ITT Schaub Lorenz is a German company that can be traced back to 1880 when Carl Lorenz founded C. Lorenz AG an electrical and electronics firm primarily located in Berlin.The company was later acquired by International Telephone and Telegraph (ITT), an American company in 1930. C. Lorenz AG continued to operate as an independent company until ITT decided to merge all of its German assets into a new company called Standard Elektrik Lorenz (SEL) in 1958.
In 1977, SEL was one of the ten largest companies in Germany with about 33,000 employees and were producing a large array of electric and electronic equipment, including the ITT Schaub-Lorenz brand television.
Known for its innovation, SEL tried to push the limit of its television by an expansion port to many of its television line. The expansion port would allow “Cassette” to be inserted to turn the television in a computer or a videogame station.
In 1977, SEL released the first lines of its television featuring this port. Upon release, only the TELE-MATCH-Cassette 1 was available, featuring 4 games : Tennis, Football (Soccer), Squash and Practice.
In 1978, three other “cartridges” were released : TELE-MATCH-Cassette 2 which features the same four games as the TELE-MATCH-Cassette 1 with the addition of basketball, Basketball Practice, Hockey and Gridball. The TELE-MATCH-Cassette 3 features a tank games called Panzerspiel while the TELE-MATCH-Cassette 4 offered four different motorcycle games: Stunt cycle, Drag race, Motocross and Enduro.
The idea of the “cassette” expansion was relying on one-chip computers and gaming systems, a concept that was already obsolete in 1977. Theses systems were still popular in Europe as they were cheap, but the idea of integrating them directly in the television set never really caught on and ITT stopped producing these expansions 1978.
The four TELE-MATCH-Cassette were in fact a gaming console in itself as they included the chip, the gaming logic and the controllers all on the same device. The television set was just used for the image output and the power.
The following chips were used for the four released cartridges:
- TELE-MATCH-Cassette 1 : General Electric AY-3-8550
- TELE-MATCH-Cassette 2 : General Electric AY-3-8610
- TELE-MATCH-Cassette 3 : General Electric AY-3-8710
- TELE-MATCH-Cassette 4 : General Electric AY-3-8760