advent of computers has had a tremendous effect on the television
and the video industry. Smaller, faster personal computers and computer
chips have reduced camera sizes, revolutionized editing, and brought
the process of video production to the desktop.
have benefited from the increased computer power and decreased chip
size. Computer chips, called charged coupled devices (CCDs), have
replaced tubes as image processing devices in video cameras. Because
CCDs are small and provide good resolution, high quality cameras
have gotten smaller, more portable, and provide a good picture in
low light situations. Other types of computer chips are also used
to control some studio cameras. These cameras have an internal memory
which automatically retains the correct camera settings ensuring
accurate synchronization between camera and the camera control unit
and allow easy registration and alignment. Other cameras even have
remote control capabilities that allow the camera operator to pre-load
shots during rehearsal and then recall them at the appropriate moment
with the touch of a button.
have also enhanced other production equipment. Still-stores and
frame stores, devices that capture one frame of video and store
it in memory for future use, rely on computers. Still-stores and
frame stores are often used to generate the graphics that accompany
news anchors as they introduce news stories. Digital video effects,
such as rotating images, morphing (when one image turns into another)
and image stretching, previously sent out to specialty shops, can
now be done on the premises, for less money, with a computer.
imaging is also on the rise and is used widely in a variety of applications
such as computer graphics, titles, paint systems, and three dimensional
animation. Technology is such that many computer-generated images
are difficult to distinguish from camera-generated ones. Computer-generated
images often look "real" or are integrated so well in post-production
that they look like they are a part of the camera-generated images.
This is an area that is likely to continue to increase in sophistication.
has also allowed more automation. At NBC network studio, satellite
feeds to affiliates and master control of programming is largely
in the hands of a computer. Other television stations around the
country also use computers to keep track of their air traffic and
the biggest change in the television production process has come
in post-production. The change began when computers were found to
be useful in controlling videotape recorders using timecode. By
adding a character generator and a switcher and using a computer-generated
edit decision list, a new on-line editing process was born. Timecode
and the computer provided an accuracy not achieved before.
editing has progressed beyond computer-controlled VTRs. Non-linear
editing is performed with a personal computer outfitted with hardware
and software that enable it to digitize the video and audio and
store them on computer disk. Non-linear editing is often referred
to as "random access editing" because it provides the editor with
random access to the source material stored on a computer disk.
Therefore, it is not necessary to wait for the source tape to fast
forward or rewind to a desired scene. One of the biggest advantages
to non-linear editing is that if the timing of an edit is unacceptable,
it can be changed easily. Unlike linear editing, segments can be
tightened or extended without revising subsequent edit points. Segments
can also be effortlessly added, deleted, and moved around within
the program. At present, non-linear editing is most often used for
off-line editing because a high quality digital to analog converter
is needed to convert the finished product to a broadcast quality
product. Generally, an edit decision list is generated and on-line
editing is done in a computer controlled editing suite. However,
companies such as AVID are developing high quality on-line non-linear
general, the introduction of computers to the television and video
industry has demystified the industry and made it possible for individuals
to produce video at a relatively affordable price. "Desktop video"
has become a viable production process especially for independent
and corporate producers. Small, portable, high quality cameras and
desktop editing systems can cost as little as $10,000 total. Macintosh
based systems such as Adobe Premiere and Avid Media Suite Pro provide
special effects, transitions, filters and a means for digitizing
video. Similar systems exist for other platforms. Of particular
note is the Video Toaster, which is on Commodore's Amiga platform
and was specifically designed to interface with video systems. This
system is capable of performing many functions of traditional video
production and does not have the problems with conversion to analog
that other systems have. However, because the Commodore is not a
popular platform the market for the Toaster is not very large and
its future is unclear. What is clear is that the future of desktop
video is bright. Television and video is no longer confined to the
broadcast industry. It can be expected that video on the computer,
in educational applications, games, and other applications, will
become more commonplace. As interactive television and the much
promised information super highway develop, television, television
equipment and television production will continue to change.
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