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Steampunk Broadcast Video Controller Actually Works, Only Plays Videos From 1932

by Paul Strauss

This wondrous steampunk contraption may looks like something out of an H.G. Wells time-travel story, but it’s actually modern broadcast video control system, concealed under the shell of a victorian-styled retro-mechanical facade.


Created by Hi Tech Systems, the Comptometer is a fully-functional broadcast controller for video mixing and editing software.


The intricately crafted controller was built using wood, brass, Bakelite, Nixie tubes, and other tschotchkes and even has some working mechanical components.


Not being a broadcast video expert, I’m not really sure how one would use this controller in the industry, maybe this video will give you some clue. Something about Grass Valley, Sony, Odetics and a gas turbine interchange – you figure it out.

[via The Steampunk Workshop]

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Comments (3):

  1. mandy says:

    that thing is a-mazing. what ever it is

  2. j s says:

    Well, Grass Valley makes hard-disk based cameras and Odetics makes hard disk based video libraries.

  3. Sean Williams says:

    Hi — I’d like to use the second photo in this post in a presentation to a communication organization — is that OK with you (assuming you have the rights to it?)

    Thanks very much,


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