Finiscope Proves a Real Boon to Roosevelt Raceway Patrons: Large TV Screen at Top of Stretch Provides Distant Fans, Daily Racing Form, 1955-06-01


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: .__ . tr: i , Finiscope Proves a Real Boon To Rooseyelf Raceway Patrons Large TV Screen at Top of Stretch Provides Distant Fans With View of Finish . WESTBURY, N. Y., May 31.— After a thorough test of more than three weeks, the problem that has haunted sports promoters for years — trying to provide a good seat for all the paying customers in the house — has been just about solved at. Roosevelt Raceway. The installation of Finiscope, a new projection-television process, at the Westbury harness racing track has made it possible for patrons to see the finish of all races from practically anywhere in the plant. During the short time it has been in operation here, Finiscope has proved immensely popular with the racing fans. Alvin L. Weil, secretary of thetrack, summed it up by saying, "Finiscope admirably answers the question of how to give fans at the top of the stretch the complete picture of the race at the finish line. Previously, there was much guesswork as to the actual winner. With Finiscope, the picture in front of them tells the story." Screen is 20 Feet Square r At present, the only Finiscope screen in operation at Roosevelt is strategically placed at the head of the stretch. It is 20 feet square, giving patrons in the bleacher seats and in the far end of the grandstand a close-up view of the finish, which is a bit more than an eighth of a mile away. So popular is Finiscope since its introduction here that Roosevelt officials are now contemplating the installation of additional screens at various key points beneath and behind the grandstand. Essentially, Finiscope is a closed circuit television system which projects the finish of all races on a huge screen. It brings the finish of a .race to fans not in a position to see the actual conclusion of the event. As its name implies, Finiscope is concerned only with the final stage of a race, Only the last furlong of a contest is flashed on the screen, bringing a close-up view of -the field as it turns for home. The television camera employed in the process is equipped with a special lens which enables it either to show a close-up view of the leading horses or the entire field, depending on how tightly the pack is bunched. The idea for Finiscope was conceived by Irvipg Gray, a New York television execu-tive-who has long been a harness racing devotee. Gray is personal manager of comedian Milton Berle and is also the executive producer of the Buick-Berle television show. Combining his interest in the sulky sport and his technical knowledge and experience in television, Gray came up with the idea of Finiscope two years ago. After formulating his plan and working out the details- with electronic engineers, he presented it to George Morton Levy, top official at Roosevelt, who welcomed the idea enthusiastically. More research and development was done and Finiscope went into operation at the track early this month. CLOSE-UP VIEW OF FINISCOPE PICTURE— This gives patrons, situated many yards from the actual finish line, an undistorted yiew of the horses asv they go under-the wire. The screen is 20 feet square. LOCATION OF FINISCOPE SCREEN— This picture shows Finiscope in action, with patrons who previously cbuFcf not see the finish now in a position tb Vifcw*J the finale for themselves.

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