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September 03, 2007

It's all a question of viewpoint

Like many old hands in the 'new' media industry, I've spent a long time bashing my head against the brick wall of "TV is the one true way". Be it technical, editorial or strategy, there are some who can't see how quickly the world is changing. And that the foundations on which they base their assumptions are dogma or history rather than truth.

Today, for example, I'm going to have an argument with someone about why you don't have to do a full Online edit for a programme that's only going to be shown on the web. As far as I can tell, they view the web as an inferior technology and we're trying to get away with not meeting broadcast standards. Whereas, in truth, the reason we don't need it is because PC Monitors will reliably display the whole picture area, can display 100% white without blowing the transmitter, and can deal with 1-pixel horizontal lines, unlike that crappy 1960s TV technology.

This wierd bias is everywhere in TV. I'm about to finalise the delivery of some Flash animations as video files, and the only way to do this reliably is to export the Flash frame-by-frame and import into an edit suite before laying on the audio again. But while researching the mechanism I found this little gem in the Avid Xpress DV Editing manual from 2003:

Traditionally, analog NTSC signals have always used non-square pixels, where the pixels were more tall than wide. It was not until computer-based video arrived in the 1980 that NTSC signals were recorded with square pixels. This was because computers used square pixels, and working with non-square pixels and playing a visibly correct image was beyond the technology of the day. Today, many graphics and animation programs, including Adobe Photoshop, continue to use the square pixel format

I love the 'continue to use'. Like one day we'll see the error of our ways...

Posted by Tom Dolan at September 3, 2007 11:18 AM


> I love the 'continue to use'. Like one day we'll see the error of our ways...

good catch. it's always the bedrock assumptions which are the least obvious. because of course you don't need to _mention_ them...

Posted by: Saltation [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 19, 2007 09:47 AM

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