Heathkit IG-62 Alignment Generator Used with TV Game Unit #1, 1967

Description
This ordinary piece of test equipment played an important role in video game history.
In 1966, while working for Sanders Associates, Inc., engineer Ralph Baer began to look into new ways to use television, focusing specifically on interactive games. Baer had received his bachelor’s in television engineering and was familiar with television test equipment that could meet his needs while keeping cost down. This Heathkit IG-62 Color Bar and Dot Generator, which was used to adjust television sets, provided the key circuitry needed to create an image on a television screen. This allowed Baer and his colleagues to devote their time and attention to develop a way for anyone to be able to move that image.
In 1967, Baer created the first of several video game test units. Called TVG#1 or TV Game Unit #1[hyperlink], the device, when used with an alignment generator like the Heathkit IG-62, produced a dot on the television screen that could be manually controlled by the user. Once they were able to interact with the television, Baer and his team could design increasingly sophisticated interfaces and programs.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
generator
maker
Heathkit
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 10 in x 13 1/4 in x 11 in; 25.4 cm x 33.655 cm x 27.94 cm
ID Number
2006.0102.02
accession number
2006.0102
catalog number
2006.0102
subject
Computers & Business Machines
Family & Social Life
Popular Entertainment
Baer
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Computers
Baer
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Ralph H. Baer
Related Publication
Baer, Ralph H.. Videogames: In The Beginning
Additional Media

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