American Bell (New York, NY)

Remember Videotex? It was an early interactive online information service–an unrelated forerunner of the World Wide Web–that began in the late 1970s and lasted through most of the 1980s. Several companies provided Videotex services, which you had to access through their own proprietary terminals, which were microprocessor-based systems with a built-in modem and specialized software.

American Bell was the company that AT&T created to provide its Videotex service. The terminal provided to subscribers of this service was called the Sceptre. It included a small keyboard unit and a control unit that connected to your TV set. The keyboard/control unit connection was by infrared beam. Service was available in a limited geographic area.

American Bell Sceptre

American Bell Sceptre

American Bell Sceptre (1983, Videotex terminal)
Original Retail Price: $900
Base Configuration: RF video connector, 1200 bps modem
Video: 256 PELS x 200 lines
Size and Weight: 13w x 11d x 3.5h inches, 8 lbs. (control unit); 9w x 6d x 2h inches, 14 oz. (keyboard)



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