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The Memotech MTX Series

MEMOTECH

     Multi-Effect Video Wall    

Part of the 128 screen Video Wall in the Olympia Centre, East Kilbride - then the largest Video Wall in Europe, c.1990

The Video Wall in the Ecology Gallery at the Natural History Museum, London, c. 1991

 

Introduction

When the original Memotech company failed, Geoff Boyd continued marketing and supporting the MTX computer for a while, but ultimately, repositioned the business to develop and market the Memotech Video Wall system - a development of the Memotech HRX, a high resolution digital video frame grabber described on my dedicated HRX page.

Memotech Video Wall systems were initially made up of a Memotech Z80 computer (an RS128 or MTX512S2) with a minimum of 128K RAM, attached via the printer port to a black box (what else?) controller packed with electronics to drive a wall of video monitors. Some later systems were equipped with the MTX 2000 computer, before the company moved onto the industry standard PC platform.

A number of advanced Video Wall options such as time code synchronisation, mouse control, the "Reflex Controller" etc, required the presence of an RS232 board in the MTX. The "Reflex" controller used the RS232 interface to allow the operator to quickly select any of the available pre-programmed video wall control sequences using external devices such as an attached mini-keyboard or commercial lighting systems controllers, etc.

Cameron Video Systems (CVS) (now called Cameron Communications) were Memotech's exclusive distributors for the Video Wall system, initially for the UK and Europe, and later worldwide. (The User Manual for the Cameron Video Wall can be found on the Manuals page.)

Geoff recalls that the close relationship with Cameron was of great benefit to Memotech. Not only did Cameron have close ties with Barco, one of the leading monitor manufacturers, but, taking advantage of Cameron's experience in the field, Memotech were able to raise the standard of the Memotech products to broadcast quality to match the legendary quality of Barco monitors, with a price performance level that meant total domination of the Video Wall market for several years.

It was only in the latter period that Memotech Computers marketed Memotech branded Video Wall products. This was as a result of Memotech's desire to have their own brand name on the product and disappointment in not getting the credit for placing the product in many great locations worldwide. Geoff takes full responsibility for this decision, but with hindsight, now sees the severing of the exclusive relationship with Cameron as a vanity that did not serve the long term future of the business well.

The Memotech Video Wall business ran from about 1986 into the late 1990s. During that period, over 90% of its Video Wall controllers were exported out of the UK. Although over 2000 Video Wall controllers (3x3 equivalents) were shipped, the number using Memotech computers were probably about 500 or less. The MTX computer quickly gave way to using IBM PCs and compatibles as the Memotech Video Wall control system. Most of these 2000+ Video Wall control systems were shipped as "black box" controllers to third parties, such as Cameron, who branded them.

The Video Wall systems were installed before the WWW was in such widespread use as it is today, as a result, there is very little information about them available on line, or at least, in formats available to the current search engines such as Google. You can see the few systems that I have been able to identify on the Examples page and any related magazine articles etc. can be found on my miscellaneous library page. If you know the details of any other installed systems, please let me know.

 

For the technical details of the system, see my Video Wall Overview page
 

(Some of the Video wall information comes courtesy of Geoff Boyd, 09/11/2012, from his recollection of the Memotech Video wall business)

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