The company was founded in Ann Arbor, Michigan as Thalner Electronic Laboratories, Inc. (T.E.L. Inc.) by University of Michigan Engineering graduate Robert Thalner. During his time as an engineer at Sylvania and RCA, Thalner worked for Philo Farnsworth, the inventor of television broadcast technology. Although the company was first a hospital television service center, it later grew by building systems for commercial video production applications. Through the 1960’s and 1970’s Thalner Electronic Labs provided and installed video systems to commercial accounts throughout Michigan, including the University of Michigan, General Motors, Ford Motor Company and many local government and educational institutions. In addition, the company built a line of video equipment called TEL Products that was marketed internationally. Those products that were designed and manufactured in Ann Arbor included video screen splitters, video timers and synchronization generators among other items.
Service and engineering are still heavily rooted in the history of the company.
When Thalner retired in 1991, the company, the company redefined itself as a designer of high-tech, custom video and A/V Systems and was renamed TEL Systems to better reflect its new identity. Over the past 20+ years TEL Systems has grown into one of the most respected Video and A/V integration companies in Michigan. In addition to large-scale, high-visibility projects like casinos, stadiums and arenas, TEL Systems has designed and built video studios and A/V systems for churches, school districts and corporations across the Midwest. TEL Systems celebrated our 50th Anniversary in 2015.
TEL Systems is a proud member of the Professional Systems Network, Inc. (PSNI). PSNI is a nationwide alliance of premier audiovisual (AV) systems integrators – each offering teleproduction and communications system consultation, design and engineering, equipment sourcing, installation and technical support. Each PSNI affiliate is an independent industry leader, providing customized AV solutions that leverage careful analysis, creativity, flexibility and advanced technology to meet client challenges and needs. Integrators can become members of this exclusive group only by the nominations of existing integrators. TEL Systems is the PSNI affiliate for Michigan. An integral part of the PSNI mission is to provide a distinguishing standard of quality, service and expertise to clients. As a PSNI affiliate, we are peer-reviewed annually and are governed by formal ethics and customer service requirements to ensure the highest standards of professional competence and professionalism.
Since early 2004, TEL Systems has been selling and supporting the AirWave Capture and Playback Automation Solution for Professionals in the AV Marketplace. Powered by AirBox, CaptureBox and TitleBox Software applications, AirWave is being used by over 50 cable TV broadcasters in Michigan to drive video programming content via cable providers such as Comcast, WOW, Charter and AT&T.