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I would definitely say that the term TV is informal (while television is formal), however I have found "TV" in some formal compositions.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

It is somewhat more informal than television, but not very much so; while I'd certainly prefer television in most written texts, I'd not be shocked at reading TV either, perhaps not even in a scientific research paper. Others might disagree. In official documents, however, I strongly recommend television.

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a technical paper may well include an abbreviations page defining TV (and other abbreviations) and then go on to use TV in the main body – jk. Mar 1 '11 at 13:10
@Jasper Loy, I think on the European side of the Atlantic, the word refrigerator has all but died out. – TRiG Jun 17 '11 at 13:05

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