So what you think of this advice then?: http://blog.grammar.cl/English/television-or-the-television/. No need to answer, really, I know the page has no real authority.
Well, some of the examples are correct- we'd use 'the' if we were talking about the object- e.g. putting a glass on the television. But we can also use 'the' to talk about items that everyone understands what is being referred to. For example, 'I put it in the bin.' We don't actually know WHICH bin, we're just referring to the item in general. Same with television I think. E.g. 'Didn't I see you on the television last night?' - doesn't mean he was standing on the apparatus ;)
Well, I guess it's possible it's an American usage, but in the UK it's definitely fine, and something I say all the time. But I guess the rules they give wouldn't cause you to make a mistake as on television is also fine and it's more generalisable. E.g. in hospital (you're ill) in the hospital (you're focusing on being inside the building).
Programa na televisao=television show? Or a show on television? In my case I had to translate the Portuguese sentence to English. "Nos vimos um nova programa na televisao." given the English words listed, the only gramatically correct translation was "We saw a new television show". I would have translated as a new show ON television. Kinda different meaning?