for anyone to purchase at a reasonable cost.
Only in the late 20th century with the advent of powerful video codecs combined with high-speed Internet broadband and ISDN service did videotelephony become a practical technology for regular use.