DTV Confusion Cleared a Bit

This letter is in regards to the story, Digits Over the Air (January 2009, by Charles Fulton). Getting technical information on the change-over to DTV has been like pulling teeth, because most of the information released has been sugar-coated for technically ignorant consumers. Ask, “Where are the channels actually located in the spectrum?” and even normally knowledgeable personnel working for retail outlets that have specialized in video-only for the past forty years don’t know. Probably the only ones who would know would be the FCC-licensed transmitter engineers at the TV stations.

This article was refreshing and informative. It, together with the website, made it finally possible to get a handle on the technical details of what was really happening. Thank you very much!!!

J W Moorhouse


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A Picture Worth 1000 Words

Your article about a DIY camera jib in the November 2008 issue was very informative, except for one crucial detail: how do you attach a camera to the trapeze bracket? It is not readily apparent to me how a small miniDV camcorder, much less a professional camera could be mounted. It appears to me that the camera would have to hang upside down. How about a follow-up with some photos on how to do that?

Malcom Terry

In answer to your question, writer Tom Benford says, “The camera attaches to the ‘cradle’ with the 1/4″ bolt – it screws into the socket on the camera that the tripod usually attaches to. Sorry that no photo is available – the jib is disassembled, as it was needed for some high painting work.” Now that’s multitasking.

We received a lot of responses to our DIY feature and have inspired reader Bob Plate to try it out with his own modifications. (See February 2009 Quick Focus).

We hope to bring you more features like this in future issues. Thank you for reading.

-The Editors

More Editing Tricks

I hope I never have to use this one again. At a recent wedding, we had two cameras, and one of us was changing a battery when one of the family members started his speech before we expected. As a result, we:

  1. had less of the speech than desired
  2. had more audio than stable video to go with it
  3. had no video during that time which could be used as a bridge.

Sooo, since this was a wedding video which was likely to be viewed once or twice, then put on the bookshelf for a long time before being watched again, I (blush) cheated. I took the usable audio and ran it at normal speed, but took the video and pulled it down to about half speed for a few seconds until the video could catch up. If you’re watching and are paying attention to the lips, then those of us that know might likely go huh?’ but otherwise you’ll likely not notice. As I say, I hope I don’t have to use this one again.

Peter Wine

Storage Formula?

I read with interest the Jeanne Rawlings excellent article, Stellar Video, Just Smaller (December 2008). The sidebar at the bottom described various storage requirements. Can you please share the formula to determine file size given the various variables?


Art Kirsch

Producer, Cat Herder

Member: OC Ad Club; Media Alliance of Orange County; Public Relations Society of America

Nice as it would be to have a grand unified formula that covers every destination format, there are far too many variables to cover, e.g., constant or variable bitrate, audio formats, etc. The closest we can offer is the formula for calculating bitrates for DVDs (Save As: MPEG-2 Encoding Tips for DVD Authors). The very best way to handle bitrate calculations is to use the calculation tools included with many encoding applications.

-The Editors


In the January 2009 issue of Videomaker, we inadvertently listed the wrong price on the Adobe Premiere Elements 7 review. The correct pricing is the following:

Premiere Elements 7

  • Buy: $99.99
  • Upgrade: $79.99

Premiere Elements 7 with Plus Membership

  • Buy: $139.99
  • Upgrade: $119.99

Premiere Elements 7 & Photoshop Elements 7 Bundle

  • Buy: $149.99
  • Upgrade: $119.99

Premiere Elements 7 & Photoshop Elements 7 Bundle with Plus Membership

  • Buy: $179.99
  • Upgrade: $149.99

The Videomaker Editors are dedicated to bringing you the information you need to produce and share better video.