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Old 04-06-2017, 03:41 PM
J Ballard J Ballard is offline
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Thank Wayne, again, for the clarification.

I recall being at a meeting with the late Carl Eilers, who said the VTR modification would "amount to a xtal change." That might have been an oversimplification, so I stand corrected.

Before the Tek designed format converter arrived at the ATTC, we were likely recording at 1050i (2x 525i) at NBC/RCA with the Bosch camera and Sony VTR. I know we didn't lug a format converter around on remotes!

Some people in the HD committees wanted to perform all tests in 1125 lines-you can guess who. I'll give Charlie Rhodes credit for standing his ground on non-converted source material.

The Sony VTR/tape combination was very tricky. I recall a visit by the Sony field engineer who cleaned our machine, and the bit errors were low. Satisfied, he left for the trip back to NJ. Gradually, throughout the day, the bers began climbing on the VTR, until it was unusable.

I called the field engineer's home number, and told his wife that we needed him back in the Midwest. "Oh, he just walked in.." Needless to say, he didn't want to return.

Wayne-remember that day?
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Old 04-06-2017, 04:44 PM
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old_tv_nut old_tv_nut is offline
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I started another thread on early HD test material so as not to clog up this one:

Regarding the format converter and Sony VTR, Zenith had no choice but to lug it around everywhere. We did demos at three political conventions, taped a Chicago Bulls basketball game, and taped a 4th of July parade in Evanston, IL.

And yes, we did run the camera gain at -6dB whenever possible, to reduce noise; but this also made the comet-tailing worse.

At the political convention in the Astrodome in Houston, they couldn't find a place for the recorder and format converter, and we had to run 3000 feet of RGB baseband coax out of the convention to our truck. We had distribution amps at 1000 foot intervals IIRC, and our tech, Steve Heinz, had to get the top level of security clearance so he could walk the cable access in case anything went wrong.

The conventions also taught us some things, like MPEG-2 codecs do not do well with confetti drops! Too much unpredictable random motion over most of the image. We also learned that the KCH camera ventilation fans loved to eat the flimsy paper confetti circles - we had to open the cameras and clean the stuff out before things overheated.

On one of the conventions, we had to shoot from the back of the hall. We had a rush delivery of a long lens from Angenieux, and when we turned on, couldn't get the 3x telextender to work. Frantic phone calls revealed that it was disabled when the lens was used on HD cameras, because Angenieux thought it was not of sufficient quality for high definition.

At another convention, we were given a spot on the camera platform. Our signal was converted to HD so it could be used in the regular production if they wanted, but we had a tough time matching the gamma and black stretch of the NTSC cameras. Our associated gear was below the raised platform, with a chest-height wall all around. We had a constant problem of convention delegates putting their half-used soft drinks on the railing, posing a threat of dousing our gear, despite signs all around the outside asking people not to do it. Once when someone pointedly set his drink right above the gear, I "accidentally" knocked it off on his shoes.
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