Web Assignments

Caution:  Some of these are off-server sites.  Owners might move the files or remove them from public access at any time.
A word on expectations:  Materials listed here hypertext documents.  Conceivably you could browse from one document to another, and to another - without end.  Browsing isn't studying, of course.  So your task will be to decide how far into cyberspace you should follow these required links.  Too far, it gets too technical or too voluminous; not far enough, and it's superficial and inadequate for test preparation.  

Rule of thumb #1: you are responsible for documents within a website's linked directory, but not for documents you can link to from that directory.  So, if you went to "CB radio antenna" on Howstuffworks.com, you'd be responsible for only one page.  If you went to "Amplifiers" on the same site, you'd find a Table of Contents with 4 pages of tutorial, plus a page of links and a page of advertising.  You'd be responsible for the 4 pages of tutorial.

Rule of thumb #2: If you're not confident of your understanding, ask.  Others probably are in the same boat.

Rule of thumb #3: Do not print the web documents !  As you study each, make some notes so  you understand the basic ideas and so you later can find your way around.  Then, to prepare for tests, study your notes.  So, the real secret is to have good note-taking skills.

General Strategy for the Semester

What physical principles are at the bottom of these media technologies?

+What are sound and light?  These are the components of nature which we deal with in radio and TV.  What is electricity?  (An electrical signal?)  We create an electrical "mirror image" of sound (for radio) and light (for TV) + How does magnetism create electricity in a wire?  How does electricity in a wire create magnetism in space?   How is it that electrical pulses in a wire can cause magnetic waves to radiate off into space?   +  Who were the people who first figured out these principles?  When and how?

What's an audio mixer?  How does it work?

What devices are used upstream?  Microphones, CD's, VTR's, feeds, tape machines, computers, etc.  + What devices are used downstream?  VU meter, equalizer, monitor, limiter, recorder, transmitter   + What ancillary technology is used in radio/audio?  + How is an audio system used in TV?

What's a TV switcher?  How does it work?

What devices are used upstream?  Cameras, servers, VTRs, network feeds, CG's, etc.  + What devices are used downstream?   Waveform monitor, vectorscope, recorder, transmitter.   + What support systems are used in TV?  Lighting, teleprompter, intercom, IFB.

What do we mean by "digital"?

Take samples of the signal at a really high rate.  Assign a binary value to each sample's value.  + Send/receive those values as clusters of pulses  + CD's, DVD's, DAT, computers, MiniDV, DVCPro (etc.) are already digital. + Most new audio mixers and video switchers are digital.   + Home TVs and car radios are analog.  So radio/TV stations broadcast old-time analog signals  + But not for long!!   + Of course, you can already receive audio/radio and video/TV via the internet.

 

 

Core Technologies
Brief History & Overview Very basic summary of early TV technologies such as the scanning disc and the CBS system of mechanical color .  Omit the section that focuses on Canada.
What's in a TV Station? Another very basic summary of what you'll find in a TV station

First, let's think of the human cardiovascular system.  See a graphic of it here.   You know the basics: the heart pumps oxygen-rich blood out through arteries.  Then the oxygen-depleted blood returns to the heart through veins.   At the "heart" of the system, of course, is the heart.

  1. Think of the human cardiovascular system as a metaphor for audio/radio and video/television production systems.  

  2. The "heart" of an audio/radio studio is the "air board" or "audio mixer."

  3. The "heart" of a video/television production studio is the "production switcher," which is linked to the "audio mixer."  One manipulates video signals, and the other manipulates audio signals.

Okay, let's apply that "heart" idea to a simplified drawing of an audio system for radio.  See a graphic here.
  1. The "Audio Console" is the heart.  
  2. On the back of the console are three "inputs," one from a microphone, one from a CD player, and one from an audio recorder.  Notice that the signal can only go one way from a microphone and from a CD player, neither being able to record.  But the "audio recorder," which could be a tape machine or hard disk drive, is able to play (thus creating input to the console) or record (thereby receiving output from the console).   See #4, below.
  3. The audio console is able to regulate -- with special on/off switches -- which of the three inputs is allowed to pass through to the output.  And, the console is able to regulate the signal strength of each of those inputs, using special volume controls.
  4. This console shows only two outputs.  They're basically the same, but directed to different applications.  The first is "program out," and it represents the master output of the console.  Its signal goes first to some "signal processing equipment" such as a limiter/compressor, and then to the transmitter.  
  5. The second output is split between headphones for the operator (needed especially when a microphone is turned on) and a loudspeaker.  Both are used to monitor the program being created.
  6. Of course, an audio recorder could be put in the line after the signal processing equipment to record the master output, after all enhancements.   In fact, this diagram shows by dotted line a signal path from the final signal processing device to the input section of the audio recorder.

Now let's move to a more complete picture of the "On-air audio/radio system."  See a graphic of it here.

  1. At the center is the mixer -- or board, which physically is installed in the audio booth.  Across the top of the mixer are shown the "input signals."  These come from lots of different sources, such as microphones, CD players, networks, and so on.  A basic radio system will be set up to handle about a dozen inputs, with 25-30 inputs being more common.

  2. The mixer then controls which of the inputs is mixed to output.  It also controls the volume level -- or loudness -- of each.  And, it can do some other things, such as control the overall or master level of output.

  3. These mixed signals then are sent to outputs, which are shown on the right side of the mixer. 

  4. Along the bottom of the mixer are shown several special-purpose channels.  One is to trigger the on-air light on the studio door.  Anytime a microphone is mixed to output, the on-air light should automatically be turned on.  The second integrates the studio clock to the mixer.  Third is for studio monitors, which are powerful loudspeakers driven by a power amplifier.   And fourth is an output jack in the board for plugging in the operator's headsets.

  5. On the left side of the mixer is shown a sophisticated power supply.  They're used because household power (a wall outlet) is too unstable.

  6. Notice that some inputs come from equipment that also are set to receive output from the board.  That's because a CD deck, for example, can be used to record the commercial or program, or it can be used to play back the commercial or program.

  7. And, notice that each of the four microphones sends its signal first to a "voice processor," which allows you to fine-tune the sound of the microphone before sending it to the mixer.

And now let's ramp up to a video/television system.  See a graphic of it here.

  1. The video/television system comprises several subsystems: audio (which is like the audio/radio system above), video, headsets or intercom, teleprompter, lighting and others.

  2. On the left side of the graphic you'll see three microphones whose signals go to inputs on the audio mixer.   Below the microphones is a "floor monitor speaker," which is an audio monitor for use in the studio.  That speaker takes an output from the mixer.

  3. Below the mixer is an audio cassette deck, a DAT deck (digital audio tape), and a reel-to-reel recorder.  Beside them are a desktop computer which operates Software Audio Workshop's audio/nonlinear editing system.  

  4. Shown at the lower right corner of the mixer is the master output, which sends signal first INTO the two videotape recorders, and then to the master output for the whole system.  Videotape machines also have their audio outputs connected to the audio mixer as mixer inputs, and their video outputs connected to the switcher as switcher inputs.

  5. Shown at the top of the audio mixer is a video program monitor, used by the audio operator to see what's going on in the video channel.  Also shown are a pair of small audio speakers, which are the audio monitors for use in the audio booth.

  6. Let's return to the left side of the graphic where the microphones are.  Above them are a program monitor and a "floor director headset."  The program monitor is used in the studio so everyone can see what's going on.  Big studios (news) also hang monitors on the front of the cameras so talent can see what's on-air through peripheral vision.  The headset, as shown, is a wireless intercom, connected to a push-to-talk microphone in the control room.  Because the floor director has to move around quickly in the studio, his/her headset is often wireless -- which means the floor director wears a little transceiver on his/her belt.

  7. Now let's skip up to the very top, left corner.  You see a spotlight.  Assume that's one of a hundred or so which are hung in the studio.  As shown, the lighting instruments are wired to the Lighting Control Board (light mixer).  The Lighting Control Board allows individual lights to be turned on or off, and to be faded up from off, or faded down and out.  In fact, the light instruments are connected to a back-of-house "dimmer pack" which actually turns up and down the electricity sent to lights; the Control Board is simply a device that controls the dimmer pack.  The Lighting Director also has a program monitor and a special headset channel (to listen to the director or to talk to lighting assistants elsewhere in the studio).

  8. Now let's continue with the video subsystem,  starting with the cameras.   You'll see that the output of each is wired to an input on the video production switcher.  The video production switcher interface panel is to the video production switcher as the lighting control board is to the lighting dimmer pack.  In our control room, the switcher (interface panel) is mounted on a desktop console, while the switcher itself is mounted in an under-console equipment rack.

  9. Shown above the switcher are four more inputs.  The character generator is a special-purpose computer that creates text, usually used as "supers."  In this graphic, the brand name of the character generator is "Inscriber."   Next is the still store or still file device, which stores on hard disk individual frames of video which you can capture by a mouseclick.  Frames of captured video often are used as backgrounds for production graphics.  Next to the still store is the computer graphics unit, in this case a "PaintBox" brand.   A computer graphics subsystem is simply a broadcast version of Photoshop, Illustrator and Premier.  Shown next to the computer graphics editor is the Digital Video Effects box, or DVE.  This equipment allows creation of special transitions: slide, flip, mosaic, snowflake, and others.   In reality, these inputs to the switcher are not connected as the graphic shows.  Cameras, for example, are wired to the Camera Control Units which are mounted in a rack at the video engineer's position.  The CG and computer graphics units usually are located somewhere in the control room, while the Still Store and DVE units are in a backroom rack (they're operated remotely at the switcher).

  10. From the lower right corner of the switcher are shown two outputs.  One is program, or the actual picture that will be transmitted live like news or be recorded like commercials.  The program output goes to a program monitor, to a waveform monitor, and a vectorscope, and to inputs on the two videotape recorders,  before being sent to the transmitter room.  The other output is preview, the picture that will be transmitted next, which is sent only to a monitor.

  11. The waveform monitor shows everyone how a signal looks in terms of blackness and whiteness.  The vectorscope shows how that signal looks in terms of its three primary colors (red, green and blue).  The video engineer continuously refers to these monitors to make sure the pictures all are consistent in white value, black value, and color.

  12. Before leaving the control room, let's go back and pick up the remainder of the headset/intercom subsystem.    Shown behind the three cameras in the studio are three wireless headsets for the camera operator.   In the control room are intercom stations for the director, the technical director (the person who switches), and the producer.  Beside the SAW in the audio booth is a headset/intercom station for audio.   An intercom station is shown for the person running the videotape machines and servers (often in a separate room because of noisiness).  And the final intercom station is shown for the person who is operating the Master Control Room.

  13. To the lower left of the switcher is shown a "Monitor Wall."  Actually, this wall of monitors is built in front of the production people who sit in production control.   The bottom row of monitors show current video from Camera #1, Camera #2, and Camera #3, as well as a space for an extra camera (such as one for a weather remote).   Above the camera monitors are Character Generator, Still Store, a computer, and the DVE (again, these simply show current video from these devices).  Above those are Videotape machines 1 through 4.  Most stations also have video servers replacing one or more videotape machines.  And in the top row are feeds from Edit Suite #1 and #2, and Satellite Feeds #1 and #2.

  14. Professional studios never number/label their inputs as this graphic shows.  Notice that this control room has Cameras 1 and 2, Videotapes 1 and to, Video servers 1 and 2, Edit suites 1 and 2, and Satellites 1 and 2.  That's redundant and clumsy.  More important, it's too hard to speak, and too easy to confuse.  Professional studios, ours included, number cameras 1 through 4, then number tape machines 11 through 20, then number video servers 22 through 24, and so on.  Or, sources can be named, not numbered: Moe, Larry and Curley.

  15. Now we can move downstream from production control to the Master Control Room.  A "master" is used so that ongoing programming can be transmitted while production people are busy in the production control room making programs, commercials, promos, and other materials to be recorded for later on-air use. 

  16. Master can choose from many inputs (which are outputs for production control and audio!).  He/she can air material from videotape machines, from an automated videotape machine system, from servers, and/or from network (which usually comes in via satellite).  The output of master control goes to the transmitter (known as terrestrial), and/or to a satellite uplink, and/or to the local cable companies' headends.  Signals sent to satellites are usually compressed first.

  17. Finally, this Television System graphic, as drawn, shows a "field production" subsystem.  Look at the very bottom of the graphic, left side.  You'll see a TV camcorder (configured for use in the field) and two microphones.  The mikes go into a little mixer which sets levels correctly, and then inputs the combined audio signal to the camcorder.  A videotape goes into the camcorder, and "field audio and video" are recorded on it.

  18. Next, the tape is put into an editing room videotape machine.  Hooked to that machine is a computerized editing system.  The various shots and audio tracks are copied to the computer, rearranged suitably, and then recorded out to another "Edited Master" videotape.   That Edited Master videotape can be taken to one of the control room videotapes, or it can be taken to a master control machine, for playback in a production or for playback on the air.  

  19. In these days of "tapeless" recording, you'll find that many videotape machines have been replaced by a "media server."  So, if the field production subsystem happens to be in the newsroom or in the production department, then one camcorder can be replaced in this graphic by a dozen or so physical camcorders.  Each of these would record on "P2 cards," not on videotape.  P2 cards currently hold from 4 to 64 gigabytes, with 64 gb representing about 4 hours of recording time.  After recording, when the P2 cards are returned to the station, the raw video from the field can be "ingested" directly from the P2 card to a media server using a firewire connection.  The editing system can call up video and audio directly from the server for editing purposes.  The edited master then is simply rerecorded on the media server.  From the production or master control room, the server can be cued, and the story can be played directly to air.  That means the data file which the camcorder originally creates is allowed to move into the station, through editing and to an on-air status without ever having been recorded to tape.

  20. As shown in the graphic, there's an intercom/headset station in the news or production editing room, used so that the production or master control rooms can stay in touch with the video editor who is working on a soon-to-air piece.

How it connects together A few more points on how these system elements all hook together with cables and routers and such.
Studio Orientation
Go to NEP Studios' web site.  Choose Studio 52, which is the Daily Show's studio.  The list of equipment won't make much sense, but click in the upper right corner for a "Systems Design Showcase" story that explains this new studio and "Studio 52 Floorplan."  You should become familiar with these working areas used in studio production. 
Here are some studio terms/concepts which you should remember from our classroom discussion of core technologies.
Control room Voice of god PA Remote - Nemo Hollywood flat Prompter display Lavalier mic
Production control Compix graphics Sound lock doors Broadway flat Headset Hand mic
Master control Echolab switcher Green room Chromakey wall Floor director Directional mic
Monitor wall Server Hard set Chromakey blue or green Production assistant Omnidirectional
Program monitor Air monitor Soft set White balance Producer Mini-DV
Preview monitor Tricaster switcher Key light Muting relay Director DVCPro
Audio booth Garage Band Back light Floor monitor Line producer Lower third super
Audio mixer Audacity Fill light Smart board Field producer Take/dissolve
Control console Announce booth Microphone snake Teleprompter Script Bug
Director console Cameras 1-3 I-F-B Prompter control House sync Craft services

Topic SheetsThese are short essays about selected basic topics.  Technologies are based on these principles, so you need to understand them. 

Sound/acoustics PDF document about sound
Faraday's Induction PDF document about induction
Induction video This video demonstrates how a moving coil in a magnetic field creates electricity - as does a microphone
Sound/Signal/Sound PDF document about signals
Loudness and pitch PDF document about how frequency and amplitude relate
Charting sound waves How to graph waves in x/y space
Signal An electrical counterpart
Signal-to-noise A key ratio
Amplify To increase signal strength
Modulate To add one signal to another
Chromakey signal flow This graphic shows the signal flow for chromakey.  A camera shoots talent and the green/bluescreen; the signal goes to the switcher/Special Effects Generator.  Separately, another source provides the background, such as a weather map.  The switcher/SEG removes the green from the camera shot and replaces it with the weather map background.  Then the composite (a "Key") goes to a character generator, which adds titles to the composite (another key); OR, the titles can be sent from the character generator to the switcher/SEG, which can create the chromakey and add titles all at the same time.  The video then goes to the Master Control (or videotape recorder), where it's combined with the weather talent's audio channel and then broadcast.
   
 

Tip:   Topic Sheets cover finite chunks of information which makes them easy to study.  It's easy to know when you've learned their content.   Like scuba in a swimming pool.

Basic Electricity & Magnetism

Electricity 101 Almost everything in audio/radio and video/TV runs on electricity.  Doh.

Electromagnetic Spectrum

What's the Electromagnetic Spectrum?  This site from NASA explains.
Here's a terrific, short Primer on Electromagnetic Waves.   Use only the first section of the chapter.
   

Part 1  Part 2

A downloadable 2-part introduction to "The Basics of Electricity" from Siemens.    A very clear and concise summary of the basics.
AC/DC AC/DC - What's the difference?  From PBS's "Edison's Miracle of Light."  PBS materials are extremely well done.
Electromagnets Find more explanation of electromagnetism here from HowStuffWorks.  
Links to Electromagnetism Lots of links to electromagnetism from About Physics.  
Molecular Expressions Here's an "Electricity and Magnetism" index page from "Molecular Expressions."   Look for "History of the Compact Disc," "How a Writable CD-R Works," and "How a Digital Digital Drive Works."  
Tutorials Some interactive java tutorials from "Molecular Expressions. "  Look for "Charging And Discharging A Capacitor," "How A Compact Disc Works," "Faraday's Electromagnetic Induction Experiment," "Another Faraday Experiment," AC and DC generation, "How a Hard Drive Works,"  "A Condenser Microphone," "Tuning a Radio Receiver," "How A Speaker Works," and more.  Great site.
   

Sound / Acoustics

Sound Waves and Music Here you'll find five lessons about sound.  Study them closely.  The graphics and animations are excellent.   Most of what you'll need about sound for this course is on this site.
Acoustics 101 Here's an acoustics primer from "Auralex."  Some information deals with acoustics per se, while other sections focus on simple, practical and cheap ideas for audio studio construction.
 
Acoustics Primer Here's an "Acoustics Primer" from Indiana University.  The first 10 units are a review.  I list them in case you're not clear on the fundamentals from "Sound Waves and Music."  The following 6 units deal with "psychoacoustics," or how humans hear/perceive sound.
U of Cal And this site from the University of California also contains very clear explanations of basic sound and audio topics.  Access is controlled by the author, Peter Elsea, so it's in your interest to look at them without delay.
RealTraps Sound waves in a studio can get out of control and do strange things.  This site from RealTraps explains some basic ideas and how various acoustic panels/traps are used to control sound.  Be sure to download and launch the Virtual Minirator, which allows you to create audio/sound tones of various frequencies.  
About.Com And here's a list of sites about acoustics and studio design (home-based, on the cheap) from About.com.  Look at the list in the left column.

Glossary

The Handbook for Acoustic Ecology, edited by Barry Traux, comprises an excellent and extensive glossary of terms related to sound.   For example, look at "beats," where you will read an explanation of how two sound waves of differing frequencies can interact to produce a third sound wave -- as well as hear an example. 

Miscellaneous (not required) - some audio, some TV

WFMJ-TVs broadcast contour map Interlace scan ... animated Test Pattern ... graphic
Lines resolution ... graphic AM/FM Modulation ... graphic Frequency Modulation ... graphic
Sample VHF TV Antenna ... graphic Antennae on the WTC prior 9/11 ... graphic Antennae on the Empire State Building ... graphic
Harris' Flyaway "Radio Station in a Box" ... brochure    

 

--------------------------- START OF PART 2 OF 3, Spring 2012  -------------------------------

Signal Flow, Phase, and Amplification

Audio Signal Flow Here's the basic signal flow explanation of a (Mackie) mixer.
Audio Mixer Here's a guided tour of an audio mixer, generic.
   
Video Signal Flow Here's another signal flow diagram for video.  You should look at "Studio System (Analog Composite Video)" and  "Studio System (Analog Audio Studio)" 
Transistor video Here's a video demonstrating what a transistor is and how it uses a very weak signal to control or modulate a very strong one, thereby producing amplification
Simple Radio Station Here's how to set up a simple home radio station.  
Flow Graphic Here's the graphic of Mackie signal flow.

Transducers

We use a variety of devices to convert energy from one state to another.  These devices are known as transducers.  They create the weakest of signal, which flows into a nearby concentrator (amplifier) and then downstream toward the mixer.
The most common upstream transducer is a microphone.  Microphones are sensitive to shock waves in air.  When they sense a shock wave, they produce a pulse of electrical current.  The stream of electrical current, pulsing in a way that corresponds to the shock waves, is known as the signal flow.
Microphone graphics A dynamic mike, a condenser mike and a ribbon mike.  Also a loudspeaker (the reverse of a dynamic mike!)
Brief Guide to Microphones From Audio-Technica offers a clear foundation, including a discussion of signal flow.
Microphones - Coutant This site will introduce you to the various types of microphones used in broadcasting and in recording studios.  Remember, they're upstream transducers! It is a small sample (only 20 or so), and includes a few of the older models of RCA ribbon microphones such as the 44B and 77DX. Many of these classics still exist, and continue to provide superb audio quality. You can even take a tour of the Neumann factory. Pay particular attention to mike types, frequency response, and polar patterns. This information is provided with each microphone and also, generically, as a link ("Types of Elements") at the very bottom of the first page ("RCA Type 44-BX") of the microphone tour. 
Microphones for TV Notice here the photo of a parabolic microphone, which actually is a normal dynamic (cardioid) microphone on a parabolic reflector mount.
   
Phonograph stylus The diamond-tipped "needle" bounces in the record's groove. The needle's connected to a wire coil in the cartridge, placed near a permanent magnet. Each time the needle moves, current flows. The very low output (signal strength) requires an amplifier to be near the tone arm, usually under the turntable base. 
Magnetic record head The audio tape is a plastic ribbon many feet in length. Standard reel-to-reel tape speed is 7-1/2 inches per second. The audio recording on the tape exists as many, many little areas of magnetism. As the tape is drawn past the head, each area of magnetism creates electrical flow in the tape head. These signal impulses are sent directly to an amplifier. 
Computer disk drive Uses a tiny, tiny magnetic record/playback head similar to what's in a tape recorder. The disk itself is coated with very fine metallic dust. Because the disk spins, the record/playback head can be made to move along an extremely thin spiral track from the center of the disk to the outermost rim. As the head passes over spots on the track that are magnetized, electrical impulses are created in the head. These are sent to an amplifier in the disk drive.
Loudspeaker A loudspeaker, or simply speaker, is an electromechanical transducer which converts an electrical signal into sound.  From Wikipedia
Microphones From About.com - pretty good review.

Audio Mixing and Processing Products

Arrakis Digilink-Free Arrakis provides both air/production mixers ("boards") and studio automation software.  The Digilink-Free is a free download which you can study or use.  Click on the dropdown menu for "Products," then "Xtreme Solution," and then explore the features.  A video is available in the dropdown menu.  Then return to the main page and click on the dropdown menu for "Consoles."   Explore these consoles ... especially the REV-12P
Enco's DAD Enco's Digital Audio Delivery products are displayed on this page.  You'll find a demo by clicking on the graphic with "Presenter" in red.
Signal Processing Dynamic Processing comes under the categories of Compression, Limiting, Expansion & Gating.
dbx "dbx" makes the signal processor we use in the TV studio
Telephone interface Normally called "a Gentner," the interface controls incoming phone calls and allows you to put them into the audio board.  Good explanations, but the links are dated.
Eventide Eventide invented the digital talk show delay for radio.  The "manual" (pdf) at the page bottom is user-friendly.
Abekas AirCleaner The simple machine that puts a profanity delay on audio or both audio and video.  Look at the brochure in the right column.
Audacity How to use Audacity for simple podcasts - Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3
Adobe Audition How to use Audition for audio effects - Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3

Radio: Virtual Tours and Miscellaneous Gear

Radio station Tour a radio station with Corey Deitz
ESE timers and clocks Each radio and TV station must have a master clock which drives multiple slave displays.  Separate timers are used for productions.
EAS TFT, Inc. emergency alert system
   
WFPG tour The studios are located at Northfield and Venice Park, NJ and the transmitters are located in the well suited meadows of Atlantic City.  Studio and transmitters. Actually, this site is large and includes much technology of the 1960's and 1970's -- all analog.
How computers work from Intel.  The series of lessons is called, "The Journey Inside."
HD radio Digital radio broadcasting
Faraday Learn about Faraday, Maxwell, Hertz and Marconi at John Henkins' SparkMuseum.  Good explanations plus clear photos of early radio technology.   On this page you'll find links to key documents related to the emergence of broadcast technology.  Start with Faraday.
Telegraphy Learn about telegraphy, the Morse Code (binary), and the transatlantic cable.

Tesla

Nikoli Tesla invented alternating current and held many early radio patents.  This site from PBS offers a biography, a profile of five inventions (including "radio"), a tour of his Niagra power station, and an explanation of the fundamentals of electricity.
Marconi

You can learn about Marconi, read Titanic telegrams, and see footage from Marconi's life at MarconiCalling.com .

Local Radio Handbook Here's Robert Horvitz's Local Radio Handbook -- for building a radio station in your basement.
Pirate Radio Survival Guide Here's the Pirate Radio Survival Guide -- another handbook for building an (illegal) radio station
Digital Radio A simple site from Germany

In-band/on-channel

From Wikipedia
BBC studios Roger Beckwith's extensive site
The BBC in 1932 Broadcasting House in 1932
Digital IQ

Test your digital IQ from MSNBC

 

------------------------- START OF PART 3 OF 3, Spring 2012 -----------------------------------------

Basic "Video"

Let's first be clear about terms.   George Eastman (Kodak) developed the first flexible photographic film in 1885.  English photographer Edward Muybridge in the United States used 24 still cameras to produced a series of stereoscopic images of a galloping horse, arguably the first "motion picture film."  So "film" normally means a series of visual images recorded on emulsion-based photographic film by a photographic film camera in a series of frames.  Film stock, film cameras, and the resulting products -- films -- became the basic product of "Hollywood."   The craft and business of film in Europe is called "cinema."    Television came along in the 1940's, and it meant the production process which uses one or more electronic TV cameras to create live or live-to-film (later,  live-to-tape) programs.  In television, the person responsible for making sure that the images on each camera were of high quality was known as the "video engineer," and what he or she controlled was called "video."  Film, and the film production process, soon found a place within the television industry.   Film was used to create programs which could later be projected on TV in whole or in part, as in the case of Twilight Zone and Bonanza programs and Movietone newsreels.   Filmed newsreels were a staple of motion picture theaters, of course.  And newsreel film crews were known "to shoot" film.  Also, television programs could be recorded by a film camera for archive or delayed broadcast (DB).  These films were known as "kinescopes," or "kinnies."

In the mid-1980's, a small-format videotape and battery-powered TV camera hit the TV market.  No longer did newsreel and news producers shoot film, they "shot tape."   Use of this small equipment for news became known generally as "Electronic News Gathering,' or ENG.  And use for commercial or program production became known as "EFP" or Electronic Field Production" -- and the production process followed exactly the process used to make a major motion picture.  Oddly enough, short entertainment productions -- often of musical groups -- came on the scene, and they were called "videos."  

The technology changed yet again in the late 1990's, as small-format camcorders became commonplace.  With them, everyone "shot tape."    But in the early 2000's, so-called "tapeless" camcorders took over the market, where personal video images were recorded on digital media -- from MiniDV to SDHC cards.  And professionals bypassed tape completely, moving instead to flash memory sticks.  

So now we "shoot video" and record it to memory stick or flash drives.  And the film/cinema industry uses electronic "film cameras" such as the "Red One" or the "Genesis."  These cameras record directly to solid state memory, but with near-35mm film quality.  

For now, we TV types shoot video, edit video, and output edited video.  We Hollywood types shoot video, edit video, and produce an edited film or movie.  Hollywood types are in the cinema business.   Nobody films or shoots film with a video camera.

Video 101 Wonderful site !  An online production course (pay attention more to technology than to processes) - updated the week of March 30, 2011
How 3-D works  A video and a PDF about 3-D, starting with the non-TV Stereoptic and ViewMaster.  Focus, perspective, occlusion, light/shade, color intensity/contrast, and relative movement are the "normal vision" cues for judging depth.  3-D adds information about convergence/divergence and stereopsis.
Small production switcher A quick tour.  Yes, the best way to learn how switchers work is to experience them.
Big production switcher MVS-8000G from Sony.  They're really big and complicated.
DME Wipes This video shows a TD using a big switcher to create wipes from source to source
Broadcast Pix This university training video demonstrates the Broadcast Pix switcher
Director  Director headsets for PBS' News Hour
WJZ-TV News Behind the scenes
A Live Shot (remote) An engineer shows how he sets up a live shot - a remote news feed - in this important video
Crazy director  $%&! This clip of an out-of-control director is LOADED with bad language.  BEWARE!
White Balance A necessary step with a camera -- each time lighting is changed

Television Basics

Digital TV "Digital TV: A Cringely Crash Course" from PBS.
Studio Production Primer A very basic how-to studio manual from a community television center.
I-Movie '11 Elementary videos showing you how to edit video with I-Movie.  
Final Cut Pro An introductory video for FCP, focusing on basic editing.  Here's one for FCExpress.
   
Basic switching Here's a simple TV switcher and short operating instructions.
Studio manual A TV/Studio Equipment Manual from Rogers State University.  Gear ... is gear.
Video Technology And, if you're really into this stuff, here's ePanorama's page.  It's excellent, but huge.
Production book Review, mostly. Focus on Camera, Lighting, Audio, Video, and Additional Video

Basic TV Gear

Camera Sony studio camera.  Note the PDF on how 3-D works and a related wall chart.  Also watch the video here.
Pedestal The Pro-Ped is an economical, lightweight pedestal for both studio and field production
Teleprompter The Prompter People sell hardware and special "text reversing" software
IFB/Intercom Telex headsets
Switcher Ross family of production switchers 
  KADN-TV production demo (1985)
Automated TV Control Ross Overdrive automated control room - brochure (WKBN-TV) - high end
  "Ignite" is Grass Valley's automated control room - high end
  Broadcast Pix's Slate 2100 automated control room with "Scripts" software
Broadcast Pix's automated (VOX) TV switching
Broadcast Pix 500 integrated switchers
  Newtek products; demo video - value priced; the TCXD300 demo
FlyPak Mobile HD TV Pro Gear provides top-level equipment systems for remote/outdoor uses.  You can read the splash page, then look for the video immediately under the photo.  After that, explore the menu items UNDER the "Request a Proposal" button.  Finally, you may explore the dropdown menu items across the page top.
VTR Panasonic DVC Pro 50
Grass Valley Grass Valley products including the Kayenne (Intro and Ch 1) and K2 Dyno media server
News Editor Avid and Deko for news editing
Compix Graphics A value-priced graphics generator, using Windows.  Go to company page to see the "box."
Digital Juice   Digital Juice makes animated backgrounds and a plethora of production support elements.  Cheap.
Lights Briteline flourescent
Minicam Sony XDCam HD with optical recording
Nonlinear editor Final Cut Pro for video; Pro Tools and Sound Forge for audio
Robotic camera Automated camera motion control, from Vinten.  Look at video channel on YouTube.
Steadicam Explore site.  Look for Ultra 2 at bottom and explore.
Light dimmer console Strand
WFMZ tour - Sunrise Show Director/TD "combo"
Director audio "Funny tape" of director calls ("R")

TV Handbook - Ron Whittakre's E-Text

System overview

17 - Cameras 32 - Back, Fill Light
8 - How the Process Works 18 - Color Balancing 37-45 - Audio- review

9 - World Standards

20 - Viewfinders 46 - Video Recording Media

10 - Lenses

21 - Prompters 47 - Consumer formats
11 - Distance, Perspective 26 - Graphics/ Virtual Reality 48 - Professional formats
12 - F-stops 27 - Hard/Soft Light 49 - Videotape Operations
13 - Filters 28 - Color Temperature 56 - Linear/Nonlinear editing
14 - Lenses 29 - Control of Intensity 57 - Time Code
15 - Color 30 - Instruments 60 - Switchers/ Effects
16 - Video Quality 31 - Key Light 65 - Microwave Links

Extra TV Pages

Microwave, Satellite, Fiber Optic, and Internet

Lighting instruments

Studio sets

Oregon Public TV Rates

South Pacific Studios

Manhattan Center Studios

Video on a waveform monitor Western Kentcky TV Rates Waveform & Vectorscope #1, #2

TV Studios, ENG/SNG, and Remote Production

All Mobile Video Provides "end-to-end video and audio solutions" for entertainment, sports, and news events -- from Manhattan sound stages to mobile production and editing trucks
Crosscreek Productions An Alabama-based company who rents production trucks (see photos)
Steiner Studios On a 15-acre site at the historic Brooklyn Navy Yard, the 285,000- square-foot Steiner Studios provides New York City with Hollywood-style (and scale) production and support.
New York Network NYN's new all-digital broadcast center
Revision3 Studios A hot San Francisco web TV content creator -- studio tour
CNN CNN's NYC street-level studio
Silvercup Studios "New York City's largest full-service Film & Television production facility"
Saturday Night Live SNL's current  TV control room
ENG truck And a digital ENG truck from Baltimore, MD
SureShot Locally, SureShot is a leading provider of uplink technology
First Call Uplink First Call Uplink also is a major provider of satellite services
Production truck A small, quick setup remote production truck from Columbia College in Chicago
Production truck A medium-sized production truck from Matrix Mobile in California
Production trucks A large inventory of large production trucks and services from NEPINC.
Satellite Fundamentals of Satellite Communication
   
Studio rental Need to rent a TV studio?  Here's WGTE's (Toledo)
Riding the Bandwagon Riding the Technology Bandwagon - from University of Missouri at St. Louis


Vidcasts - annoying, but informative

Digital audio formats Blu-Ray DVDs Boom microphones
Video editing; DVD burning How to Video Podcast Headphones
Satellite radio Digital Video Cameras Using depth of field
High-Def survival guide High Definition specifications Using field audio mixers
Personal Video Recorders 3-Point Lighting Camcorder audio
TV aspect ratios Operating a studio camera (VERY basic) Virtual reality sets - Adobe Ultra
LCD and Plasma TVs Setting White Balance  


 

Odds and ends (not required):