Tangible Media: Removable Storage of Image, Sound, Motion and Data
Tangible Media: Removable Storage of Image, Sound, Motion and Data
Tangible Media: Removable Storage of Image, Sound, Motion and Data
Motorola Teleplayer (EVR)


Leo Beuerman


Gene Boomer (director)


c. 1970


Polyester film, magnetic oxide soundtrack


8.75 mm


CBS / Centron Corp.


New York / Lawrence, Kansas, United States

An early attempt at non-professional video. Also called Electronic Video Recording (EVR), although the device itself couldn't record. The video was actually high resolution 8.75 mm photographic film with one row of frames storing luminance (i.e., black & white) and a second storing chrominance (color information). If color wasn't needed, two rows of black & white frames could be stored for 52 min. of video. Mono or stereo sound was carried by magnetic stripes on the edges of the film. The images were read by a flying spot scanner and viewed on a television screen. The device was also able to freeze a single frame or advance frame by frame.

The teleplayer was developed by Peter C. Goldmark at CBS laboratories (he was also a primary contributor to long playing records.) It was targeted at non-consumer contexts like schools, businesses and hotels. Despite positive reviews it was not a success, possibly because it couldn't record. It was also extremely expensive— about $5000 in today's dollars. Finally, although the device had a handle, which implied it could be carried in one hand, at 50 lbs.(23 kg) that would have been a challenge.

Leo Beuerman, the subject of this particular film, was a disabled man who sold pencils on the sidewalk from a home-made cart in Lawrence, Kansas. He drove a modified tractor to get from home to his selling locations and lowered his cart with him in it to the sidewalk with a chain and pulley. Many people regarded him as an inspiration and this educational film, released in 1969, was made to honor his life. It was nominated for an Academy Award in 1970 for Best Documentary Short.

Left: back-lit film showing chrominance images on the left and luminance on the right.
Right: front-lit film showing magnetic soundtracks on edges.
A different instructional video. The covers pull apart in the device to access the film.
At left is the container for the film cartridge.