June 10, 1993
by Michael McGinnis
When companies and schools find themselves with more demand for videos than trained staff to handle it, they're turning to a new automated video system that lets viewers choose and play their own programs from a central library. Distributed in South and Central Texas by Texas Video Sales, the TiltRac system is catching the imagination of corporate trainers, health educators, coaches, hotel managers and retailers.
From any location in the network, the TiltRac system can automatically retrieve and play back as many as nine different videotapes at one time. It converts any closed circuit or cable television network into an interactive, on-demand video playback system that can manage a tape library with up to 220 standard VHS videos and nine video players. (An expanded system can handle 18 players). All a viewer needs is a television hooked up to the central TiltRac system. Rewinding, cleaning and tracking adjustments are automatic.
Customized interactive menus on the viewer's television screen guide him through the steps necessary to start the system, call up a list of available videos and pick one to play from the system's library. The order can be placed using the TiltRac remote control or even a touch tone phone. After he makes his selection, his video begins playing within 60 seconds. An optional interactive controller allows the user to stop, rewind, fast-forward, search or pause the program.
Another menu-driven program helps managers evaluate system usage and performance by providing information on the number of titles shown, total viewing time, most popular programs and a list of who has used the system during any given period. The TiltRac Corporation can customize the system, information screens or formats for unique needs; for example, professional certification programs or pay-per-view systems. Some TiltRac systems will even record programs from cable or satellite and store them for future viewing.