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July 22, 1978 - Image 9

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1978-07-22

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The Michigan Daily-Saturday, July 22, 1978-Page 9

or a new
d sound'
ted states has some form of video system
'ng cable, video software, or prerecorded
Less than a decade ago, only one home in
such equipment.
cost of these systems may reach as high
00, but only for the more advanced
ery. The most economical form - cable
far and away the most popular. In most
cities and suburbs it is now possible to get
n movies piped into one's home for bet-
10 and $25 per month. This is a mere pit-
when one considers the cost of going to a
for a movie. Ticket prices are rapidly
ching the $4 mark, and then there is gas,
ting a babysitter, not to mention the in-
ence of driving to a theater and standing
new wave of television actually began with
troduction of the Magnavox TV video
in 1971. When the first units appeared on
rket they had only one game - ping-
Today, one can still play pong, but the
also offer a wide range of more com-
mes including poker, blackjack, and even
game pitting Darth Vader against the for-
NATION'S newest video toy is the video
sette recorder (VCR). With this device,
er can watch a show on one station while
a different station's offering for future
In addition, theVCR can tape shows
e viewer is out of the house, and with the
e of a movie camera, the viewer can
is or her own movies and show them on
ision set.
s are still a novelty, and as such their
s prohibitive - $1000 or more - but as
ome more popular the price tag will
much as the cost of sophisticated
tors dropped once they were mass
Wd and mass marketed. Some owners
ggested that to make full use of VCRs,
should run special programming bet-
and 6 a.m. that could be taped while VCR
are sleeping.
r innovation in the VCR field is the por-
Stem which allows one to make tapes in
Sony has already developed a model,
-cts to market them soon.
I this seems plebian when compared to
iristic push-button world of the Qube
which is currently being tested in
', Ohio.

ia qo ruxa nrm ustrates one xa m a ple of viewer par- and respond to programming. Also at left, tnis little girl
ticipation, and at left you see the Qube control box which seems entranced by the Qube show she is watching, proving
allows the reader to choose between 30 different channels, that TV is the opiate of the masses.
and also gives him or her the opportunity to participate in

At first, Qube appears to be nothing more than
another cable TV system. Subscribers pay a
monthly fee to see first run movies, and to have
more stations at their disposal. But Qube goes
lightyears beyond that.
Qube offers 30 different channels including the
standard fare: the three major networks, PBS,
and first run movies. In addition, Qube offers a
variety of special stations including all day
children's programming, live nightclub shows,
concerts, theater, and a 24-hour news station that
uses minicams to bring the viewer on the spot
reports all day long.
B UT WHAT really sets Qube apart from
other video systems is that the viewer can
react to the programming through use of the con-
trol unit's five special response buttons. The
viewer is told by an announcer what each button
represents, and the viewer's choice is relayed to
the Qube headquarters downtown, where the
votes of all viewers are tallied and then flashed
on the home screens. The possibilities this
represents are limitless.

participate in game shows and win prizes right in
their own homes. They can also take accredited
college courses, including the exams, through
Qube, and they can bid on television auctions and
register opinions on local and national issues.
One popular use of this system has been a form
of the Gong Show where the viewers actually
rate the performances. The viewers' opinions
can be tallied in 10 seconds, and if they disap-
prove of an act it is stopped midstream, just as in
the real show. They have also experimented with
viewer participation in sporting events. During a
football game, at a crucial moment, the viewers
are polled as to what play they would call, and in
a matter of seconds the vote totals for the
various choices appear on the screen. The fan
now sits back and waits to see if he or she agreed
with the coach. That's right, the coach still
makes the actual decision, not the viewers. But
if Qube has its way ...
Gary Geresy is a student at UM-Dearborn who is

C ur en ly, C o uMb s e si e n.uIg e r yrnalism classes in A nn A rbor.
Currently, Columbus resider"s- de'ai etu l °°oy

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