ATV Research was originally founded in 1964 by Mel Shadbolt and Richard Wright, both of whom were engineers for a local NBC affiliated TV station, KTIV-TV Ch. 4. It later became incorporated in the early '80s.
The original product line for the company was a focus-deflection coil kit which allowed home hobbiests to build their own vidicon TV cameras. Prior to this point, only a few extremely serious constructors had ever successfully attempted to build their own camera from the ground up. Focus coils typically contained over 5000 turns of copper wire and the deflection coils between 250 to over 600 turns. In addition, the precision in winding the coils was great enough to discourage most builders before they ever started. Assembled focus/deflection systems were cost prohibitive for most hobby applications in those days. With the advent of an economical set of coils in "kit-form" the picture quickly changed. The coils were sold with a complete set of do-it-yourself TV camera plans for building a 5-tube system. Of course, other product items quickly followed including lenses, lens mounts, video peaking coils, power transformers and other hard-to-find camera parts.
Within approximately two years, the company was offering a complete transistorized TV camera kit (a first in the USA). In order to better service the entire field of Applied TV and better reflect the real philosophy of the ATV Research company, other video products followed shortly thereafter including monitors, camera mounts, modulators, and much more.
One very important area in the early '70s was the Model XT-1A, Series D, TV camera with a built-in thermostatically controlled heater. These cameras were sold to many farmers and ranchers for monitoring the calving, farrowing and foaling operations. At that time, this was a fairly bold step in technology and had just begun to catch hold. Of course, other industrial and educational markets were wide open at that time, since economical cameras were still somewhat scarce.
In the mid '70s, the increased interest in microcomputers lead the company into the RF video modulator business. Early home computer users did not like the high cost of monitors. They wanted an economical way to hook their computers directly into the RF input of their TV sets. A video input on TV receivers was not yet a standard feature. Likewise, computers were not available with built-in RF modulators. This obviously prompted ATV Research to quickly begin manufacturing both assembled and kit form units. These were primarily for use with the new Apple and other similar microcomputers. These early modulators were sold under the trade names "Pixe-Verter," "Micro-Verter," and "Apple-Verter." They sold by the hundreds almost immediately. With no more than 40 characters per line, the home TV worked perfectly okay. Besides, in those first years, it was not uncommon for the entire family to participate together in a computer game or with some color graphics program...and what better way to do this than to watch it on the big screen living room TV?
Around 1979 the home satellite industry was just starting to take off with great seriousness and once again, ATV Research was solicited into developing and manufacturing one of the first assembled satellite A/V modulators, to be introduced by satellite pioneer Tay Howard, at the first satellite convention in Florida. Do-it-yourself was the name of the game up to this point in time. This was the birth of our "Micro-Verter II" series of A/V modulators. They were manufactured to cover VHF, UHF and cable channels. Thousands of units were manufactured over the following decade. During the early home satellite era, numerous other video products were also manufactured by ATV Research, including a variety of video bandpass filters and channel traps.
During the '70s and early '80s it was becoming increasingly apparent that there was a great need for a wider range of CCTV, MATV, and SMATV products. Each year the company was expanding its lines. With the ever increasing sophistication of the entire field of Applied TV it became very obvious that products were coming and going at an accelerated rate and in greater numbers of different kinds of product...quads, screen splitters, slow-scan, multiplexers, color systems, computerized controllers, etc. The need for a dedicated "Systems Distributor" who would not only provide the wide range of needed video products, but who could also design entire systems was in great demand. Thus the big change from R/D and manufacturing, to distribution and systems engineering. This all occurred over several years starting in the late '80's.
Today, ATV Research supports over 150 different suppliers of video products and offers design consulting services as a part of our day-to-day sales. With two major building expansion programs since 1991 and a fully networked computer system, as well as our entry onto the Internet, we now service a dealer-distributor-OEM-governmental-agency network of well over 7000 wholesale customers. The latest up-surge in the digital world continues to expand our product line to include the exploding field of Digital Video Recorders, DSP cameras, thermal, IR and standard vision cameras, plus a host of other sophisticated peripherals. In addition, we continue to support the complex fields of MATV and SMATV for both residential and commercial applications.
Business, some 46 years later, still carries our same major goals...GOOD, FRIENDLY, HONEST, FAST SERVICE...at discount prices...that's our goal - ALWAYS! Welcome to the ATV Research "Family" ...we look forward to serving you for years to come.
Mel Shadbolt, Pres.,
Opal Shadbolt, Vice-Pres.
Scott Shadbolt, Vice-Pres.
© ATV Research Inc. 1996-2010 All Rights Reserved.