The Imperial Empty Quarter is definitely in the poorhouse, with the average high-pop system at TL 9, and an absolute majority at TL 7 (as opposed to the Imperial average of TL 12). Still, there is a growing market of people interested in what applied science can do: so there is a place for a research team, subsided by a foundation, university, or an Imperial Lord, to go around the Six Subsectors, gather up the latest science news, and pump out millions of VCR tapes (and some newfangled memory sticks) to the rather ignorant masses.
(Note: the video is set at the early 1980s/mid TL 7 level.)
If things go according to plan, there will be a broader understanding of basic science in a generation, and a more favorable environment for scientific research – better able to handle Vilani loathing of innovation, and Solomani suspicion of impiety.
“What will they think of next?” indeed!