European Stars and Stripes (Newspaper) - September 5, 1970, Darmstadt, HesseRevolution in Video
Latest innovation in Ihe recorder field is a wafer-thin video disc, developed by four engineers in
~r iHi.,-ni,<- n
receiver will cost roughly up to $275.It does not record.
A video disc revolves 1,500 times aminute, transmitting 25 picture frames
a second. The 1.500 frames needed for aminute of video record require about
two miles of track. And whereas a con-ventional phonograph record has 13 to
15 groves per millimeter, the AF.G-Telefunken video record has 130 to 150,
on a disc less than a tenlh of a milli-meter thick.
The needle is a minute diamond sty-lus a tenth of a millimeter in si/e;
a new process had to he developed iiiorder to produce it. As with normal
phonographs, the impulses transmittedfrom groove to stylus are convened in-
to electrical impulses.
T,HE BATTLE for A ideo playback su-
premacy, ncronling (o seasoned indus-
try observers, probably will be wagedon essentially two levels.
Early fighting is expected to centeron systems that offer only playback
like the phonograph. Later, a big mar-ket is expected to emerge for magnetic
video recorders that allow the user torecord broadcasts, cahlecasts. live ac-
tion and, of course, his friends' prere-corded cassettes.
The principal American participantsin the first stage of the battle are those
Iwo traditional foes in home entertain-ment, CBS and RCA — both of whose
video cartridge systems have the dis-advantage of not being able to record
on-air TV shows, as do Sony, Avco andPhilips models.
Despite past concentration on tech-nology, manufacturers now believe that
the video playback sweepstakes will bewon or lost largely on the basis of
content. Most manufacturers candidlyadmit thai few users would pay for pres-
ent television programming or wish toplay it over and over again, but they do
believe there will be a market for goodmovies, or movie highlights.
CBS has worked out arrangements toproduce KVR cassettes from the li-
braries of MC.M and 20th Century Foxand has suggested that movie' house
operators might sell cassettes of mo-vies in the lobby of theaters. RCA be-
lieves most consumers will prefer torent rather than buy movies in video
BOTH COMPANIES realize ifae enor-mous educational advantage that video
cassettes — which can he stopped,slowed, and rewound and replaved —
have over direct broadcasting.
Besides Broadway shows and movies,the first wave of video cassettes to
reach the shelves of Jiouseware stores,music shops and supermarkets will prob-
ably include cooking lessons, do-it-your-self projects and golf lessons.
But Tom Mcpermott, the man RCAhired to organize SelectaVision's pro-
gramming effort, believes video cas-settes will gp far beyond movies and
hobbyist advice. "We're going to winthis battle by doing what they're not
doing on TV.
"We'll give them Tanglewood and ex-citing conductors, opera, ballets and
moon landings. And there'll be a cas-sette-of-lhe-wcek and cassette clubs just
like you now have record clubs.
"Of course you'll have your stars likeSinatra, and Broadway .shows and Holly-
wood films. But you've got to keep inmind that there's a whole generation of
kids who grew up staring at the tube —kids feel comfortable with TV — so
you're bound to have lots of kid ma-terial like Sesame Street."
Only one phase in an expected uphea-\al in education, home entertainment
and communications, cassettes will
eventually also IK; rnail.il'le fur rent —\\hich many consumer*, may prefer to
"Enthusiasts insist." Time jnaga/jnereported, "that video cartridges in lime
will radically alter the status quo intelevision, motion pictures, liu-atr-r,
music, journalism, book j'uhhshinj: andmany other fields.
C O L I. E C, 1 A T E campuses of thrI'nilrd Slates, constituting a ptt(«*nt
"now generation" circuit fur show bu'-J-ness, will become Chis full ibr guinea
pigs for the \ideo cassette medium, re-ported the entertainment industry nctts-
Motorola-made haniuaiv will ;,;o nuosome 50 or so campuses Urmg hned up
around the country Suulrni uruci^ fi-.mire as the logical Mtuatsonv tu thus <-\-
pose the new medium to mass .njChnun-ing. Variety reporu-u.
CBS, for us part. v. iii la> on a srirr-lion of the software dunnj: the tnai j-.<-
nod — the film or tape canndgt- pro-gramming, both color and HUM an hro-ru-.
The campus tryoui, obviously nupor-tant if not necessarily a comhisnc U'o.
of cassette impact/ reportedly is t b.awarded 20-.vt»ar nom/on • ,
tracts to two Manhati;,,, ,opcriiilors. and auihort/. ,V
mew of cable TV onbidding basis in the f«»w ,.-.-..
In addition to smn;- i;,
for unpamlleied s**rs-i!.'.- '-,'
Publication: European Stars And Stripes
Location: Darmstadt, Hesse
Issue Date: September 6, 1970