Q. When I read the Sony brochure on the EVO-9720 Hi8 editing machine, they say, “Using the video insert function, video and AFM segments can be edited into an existing PCM digital sound track.”
This is a critical matter to us. Do you agree with the statement from the Sony brochure?

Jon Keckonen

A. Sounds like the brochure needs editorial polish. Basically, the brochure should read
something like this: The EVO-9720 provides both video insert editing and audio insert editing. The “video
insert” feature replaces the picture and the standard (AFM) audio without affecting the PCM audio track.
The “audio insert” or audio dub function replaces audio on the PCM track without affecting the video/AFM


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Remember the structure of the 8mm format. During the recording process, both the video
signal and the AFM audio signal are recorded together onto the same section of the tape. They are
inseperable. If you replace one signal, the other goes with it. The PCM audio track, however, is
independent of these signals. This means that, on the EVO-9720, you can first lay down a soundtrack on
the PCM audio track, and later edit the video/AFM track to your heart’s content without affecting the PCM
soundtrack. Or you can do it the other way around; you can lay down the video/AFM track first and add
PCM audio later.

Q. Would you diagram the proper wiring for a Y/C (S-Video) plug.

J.P. Johnson
Knoxville, Tennessee

A. Sure. The following diagram shows the general industry standard regarding pin
assignments on almost every Y/C (S-Video) cable plug. Pin number three carries the Y (luminance) signal.
Pin number four carries the C (chrominance) signal. Both the luminance and chrominance wires are
shielded individually along the length of the cable. At the end plugs, the shields connect to pins one and two, and to the metal portion of the plug, establishing a common ground. Take a look at the diagram
shown below.

Q. I thoroughly enjoyed Jim Stinson’s article, What’s Your Angle (Videomaker, Camera Angle, Nov. 95). The first sentence of your article read, “Of the seven deadly sins that I denounce so sternly from this pulpit, “upstanding” may be one of the hardest to eliminate.” Well, what are the other six deadly sins of camera work?

Charles Wicke
San Francisco, California

A. A detailed description of the seven deadly sins of camera work is on page 78 in the July 1995 issue of Videomaker. The seventh deadly sin, Rooting, is now called Jogging. Here’s a
condensed version of the seven deadly sins of camera work.

  1. Firehosing: Panning vaguely and almost continuously around a scene without ever
    lingering in one place long enough to see it properly.
  2. Snapshooting: Taking a series of microshots lasting two or three seconds, tops.
  3. Backlighting: Positioning important people or things in your frame against the brightest
    background obtainable.
  4. Headhunting: Aiming the camcorder right between a subjects eyes as if you intended to shoot
  5. Motorzooming: Zooming slowly in and immediately zooming slowly out. Pause. Then in.
    Pause. Then out. Or, employing a faster speed and non-stop zoom technique to induce a feeling of sea-
  6. Upstanding: Operating the camera only at standing eye level.
  7. Jogging: Making jumpy moves or failing to make smooth moves while shooting.

Q. Can the Sony DCR-VX700 DV camcorder be controlled by Videonics Edit Suite AB-1 edit
controller; is the “RC-compatible” time code recognizable by the AB-1 for more precise editing?

Spencer Hinds
Ridgefield, Connecticut

A. The answer is yes to both of your questions. In fact, both the DCR-VX1000 and DCR-
VX700 DV camcorders feature Sony’s Control-L (LANC) protocol. The Edit Suite offers support for most
Control-L decks and camcorders. The DV models from Sony are no different. Although they record an
industry-standard DV time code onto the Mini-DV cassette, both camcorders generate an RC time code
through the Control-L cable. This allows RC-compatible edit controllers to control both camcorders to
within +/- 1 frame.

Q. What is digital video compression, and how does a CODEC accomplish this?

Tim Smitz

A. Digital video compression is the process of removing or restructuring redundant data in
order to decrease the size of a captured video file. Because digital video files are so large, they require
high data transfer rates for capture and playback. Even extremely fast computers require some digital
video compression in order to keep up with the immense amount of digital data.

CODECs, or compression/decompression algorithms, can be hardware or software-
based. Several video capture boards offer hardware compression. Hardware compression is much faster
and more effective than software-based compression. For example, full-frame, 24-bit video images
normally require a hardware CODEC to play back in real time. Some CODECs are optimized for image
quality, while others might be optimized for speed during capture and playback. CODECs are available in
a variety of formats such as Motion JPEG, Intel Indeo Video Raw, Microsoft RLE and Cinepak. Capture
boards featuring Motion JPEG can display full-frame images at 30 frames per second. Some boards even
display full-frame images at 60 fields per second, depending on their configuration.

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