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Stern electronics factory video

strobey

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The source of this video is quite curious.

The machines on the line are Stern Alis which dates the footage quite nicely to 1980. The pins being played at the end are Meteors which were the previous title end of '79, so that stacks too.

But the transmission looks to me like analogue satellite tv because of the tell-tale black "sparklies" which you get when you're tuned very slightly too low. It goes white when you're too high if I recall.

Now i think 1980 is just too early for satellite tv. Pretty sure we didn't start to see it commonly until the mid 80s, maybe different in the US but they had cable for a long time.

If you search for "on Q" it was a show on WMAQ-TV which was a North American analogue terestrial station. Not satellite. So that backs this up somewhat.

Also, the recording is on an NTSC tape. The colours are terrible which is very typical of this coding system. PAL was far better, but only used in UK/Europe. So it was likely recorded in the US.

That fuzzy green band along the top I think is a capture issue when it was digitised and is probably not on the original tape. Cheap capture device or a tired VHS player I would guess.

That's the other thing. VHS recorders weren't commonplace in 1980. Very expensive.

So it's odd. Maybe it was re-run at a later date on satellite, maybe it was recorded by a Stern exec who had deep pockets and a VHS recorder.

If you think about it, who else would bother to record a 3 minute pinball segment? You only ever record news clips if they're personal to you, so Stern or a Stern employee does make sense.

Then how does Gizmonic get a hold of it? They have a ton of archive pinball vids going back, so unlikely it's theirs because why wait until now to upload it? Unless they suddenly discovered an old tape it in the attic.

Anyway.. fascinating when you dig down.

Maybe I should ask them...
 

Paul

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South Wales
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Toibs
The source of this video is quite curious.

The machines on the line are Stern Alis which dates the footage quite nicely to 1980. The pins being played at the end are Meteors which were the previous title end of '79, so that stacks too.

But the transmission looks to me like analogue satellite tv because of the tell-tale black "sparklies" which you get when you're tuned very slightly too low. It goes white when you're too high if I recall.

Now i think 1980 is just too early for satellite tv. Pretty sure we didn't start to see it commonly until the mid 80s, maybe different in the US but they had cable for a long time.

If you search for "on Q" it was a show on WMAQ-TV which was a North American analogue terestrial station. Not satellite. So that backs this up somewhat.

Also, the recording is on an NTSC tape. The colours are terrible which is very typical of this coding system. PAL was far better, but only used in UK/Europe. So it was likely recorded in the US.

That fuzzy green band along the top I think is a capture issue when it was digitised and is probably not on the original tape. Cheap capture device or a tired VHS player I would guess.

That's the other thing. VHS recorders weren't commonplace in 1980. Very expensive.

So it's odd. Maybe it was re-run at a later date on satellite, maybe it was recorded by a Stern exec who had deep pockets and a VHS recorder.

If you think about it, who else would bother to record a 3 minute pinball segment? You only ever record news clips if they're personal to you, so Stern or a Stern employee does make sense.

Then how does Gizmonic get a hold of it? They have a ton of archive pinball vids going back, so unlikely it's theirs because why wait until now to upload it? Unless they suddenly discovered an old tape it in the attic.

Anyway.. fascinating when you dig down.

Maybe I should ask them...
**** me, Inspector Detective Strobey..... :D
 

windoesnot

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Aug 10, 2014
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Lancashire
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Ian Walmsley
The source of this video is quite curious.

The machines on the line are Stern Alis which dates the footage quite nicely to 1980. The pins being played at the end are Meteors which were the previous title end of '79, so that stacks too.

But the transmission looks to me like analogue satellite tv because of the tell-tale black "sparklies" which you get when you're tuned very slightly too low. It goes white when you're too high if I recall.

Now i think 1980 is just too early for satellite tv. Pretty sure we didn't start to see it commonly until the mid 80s, maybe different in the US but they had cable for a long time.

If you search for "on Q" it was a show on WMAQ-TV which was a North American analogue terestrial station. Not satellite. So that backs this up somewhat.

Also, the recording is on an NTSC tape. The colours are terrible which is very typical of this coding system. PAL was far better, but only used in UK/Europe. So it was likely recorded in the US.

That fuzzy green band along the top I think is a capture issue when it was digitised and is probably not on the original tape. Cheap capture device or a tired VHS player I would guess.

That's the other thing. VHS recorders weren't commonplace in 1980. Very expensive.

So it's odd. Maybe it was re-run at a later date on satellite, maybe it was recorded by a Stern exec who had deep pockets and a VHS recorder.

If you think about it, who else would bother to record a 3 minute pinball segment? You only ever record news clips if they're personal to you, so Stern or a Stern employee does make sense.

Then how does Gizmonic get a hold of it? They have a ton of archive pinball vids going back, so unlikely it's theirs because why wait until now to upload it? Unless they suddenly discovered an old tape it in the attic.

Anyway.. fascinating when you dig down.

Maybe I should ask them...
E2C4E8FC-0CAE-473F-A60B-CCAA8F100900.gif.
 

wilbers

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180 machines a day? :oops:
It did have the rather crucial caveat of "up to". That said, looks like 1980 was a bumper year for Stern - add up all the machines released that year (although some of those may have been made in 1981) and total is about 25,000 so ballpark of 100 a day.
 
OP
Neil McRae

Neil McRae

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satallite was used to distribute programmes to cable TV franchises/head ends from about ‘76. C band IIRC still used in a lot of less developed countries.
 

Gizmonic

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That's a great post. Paging Ron Hallet to join the thread 😊
This video is from the Pingame Journal Media Clip Volume 1 DVD:


I'm also pretty sure the Williams 90's promo videos that are on YouTube are from Pingame Journal Williams promo DVD set.

Wish the quality was better on the Stern clip but I'm guessing it was probably recorded off the original broadcast in 1980 and what you saw is 2 - 3 generations of VHS tapes old. I like that they were running Ali and Big Game concurrently. A standard and a widebody. You also see Cheetah in development and Mike Kubin beginning work on Seawitch!!

Ron...
 

Jay Walker

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Maybe I could see who maladjusted a rollover switch on Ali; both of mine had the same hang-up/multiple scoring problem with the left hand side alley, which could dole out serious points.

Regarding production and development, a similar situation was shown in a British series 'Fields of Play', at the Bally plant the following year. Skateball and Xenon were in production (the latter was also being played by the design team), while Claude Fernandez explained design ideas of the whitewood which would become Flash Gordon (it had Xenon bumper caps). One of the Xenon team remarked, maybe tongue in cheek, that it was "one for the feminists".
 
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strobey

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Derbyshire
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Tim
satallite was used to distribute programmes to cable TV franchises/head ends from about ‘76. C band IIRC still used in a lot of less developed countries.
Yeah i did think that but they wouldn't be sparkley as that's kind of an artifact of home installs or cheap stb equipment.

Also cheers Ron the mystery deepens!
 
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