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Supersense brings video on vinyl to life on any regular TV

Supersense brings video on vin...
VinylVideo playback is fashionably low resolution, in both sound and video, but it's sure to be a talking point at dinner parties
VinylVideo playback is fashionably low resolution, in both sound and video, but it's sure to be a talking point at dinner parties
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There's video in them grooves: Supersense says that the VinylVideo "is stored as an all analog stereo signal" on the record
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There's video in them grooves: Supersense says that the VinylVideo "is stored as an all analog stereo signal" on the record
The VinylVideo Converter (center top) sits between a regular record player and a regular TV and converts the analog signal picked up by the stylus into something that the television can read and output as sound and video
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The VinylVideo Converter (center top) sits between a regular record player and a regular TV and converts the analog signal picked up by the stylus into something that the television can read and output as sound and video
VinylVideo playback is fashionably low resolution, in both sound and video, but it's sure to be a talking point at dinner parties
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VinylVideo playback is fashionably low resolution, in both sound and video, but it's sure to be a talking point at dinner parties
Typical phono pre-amp connections around back of the VinylVideo Connector, with the addition of HDMI and Analog A/V Out
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Typical phono pre-amp connections around back of the VinylVideo Connector, with the addition of HDMI and Analog A/V Out
It looks like a normal vinyl record, but this VinylVideo disc has moving pictures embedded in the grooves too
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It looks like a normal vinyl record, but this VinylVideo disc has moving pictures embedded in the grooves too
VinylVideo playback is fashionably low resolution, in both sound and video
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VinylVideo playback is fashionably low resolution, in both sound and video

Supersense out of Vienna, Austria, has revived and refined an art project by media artist Gebhard Sengmüller and the company's Martin Diamant which sees users put a vinyl record on a turntable that results in sound and video appearing on a TV. Inbetween the two sits a VinylVideo Converter that converts what's picked up in the grooves into a digital video signal.

Supersense says it's always on the lookout for ways to combine the best of analog with the best of digital, and already cuts master vinyl in-house. The band of makers says that the VinylVideo "is stored as an all analog stereo signal" on the record and transformed into something a TV can handle by the Converter, which enhances the audio in the grooves and decodes the video signals and sends the whole shebang to a regular TV over analog or HDMI connectors.

There's video in them grooves: Supersense says that the VinylVideo "is stored as an all analog stereo signal" on the record
There's video in them grooves: Supersense says that the VinylVideo "is stored as an all analog stereo signal" on the record

The moving image magic happens inside a little black box developed in collaboration with Pro-Ject Audio. Since a digital video signal contains much more information than can be handled by any usual audio format, Supersense developed a completely new analog video signal format for the project.

Even so, the moving pictures coming from the setup are black and white only, and at fairly low resolution, and the synchronized audio track is mono, not stereo. But the turntable playing the classic-looking VinylVideo record can use Moving Magnet or Moving Coil cartridges and requires no modification.

"VinylVideo is an analog format that doesn't use digital compression at all," the product page explains. "As on traditional analog television, VinylVideo breaks up every picture into a picture lines. The video is stored as a stereo signal – and not as the usual video signal. That's why you need a 'translator' between the turntable and the TV: the Supersense VinylVideo pre-amplifier."

The VinylVideo Converter (center top) sits between a regular record player and a regular TV and converts the analog signal picked up by the stylus into something that the television can read and output as sound and video
The VinylVideo Converter (center top) sits between a regular record player and a regular TV and converts the analog signal picked up by the stylus into something that the television can read and output as sound and video

So where can you buy vinyl records with videos etched into their grooves? Supersense has a limited number of titles for sale, but you can also upload your own digital video files to be transformed into a 7-inch (4 minutes per side) or 12-inch (14 minutes per side) Vinyl Video master record.

The VinylVideo Converter is priced at €178 (about US$200), pre-recorded "Editions" titles come in at €16.90 and custom conversions start at €77. It's an expensive way to watch poor quality video, but is sure to be a conversation starter.

Source: VinylVideo

2 comments
Malatrope
Did I read this correctly that they are writing an <i>analog</i> signal? There must not be any engineers involved in this "art' project: a digital signal could easily be encoded into the audio range, and simply play back as an MPEG4 at any resolution you like.
john63
This is not that new. In 1927-1928 John Logie Baird recorded video on his Phonovision phonograph record. http://collection.sciencemuseum.org.uk/objects/co8085579/baird-phonovision-disc-1927-1928-video-recording