In the seventies, Henry Kloss invented the Advent Video Beam Television. It was a CRT TV projector that allowed you to watch TV on a projected screen. This wasn’t the standard projector size we are all used to nowadays. They had to put an entire TV in this unit along with the projection system. So this machine was large, but on the plus side, the early models had an amazing seventies era Sci-Fi look.
Kloss would continue to improve upon the technology and by the dawn of the eighties was selling the NovaBeam Projector. The Kloss Video Corporation would continue to iterate on this technology until the later part of the decade with the release of the Videobeam 3000. The model they would probably be selling in this ad is probably the Novabeam Model Three or maybe the Model 100. I am guessing the Three is more likely, it was available widely in 1983 and this ad is touting its advantage while watching the 1984 Olympic games on it.
Sadly the form factor for the NovaBeam was streamlined and made more “early eighties”. Meaning it was squatter, boxier and had a wood finish. Normally, I like that style, but compare to the VideoBeam…well…it ain’t gonna win a beauty contest between the two.
Henry Kloss, who passed away in 2002, was an amazingly talented engineer and business person who was instrumental in the creation of the acoustic suspension loudspeaker and the high fidelity cassette deck. For his work creating the VideoBeam, Kloss would earn a technical Emmy Award. If you don’t think that Kloss’ achievements were impressive enough at this point, he also helped found two other companies that you probably heard of, Cambridge SoundWorks and Tivoli Audio.
I have never seen a VideoBean or NovaBeam in action, although I have seen a couple of them for sale at Flea Markets. The Video Beam is hard to miss because of its size and design style. Unfortunately everyone who I have found selling them has wanted more money than I am willing to spend on old tech. Still I keep my eyes open, because you never know when a good deal is going to pop up. And even if I might not pull the trigger on a purchase, I can still appreciate the find and the learning that accompanies it.