United States Patent for Subscription Television Decoder Unit, June 27, 1961

Summary

Phonevision, the first subscription television system, allowed people to watch popular Hollywood films at home. To order a film, viewers called an operator, who would send a signal over the telephone and into a descrambling unit, on top of the television. While there a few extra steps are involved, Phonevision was similar to today’s web-based "on-demand" streaming services.

Phonevision, the first subscription television system, allowed people to watch popular Hollywood films at home. To order a film, viewers called an operator, who would send a signal over the telephone and into a descrambling unit, on top of the television. While there a few extra steps are involved, Phonevision was similar to today’s web-based "on-demand" streaming services.

Artifact

Patent

Date Made

27 June 1961

Subject Date

27 June 1961

 On Exhibit

By Request in the Benson Ford Research Center

Object ID

90.1.1746.25

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift of Mel Boldt & Associates.

Material

Paper (Fiber product)

Technique

Printing (Process)

Color

Black-and-white (Colors)

Dimensions

Height: 11.25 in

Width: 7.875 in

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