A TV still frame image, perhaps with an accompanying audio segment, information retrieval system is disclosed. The system allows end users to search for, order, and retrieve still frame video images, which images are then displayed on a conventional television set. Related audio sound can be heard over the same television set, over a telephone, or over another audio device. A data base of images and sound is stored on storage devices that are controlled by a general purpose computer system. This data base is located at the "head end" of the system. In one mode of operation, an end user requests and receives a particular video image(s), and perhaps a sound segment(s), from a plurality of such images that are continuously being sent to all end users. In a second mode of operation an end user requests a data base image that is not presently being sent to all end users. In this second mode of operation, appropriate data base files at the head end are addressed, the requested image(s) are retrieved from the data base files, and the requested image(s) are sent to that end user with an accompanying end user address. In a third mode of operation, the end user operates as in the second mode of operation, with the additional feature that the requested images, and perhaps sound, can be addressed to another end user(s), and perhaps also to the requesting end user.