Movie Clip Of Cartrivision VTR Under Development
A few months back I was contacted by a fellow who told me that he had worked on the team who had developed the Cartrivision video tape recorder. He gave me a few interesting tidbits regarding the people who had developed the system along with some details. He also let me know that he had some video that he shot of one of the original machines being built. His name is Peter Berg. Well Peter recently contacted me and let me know that he had converted the original video (shot in Super 8) and transferred the contents to DVD format, and offered to send me a copy. Of course I took him up on the offer!
Here is some of the email correspondence that I received from Peter regarding the video and the project:
“I have located a few items of interest, including the original first handdrawn schematic by Fred Pfost who was involved in the feasibilty model build which was used by Frank Stanton cs to convince Avco to spend a bunch of bucks on the development. This prototype showed a little bit of fleeting video once - that was it. It utilized 1/4 in. tape and, of course, skip field recording. I also found the movie clips that I made to document some of the building of the first working model(s) and had those transferred to CD.
I headed up the Avco development group working in a secret Sunnyvale location; reporting to Harlan Bass, director of engineering at Avco Cincinnati (Evendale plant). We had 5 engineers, 2 technicians and a draftsman, all names have been recovered. The Barger name was the cover name for the development operation which was in a Barger-owned building. We never changed the name.
Mechanical and electrical engineering was expanded, mainly by people hired away from Ampex, and production engineering was started. At the same time, a color specialist was brought on board, to develop color recording and playback.
As soon as the demo to the board of directors of Avco corp was sucessfully made, Avco by means of their president Jimmy Kearn (sp) started pumping millions of dollars into the project.”
Peter Berg Enterprises LLC
Las Vegas, NV
Here is the video that Peter sent to me. The footage dates from 1969, but exact date is not known. The file is 7 mb. long so beware! Dial-up users who want to view more than once might wish to download the video to avoid having to wait a second time (it took me 25 minutes @ 49k) .
Thanks to George Steber for his help in converting/editing the DVD video for me. Make sure to read George’s excellent articles on the Cartrivision elsewhere on this site. Also be sure to check out Labguy’s World Video Page. His site deals with vintage video gear and he has a section devoted entirely to Cartrivision. He was kind enough to offer to host this video file as it was hogging up bandwidth on my site. Thanks Rich!