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The Camera Craft 


Music To Your Eyes 






4 


JANUARY 






I 


THE#1 MAGAZINE OF HOME VIDEO 

LITTLE-KNOWN FACTS ABOUT BIG-SCREEN VIEWING • YOUR RIGHTS AS A 
PROGRAM OWNER • THE ART OF VIDEO •NEW TECHNICAL COLUMN • 
THE VIEW FROM OUTER SPACE • NEW PRODUCTS: REPORT FROM BERLIN 

BERQER-BRAITHWAITE VIDEOTE8T8: 

MAGNAVOX VIDEODISC PLAYER • APPLE II COMPUTER • JVC PORTABLE VHS SYSTEM 

SHARP DUALVISION TV 



















































Editor 

■nK€ A^r 


vuiume inret‘. 


imner inire 




Managing Editor 

Rcim Adler 

Art Director 

HarvcY Hersk 

Associate Editor 

St«pli«fi Pec 

Senior Technical Editor 

IvM Rcrfcr 

Technical Editor 

iMKclot RraftiiweHc 

Programming Editor 

Ken Winslow 

Technology Editor 

Martin Mon 

VideoGram Editor 

Satan Marck 

Copy Editor 

Amy Mck 

Contributing Editors 

Robari Aerson 
Gary Mtt 
Amia Nats 
Ckarlanc Nomar 
Mil Nankcl 
Frank T. Lanay II 
Mkkaal Masdoni 
Jamas Roman 
Mer m an Sekraibar 

Graphic Consultants 

Craadva Concepts 

Art Assistant 

Andrew Wonf 

Staff Assistant 

Velma Rivera 




PRE-VIEWING THE 1980s 

Positive Media 35 

by Paul Heluian 

A historical, forward-looking statement on personal communications and 
yideo's role in, our evolution. 

Ron Hays: Portrait of A Video Artist 36 

What is it like to visualize music for a living? California artist Ron Hays and 
his Music Image company are exploring multimedia art forms that may 
result in new types of non-narrative entertainment. 

Music to Your Eyes 40 

by Jonathon Takiff 

For many executives in the record business these days, the secret word 
is "videogram." What's that? Take a pop music recording act, produce a 
videocassette of the artist (s) in action, and see how fast it climbs the 
charts. 

HIGH-TECH VIDEO 

The View from Outer Space 44 

by Martin Polon 

Soon we'll be enjoying the benefits of advanced transmission and recep¬ 
tion techniques originally developed for government use by military and 
space engineers. 

The Magic of Microprocessors 46 

by Christopher Weaver 

Micro-sized electronic brains-computer chips called microprocessors- 
can perform tasks with incredible efficiency and precision. Find out what 
they are, what they do, and what they will mean to you. 


New Product Report from Berlin 22 

by Stephen Poe 

3-D TV 50 

by Jesse Eichenlaub 


Photographer 

Rob OkiraMini 


The Video Environment 

by Dan Shannon 


42 


Publisher 

lay Rosanfiald 

Co-Publisher 

■mca Apar 

National Advertising Director 

Rmca Miskkin 

Circulation Director 

Max WoHf 

Marketing Director 

Tom Kofar 

Business Manager 

lanattc Ivans 

Assistant to Publisher 

Joyce Davis 

West Coast 

Advertising Representative 

Mil Slapin A Co. 

15720 Ventura Blvd. Suite 222 
Encino, CA 91436 
(213) 995-0257 

ABCKIT CKIR COVER 

Depicting this issue's look at the coming 
decade is a scene from "Prelude & 
Love /I^ath,” a 20-minute visualization of 
Richard Wagner s classical piece by artist 
Ron Hays, the subject of our lead story on 
page 36. A multimedia entertainment 
made with video, film, computers, and 
other technological tools, "Prelude" was 
produced in three cities and completed in 
1971 in Mew York. 


Video Manual: Little Known Facts About Big-Screen Viewing 48 

by Bernard Lee 


Video Programming Guide 18 

Edited by Ken Winslow 

VideoTests by Berger-Braithwaite Labs 24 

Ivan Berser & Lancelot Braithwaite 

Magnavox Videodisc Player 
JVC Portable VHS System 
Sharp 17" Dualvision TV 
Apple II Home Computer 


Columns 


CHANNEL ONE A Generation Grows Up . 

VIDEO PROGRAMMER Pre-Recorded Cassette Owne^^hip Rights 

TELEVIEWS Super Monday at CBS . 

THE TV OlHThe Camera Craft—Part I . 

VIDEOGRAM News Si Information from the World of Video . 

FINE TUNING Two Keys to Better Color TV. . 

ARCADE ALLEY Magnavox's Odyssey^ Games . 


.Bruce Apar 

.Ken Winslow 

.Arnie Katx 

.Bill Smolcn 

Susan March 
Stan Prentiss 
Bill Kunkel A Frank T. Laney II 


6 

10 

15 

16 
30 
53 
7« 


Departments 


FEEDBACK VIDEO readers air their views . S 

NEW PRODUCTS The latest in equipment Si accessories .54 


VIDEO Is published bi-monthly, plus Buyer s Guide, by Reese Publishing Company, Inc. 235 Park Avenue South, Mew York, 
M.Y. 10003. Single copy price $1.50 (1981 Buyer’s Guide issue $2.95). One-year subscription (6 issues) $9.00. Secopd- 
class postage rates paid at M.Y., M.Y. and additional mailing offices. ' .1979 by Reese l\iblishing Corhpany, Inc. All rights 
reserved, under Universal, International and Pan American Copyright Conventions. Reproduction of the editorial or 
pictorial content In any manner is prohibited. All material listed in this magazine is subject to manufacturer’s change without 
notice, and the publisher assumes no responsibility for such changes. Printed In the U.SA 



4 Video 





















l/fdeoGram 

News & Information from the World of Video 

— by Susan March 



Sears Remembers the Alamo 


For home owners in San 
Antonio, Texas, Sears 
Roebuck & Co. has suddenly 
become the place where 
America shops when it’s 
thinking of subscription TV. 

Last summer, an agreement 
was signed between Video 
Entertainment, broadcasters 
of the Showtime 
subscription-TV service, and 
Sears for the giant retailer to 
handle the marketing, installa¬ 
tion, and financing of services 
to the home market in the 
Alamo City. Video Entertain¬ 
ment will continue to service 


apartment dwellers. 

Showtime service, unlike 
cable TV, offers movies and 
other entertainment over- 
the-air like regular TV stations, 
thus eliminating the need for 
any special cable wiring. Ail 
that Is required Is a special an¬ 
tenna and decoder on the roof 
of a home to pick up the pro¬ 
gramming. 

Offered on a two-year sub¬ 
scription basis to homes. 
Showtime costs $ 18 a month, 
including a one-time installa¬ 
tion fee and service mainte¬ 
nance. Fourteen to twenty 


movies and shows from 
Broadway and Las Vegas are 
being shown each month, 
running 5 P.M. to 2 A.M. during 
weekdays and about 2 P.M. to 
2 A.M. on weekends. Each 
weekday, about three to four 
different programs are fea¬ 
tured: on weekends the variety 
runs to five or six. Each pro¬ 
gram is shown five to ten diffe¬ 
rent days throughout the 
month. 

Subscribers of the new 
home service deal only with 
Sears—from installation to 
service maintenance. Sub¬ 


scribers can even say 
“Charge it!” if they have a 
Sears credit card. 

Both Video Entertainment 
and Sears are confident the 
service will be a success: 
executives point out that com¬ 
petition from cable (which can 
be used concurrently) is some 
three to four years off before 
the city is completely wired. 

Sears offers a similar over- 
the-air subscription-TV service 
in Los Angeles, and is signing 
on subscribers at the rate of 
about 5000 a month. 



NBC Says: “ 

In the face of shrinking pro¬ 
fits. plummeting Mielsen rat¬ 
ings and a behind-the-scenes 
corporate shake-up. Fred Sil¬ 
verman, the controversial 
head of the Mational Broad¬ 
casting Company, said MBC 
will not follow the lead taken by 
ABC and CBS in offering new 
types of video programming 
for home viewing. 

Silverman has nixed the 
idea of involving the network in 
programming for cable, vid¬ 
eodisc, and the like primarily 
because of his belief that “we 
[NBC] are broadcasters and 
we are going to remain broad¬ 
casters." Instead, he told the 
California Broadcasters As¬ 
sociation, he’s going to make 
better use of NBC program¬ 


ming to compete with the new 
technologies. 

Silverman bases much of 
his strategy on an NBC study 
that concluded that the out¬ 
look for the basic broadcast 
medium is very favorable. One 
prediction reached by NBC re¬ 
searchers is that during the 
next ten years commercial TV 
will remain “America’s first 
choice.” In fact. Silverman 
claims that by the latter part of 
the decade, TV broadcasting 
may very well achieve a 100 
percent saturation in Ameri¬ 
can homes—reaching about 
89 million households. 

The study goes on to predict 
a 30 percent penetration for 
cable by 1988, a 12 p>ercent 


penetration for pay-cable, and 
a meager 4 percent for over- 
the-air subscription TV. 

Turning to new consumer 
video equipment, the NBC re¬ 
port concluded that during this 
same time frame, only 15 per¬ 
cent of G.S, households will 
have VCRs compared with 20 
percent for videodisc players. 
Video games should be in 20 
percent of G.S. homes, while 
home computers may reach 
about 10 percent. 

Silverman s confidence is 
further fueled by a belief that 
these new technologies just 
won t be able to devote as 
many dollars for program¬ 
ming as the Big Three net¬ 
works, especially in news 
coverage. 


New Look for 
Old Operation 

Big-screen TVs, cameras, 
VCRs, computer games, and 
TV sets from every major 
supplier are on display in this 
newly designed Video Salon at 
Columbia Audio/Video in 
Highland Park, Illinois. 

The headquarters store for 
the 32-year-old, four-store 
electronics specialty business 
has over 10,000 sq. ft. of show¬ 
room space, vice-president 
Gene Kahn told VIDEO. 

Reflecting increased public 
interest In all forms of home 
entertainment, Kahn noted the 
store’s grand opening was in 
conjunction with the com¬ 
pany’s updated image. The 
new name was formed when 
two sister divisions, Columbia 
Video Systems and Columbia 
Hi-Fi & TV, joined forces to 
create a more unified identity. 

The Video Salon also 
houses a full-scale production 
studio, featuring industrial and 
professional equipment. 



Video 




























Intellivision, with its au- 
dio/video connection to the 
TV set, has been described as 
providing the transition be¬ 
tween the video game and 
home computer. The basic 
system consists of a 16-bit 
microprocessor master com¬ 
ponent and two hand-held 
controllers. Users can play 
action-oriented games or work 
with educational programs. 

The addition of a keyboard 
component converts the sys¬ 
tem into an interactive com¬ 
puter, with pre-programmed 
cassettes offered In financial 
management, health, and per¬ 
sonal improvement. 

“The Intellivision system 
meets a rapidly growing need 
in the market as color TV 
evolves from a purely off-the- 
air receiver to a device that 
provides for multiple use 
under the control of the view¬ 
er, ” Shepherd said. 

GTE Is also involved in other 
uses for the TV set, most nota¬ 
bly Viewdata in the U.S. and 
Canada. Viewdata is a data 
base information system that 
enables users to view color text 
and graphics on a variety of 
topics, transmitted over tele¬ 
phone lines to home video 
terminals. 

At the time we spoke with 
them, Sylvania had not yet 
priced the Intellivision master 
component nor the keyboard 
due this month. However, 
Mattel’s system Is about $300 
to $350, and an official at that 
company said the keyboard 
and one free cassette would 
bring the total package to 
$550 to $650. Cartridges run 
from about $20 to $25. 

Turning to the videodisc. 
Shepherd told VIDEO that he 
sees Its principal purpose as 
enhancing the audio portion of 
programs (In addition to pro¬ 
viding the visual image). 
“People,” he commented, ‘“will 
no longer be required to be 
glued to the screen to get 
full enjoyment of their pro¬ 
grams. I’d assume that Syl¬ 
vania will be in the videodisc 
business during the 1981- 
1982 period, when Its usage 
will have wider appeal. I think 
the disc phenomenon will take 
off quickly, and will be outsel¬ 
ling VCRs by 1983. ” For Syl¬ 
vania, Shepherd sees a system 
In the $400 price range. 

“But I do see a future for 
both the VCR and disc. VCR 
seems to be essentially a 
time-shift device or a home 
photography system. The disc 
player’s purpose will be to only 
play pre-recorded material.” 


Sylvania Plans Future 
in Computers, Videodisc 


“ During my career I’ve al¬ 
ways been interested in the 
application of better methods 
for consumer participation in 
video and audio areas. 

‘“I’ve also had a long-time 
interest in the evolution of 
equipment and software for 
entertainment and educa- 
tiond purposes. 

“ I’m glad to see that enter¬ 
tainment and education for the 
consumer marketplace are fi¬ 
nally moving along parallel 
lines.” 

Speaking is Thomas R. 
Shepherd, senior vice- 
president and general man¬ 
ager of GTE Entertainment 


Products, makers of Sylvania 
and Philco brand items. Last 
fall. Shepherd helped push his 
company one more step in 
that entertainment/educa¬ 
tional direction. 

In October, General Tele¬ 
phone & Electronics began 
selling, under the Sylvania 
label, the Intellivision 
computer-based home en¬ 
tertainment and information 
processing system first shown 
by Mattel Electronics. 

GTE has been working on 
the project for about two years, 
and produces the hardware for 
both labels in its Circuits Pro¬ 
ducts division. 


A Videodisc that 
Records, Too 

A report that appeared last 
year in a Japanese business 
periodical said that work Is 
being conducted by Mat¬ 
sushita Electric (parent of 
Panasonic and Quasar) to de¬ 
velop recording capability on 
the laser-type optical pickup 
videodisc system. This Is the 
type developed by 
Philips/MCA, and Is now being 
sold by AAagnavox and shortly 
by U.S. Pioneer. 

What makes this news even 
more interesting is the fact that 
in the so-called disc war being 
waged between the optical and 
stylus-type pickup propo¬ 
nents, Matshushita has shown 
only prototypes of systems 
using stylus-type pickup. 

According to the report, 
Matsushita is working on al¬ 
tering the strength of the laser 
beam to make it possible to 
both record and reproduce 
information—just like a VCR. 

But like any other research 
and development work, it may 
be years before we see this 
technology in stores. Right 
now, Matsushita has repor¬ 
tedly only gone so far as to 
achieve success with still im¬ 
ages. 



The 

1980 Redwood 
Olympics 


The Olympic spirit has hit 
Redwood City, California, the 
home base of Ampex Corp., 
which just happens to be the 
official supplier of videotape 
recorders, slow-motion disc 
recorders, and magnetic re¬ 
cording tape for the 1980 
Moscow Olympics. 

Pictured here are members 
of the company’s Runners 
Club working out in their new 
Ampex Olympic T-shirts. 


Video 33 











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ArcadQ Aliev 

A Critical Look at Video Cartridge Games & Programs 

by Bill Kunkel & Frank T. Laney II 



MAGNAVOX 

ODYSSEY^ 

• Speedway 

• Spin-Out 

• Crypto-logic 

• Baseball 

• Cosmic 
Conflict 


Pioneering doesn’t always turn out to 
be an advantage—as has certainly proven 
to be the case with Magnavox in the area 
of home arcades. 

It was that company’s “pre-wired” 
Odyssey that paved the way for today’s 
sophisticated programmable game 
machines and did much to create en¬ 
thusiasm for home arcades, but that early 
unit was undeniably riddled with design 
shortcomings. It was the competitors, 
who flooded the game market in the wake 
of the trailblazing Odyssey and offered 
more technologically advanced units, 
who captured the lion’s share of the busi¬ 
ness. 

Odyssey^ is the first programmable 
game machine from Magnavox. But 
rather than charge in blindly again, the 
company has evidently labored long and 
hard to create a truly outstanding state- 
of-the-art home video arcade. In fact, this 
machine may well be the best value In its 
price class (it retails for $179.95), and it 
boasts features previously found only on 
more expensive units. 

The SPEEDWAY/SPIN-OGT/ 
CRYPTO-LOGIC game comes packed 
with the Odyssey^ and is a good showcase 
for the machine’s capabilities. The trio of 
contests provides a pleasing variety of ac¬ 
tion well calculated to whet the arcade 
addict’s appetite for more. 

Speedway is a home electronic ver¬ 
sion of the driving game that has been a 
staple of amusement arcades for several 
decades. Competing against a two- 
minute time limit, the player steers an 
auto down a road to score points while 
attempting to avoid time-consuming 
crashes with oncoming cars. There is a 


Bill Kunkel is a N.Y.-based writer and veteran video 
game hustler. Frank T. Laney II is a freelance writer 
specializing in pseudonyms. 


choice of two game speeds, but the 
slower one is too easy to use except as a 
learning tool. 



Driving in the fast lane is another mat¬ 
ter. Players will be hard-pressed to score 
more than 4200 out of the possible 5000 
points before time runs out. ZIgging and 
zagging back and forth across the road 
may look like the best route to a high 
score, but most drivers will find hugging 
the right shoulder of the road to be more 
productive in the long run. Go full speed at 
all times and concentrate on whipping 
around cars rather than braking to avoid 
them. 


Spin-Out pits two players against each 
other in a high-speed race around an en¬ 



closed track. There is a good range of 
game variations for this one: two speeds, 
two different race lengths, and a pair of 
raceways. It is strongly recommended 
that players practice with the slower speed 


72 Video 

































until they can zip through fifteen laps in 
about three minutes before trying the fast 
cars. Though Spin-Out is best with two 
players, you can drive solitaire too, playing 
against the clock. 

Ciypto-logic is a variant of Hangman. 
One contestant encodes a word or phrase 
and the other player attempts to dope it 
out letter by letter. The person who de¬ 
ciphers the message in the fewest tries is 
the winner. This game might be an easy 
way for parents to help their school-age 
children with their spelling. 



FOOTBALL 


PLAYER 

3 


FRAME 

1 


BOWUNQ 


Some Other Games 
Offered by Magnavox 


BASEBALL is the closest thing to the 
national pastime ever offered to home 
video game enthusiasts. The Odyssey^ 
version simply provides more options for 
both fielding and hitting teams than rival 
baseball cartridges. 

Pitching is an important part of the 
game, though it is not completely domin¬ 
ant as in some arcade baseball games. 
You can throw curves, change-ups, 
fastballs (not recommended since the 
machine is no Molan Ryan) and screw¬ 
balls. It s even possible to hurl a baffling 
knuckler by rotating the joystick in a tight 
(continued on page 84) 


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Video 73 









































Name 


Address 



type of integral photography system. 

Integral photographic systems do not 
require the use of lasers, and they are easy 
for computers to work with, so they will 
probably see a wide application as soon 
as they are fully developed. Mo such de¬ 
vices have been built in the G.S., but ITT 
holds a patent for one variation that was 
intended to be used as a radar display. 

Even as early as the first several years of 
the 1980s, the TV networks will have the 
capability to start broadcasting in stereo¬ 
scopic 3-D, which you can watch wearing 
special glasses. In the meantime, the 
X-ray technicians, professional computer 
operators, and electronics engineers will 
be getting their hands on fancier, expen¬ 
sive 3-D sets for non-commercial use. As 
is usually the case, not too many more 
years will pass before the video games 
people and the home computer com¬ 
panies, and maybe even home video 
oriented companies, get their hands on 
the new technology. So by the turn of the 
century you might be watching the Dallas 
Cowboy cheerleaders dance on your liv¬ 
ing room rug, or turning your den wall into 
a picture window behind the Yankees' 
home plate. 3-D tennis, anyone? Q 


Arcade Alley 

continued from page 73 


circle to the left or right Immediately upon 
releasing the pitch. 

The team in the field may position the 
three outfielders prior to making a pitch, 
and the joystick reverts to controlling the 
same trio of players should the batter hit 
the ball. Infielders are stationary, but they 
will catch balls hit in their direction. 

Once a fielder gets to a batted ball, his 
throw can be directed to any base at the 
fielding team manager's option. (Habitu¬ 
ally throwing behind the runner is a sure 
ticket to a lopsided loss, just as in real-life 
baseball.) The ability to control throws to 
the bases makes it possible for Magnavox 
to give the team at bat several baserun¬ 
ning choices. Runners can advance after 
a long fly ball or even stretch a hit by 
taking the extra base. 

Unfortunately, all runners must either 
advance or hold their bases in unison. For 
example, with men on first and third, a 
long fly out may well not score the lead 
runner, because the one on first, au¬ 
tomatically forced to bolt for second at the 
same time, would be a sitting duck. It’s 
also much easier for an outfielder to make 
such a play at second in this game than in 
real baseball. This is worth keeping in 
mind if you don’t want your team’s big 
inning to be nipped in the bud by reckless 
baserunning. 

The cartridges, retailing at $19.95, 
feature a pleasing mix of games, includ¬ 
ing several challenging math and word 
contests. The major gaps in the current 
software line are the total absence of pad¬ 


dle games—Odyssey ^ uses the joystick 
for everything—and a scarcity of solitaire 
games. Periodic new releases may even¬ 
tually solve these problems, however. 

COSMIC CONFLICT is a classic 
space battle that brings the flavor of Star 
Wars to the home screen. In this solitaire 
contest, the player is captain of a 
spaceship cruising a galaxy filled with 
tempting targets and merciless enemy 
starfighters. The mission: destroy the ten 
transports and five guarding starfighters 
before expanding your ship’s energy sup¬ 
ply of 1000 megajoules. Ordinary space- 
flight costs 1 megajoule a second, each 
burst from your laser cannon uses 10 
megajoules of power, and it costs 50 
megajoules every time your defensive sc¬ 
reen saves you from disintegration at the 
hands of an onrushing starfighter. 

The two types of enemy ships, trans¬ 
ports and starfighters, pose vastly diffe¬ 
rent problems. As the player steers his 
ship “up” or "down, ” transports enter 
from the left or right and cross the view- 
screen. Though the transports zip by at a 
variety of angles, all will eventually cross 
the screen horizontally if players keep 
steering in the same direction long 
enough. Shooting at a transport while It 
diagonally bisects the screen burns up 
megajoules at a furious rate—and the 
chance of scoring a hit is slender. Re¬ 
member, a missed laser blast equals 10 
full seconds of space cruising. Squan¬ 
dering three or four shots on each de¬ 
fenseless transport will leave the player 
short of power near the end of the game. 

The starfighters, on the other hand, are 
far from defenseless. Equipped with warp 
drive, they materialize on the screen to a 
blaring buzzer and a flashing “alert” sign, 
and rush the player’s ship from a bewil¬ 
dering variety of directions. The star¬ 
fighters will close and fire unless the 
player takes suitable evasive action. (A 
starfighter can’t destroy your ship out¬ 
right, but the 50-megajoule cost every 
time defensive shields energize is penalty 
enough in a time-limit game like this.) 

At the end of each game, when the 
enemy is destroyed or there’s no more 
power, the computer flashes an approp¬ 
riate message from Star Command. Los¬ 
ers are forced into retirement or called 
home for a court-martial, while successful 
star pilots get a pat on the back and, 
sometimes, a promotion to commodore. 

The best strategy is to eliminate trans¬ 
ports as the chance for an easy shot arises 
while hunting for starfighters, particularly 
easy-to-track ones heading right for your 
position. Don’t be afraid to evade a star¬ 
fighter that is approaching from an un- 
hittable angle, since avoiding use of the 
defensive shield Is the key to winning. 

Wiping out the entire enemy fleet with 
400 or more megajoules remaining In the 
energy supply is an excellent game. Pul¬ 
ling off the same trick while burning 300 
or less power units Is a feat worthy of Luke 
Skywalker himself. 


84 Video