Basic TV Technology : Digital and Analog book cover
4th Edition

Basic TV Technology
Digital and Analog

ISBN 9780240807171
Published March 21, 2005 by Routledge
204 Pages

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Book Description

Basic TV Technology is the essential basic guide to the fundamentals underlying all television and video systems, written for students and nontechnical professionals. You don't need to have a math or science background in order to understand this explanation of how the principal pieces of equipment work, what their functions are, and how they are integrated to form a complex video system. An understanding of this material will be necessary for you to succeed in the real world, where one person often has to perform many different roles and functions within a production. Armed with some basic technical background information, you'll be more effective at figuring out new applications and at problem-solving.

The fourth edition of Basic TV Technology has been updated to reflect the industry shift to digital video and includes new information on compression, television standards, LCD displays, HD, and equipment.

This book features the accessible Media Manual format, in which every topic is covered in two pages: one of explanatory text and one of figures.

Need more information on TV technologies, go to:

Table of Contents




The Atom & Electricity
The parts of the atom
The flow of electrons through metals

Basic Circuits
Direct current (DC)
Alternating current (AC)

Units of Measurement (1)
Resistance and impedance
Mathematical symbols and formulas

Units of Measurement (2)
AC frequency

Fields (Induction) and Noise
Signal-to-noise ratio


Cathode Ray Tubes (CRTs)
Interlace Scanning
Progressive Scanning

Need for interlace scanning

Horizontal blanking
Vertical blanking

Waveform Display

Charge Coupled Devices
CCD layout and operation
Broadcast-quality requirements

An Introduction to Digital (1)
What is digital?
What Computers do

An Introduction to Digital (2)
Bits & Bytes (binary numbering system)

Analog and Digital
A to D conversion
Sampling and quantizing
D to A conversion

Color system
Color verses black and white
Additive and subtractive colors
Complementary colors

How the Eye Sees Light (1)
Color temperature

How the Eye Sees Light (2)
Black Balance
White balance

Digital Encoding Ratios
From black and white to color
Digital responses to this situation


Composite Encoding
Home video cameras

Color CRTs

Plasma Display Screens
How it works

LCD Screens

Analog Sync Generators

Analog Sync Generator Signals (1)
Drive pulses
Blanking pulses
Sync pulses
Color burst

Analog Sync Generator Signals (2)
Combining sync with video

Reading the vectorscope
Color bar display


Analog Sync Flow Diagrams (1)
Distribution amplifiers

Camera Flow Diagram

Combining Sync and Camera Flow Diagrams
Out-of-phase cameras
Timing the system

Video Switchers
Vertical interval switchers
Component switchers
Digital Switchers
Special effects

Switcher Applications
Production and editing switchers
On-air switchers
Routing switchers

Production Switcher Flow Diagram
Switcher buses
Switcher outputs

Switcher Transitions and Special Effects

Special Effects Keys--Luminance Keys
Linear or transparent keys

Special Effects Keys--Chroma Keys

Composite Versus Component Video
Problems of composite video
Component video

Color Difference Component Video

Digital Special Effects
Other special effects

Digital Interpolation

Analog Videotape Recording Technology
Recording heads

Analog Video Recording Standards & Formats
Audio versus video recording
Helical video recording

Other Tracks and Lockup (1)
Sound and control tracks
VTR Lockup
Capstan lock

Other Tracks and Lockup (2)
Vertical lock
Frame lock
Horizontal lock

Time Base Error

External Causes of Time Base Error
Gyroscopic time base error

Time Base Error Correction

Time Base Correctors (1)
What a time base corrector does
How a TBC works
Horizontal sync as a clock

Time Base Correctors (2)
D-to-A conversion
Video proc amp
Window of correction

Larger Analog Sync Problems & Solutions
Nonsynchronous sources
Frame synchronizer

Other Advantages of TBCs & Frame Synchronizers
Dynamic tracking heads
Freeze frames
TBCs, VTRs, and production

Digital Videotape Recorders
DV video

Digital Video Servers
Problems of videotape
Video servers

Disc Based Recorders

Editing Analog Videotape
Physical cutting and splicing
Electronic editing

The Editing Process (1)

The Editing Process (2)

Types of Edits 117
Assemble edits
Insert edits

Editing Methods-Manual editing

Editing Methods-Control track counters

SMPTE Time Code Editing

Off-Line and On-Line Editing
Off-line editing
On-line editing

Editing by Computers
Drop frame/non-drop frame editing

Problems of Traditional Editing

Non Linear Editing

Video Compression

Spatial Compression
Entrophy reduction
Entrophy encoding

Temporal Compression

MPEG Compression Standard

Computer Graphics for Video
Originating computer graphics
Interface between people and machines

Character Generators

Creating Imagery & Effects
Computer-generated imagery (CGI)
Digital Video effects

The Digital Studio

Open Architecture vs. Dedicated Equipment

Drawbacks of Open Architecture Equipment

High-Definition TV
Production HDTV standards versus broadcast HDTV standards

ATSC High Definition Broadcast Standard

Standard Definition Digital Television (SDTV)

Audio For Video
The early years
Mono and stereo

Surround Sound
5.1 Stereo

Professional and Consumer Audio
Balanced and unbalanced audio

Combining Audio Components
Line and mic levels
Analog and digital
Professional and consumer equipment

Microphones, Mixers, and Loudspeakers

Sound Recording for Video
Solid State Recorders

Digital Audio Workstations

Further Reading


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Robert Lee Hartwig was born and raised in a small northern California farming town. At the age of 13, his parents bought an 8mm movie camera. He spent the next couple of years fooling around with animation and teaching himself simple film editing. He spent his teenage summers on the family farm. He attended Chico State University where, quite by accident, he got involved in the college radio station. While involved in college radio, he served as Business Manager of the station and was appointed to be the student manager of the station. At the same time, the school was developing a Mass Communications Degree program, which he transferred to as soon as the program opened. While in school, he worked at both AM and FM radio stations as an on-air announcer. He still worked summers on the farm because the 80 - 100 hour weeks made a lot more money for him. He was a member of the first graduating class in Mass Communications from Chico State where the faculty awarded him the "Leadership Merit Award" upon graduation. He went to San Diego State University for his Master's Degree in Radio and Television. Coming from a rural background, living in a city the size of San Diego drove him nuts. The culture shock was the greatest challenge to completing the MA. While working on the MA, he also worked for the San Diego Area Instructional Television Authority, was a Television Specialist for the Adult Division of the San Diego Community College District, worked as a photographer on a special project for the San Diego Community College Association, and taught a night class in TV Production for the Adult Division of the San Diego Community College District. This teaching experience gave him the teaching bug. He was granted his MA in December of 1973. He moved back to northern California and got a part-time teaching job in the Mass Communications Department at Butte Community College in Oroville, CA. While at Butte he also produced and directed video programs for t


"I read this book to refresh my basic grasp of television technology concepts, and for that purpose it worked perfectly. Organized into small sections which build slowly from simple ideas (electricity basics) to complex tools (video servers). The book also includes a useful list of further reading material and a reference glossary." -- An Amazon Reviewer