Finding the Hi8 in Southern Wisconsin

Where’s the Hi8?
In response to the December ’94 letter regarding Mr. Hankwitz trying to locate Hi8 tapes in
Southern Wisconsin: he claims that it took a dozen phone calls to locate a dealer that could supply him with tapes. Well, I know Wisconsin isn’t exactly New York City but all he had to do was look in the pages of your magazine and I can guarantee that he would have found the tapes in 5 minutes.

You know that UPS works throughout these United States. I work in this field professionally and I buy
most of my equipment and supplies by mail order, and I spend no money in gas and very little frustration. I sit at home and simply wait for the delivery. The prices he mentioned regarding the Sony Hi8 tapes were also higher than in NYC. I suggest he get in touch with a couple of large stores here and he can get Sony Pro tapes cheaper than $25.00 each.

I think he is very mistaken about the Hi8 format, and he definitely made a mistake buying a camera from a dealer that doesn’t carry tapes for the cameras he sells. If he wants to use a tape that does not gum up his heads, he should try Sony and Fuji ME-221. He’s probably not getting the proper advice from his dealer in Wisconsin. My experience through the years indicates that the person not to ask about anything technical is the salesman; most don’t know the equipment they sell. It’s a sad commentary but true in most cases.

Winston Vargas
New York, NY

Mind Stretch

Regarding your November ’94 Viewfinder column: please continue to stretch our minds. I have always
read over my head and hope to continue (I am 74). Keep up the good work.

John Riley

Burbank, California

The Stabilizer Scoop
The article "Curing Camcorder Shake" in your November 1994 issue was for the most part informative and accurate. However, we are very concerned regarding certain references to Sony’s SteadyShot(TM symbol) stabilization system.

First, Sony utilizes two (not three) stabilization systems. They are:

  1. Variable Prism Lens with motion sensors (also known as "Optical Image Stabilization").
  2. Hyper-Precision CCD with motion sensors.

In regards to shake detection, Sony does not use what was termed "EIS with the classic electronic field image analysis system." Instead, Sony uses separate motion sensors in its SteadyShot systems to detect erratic movement of the camcorder, which is a more accurate technique than "field image analysis."

The Variable Prism Lens system that Sony uses was co-developed by Sony and Canon and both
companies have a right to use it. Sony does not license this technology from Canon. Also, our current
camcorders incorporate newer versions of variable prism technology, so the statement "Sony’s optical system
is reported to be the first Canon generation" is incorrect and misleading.

Overall, Sony believes SteadyShot is one of the best stabilization systems available today. Both
implementations (optical and Hyper-Precision) maintain picture quality and both utilize motion sensors to
avoid being fooled by subject movement, distinct advantages over competitive systems.

R. Jay Sato
Vice President, Personal Video
Sony Corporation
Park Ridge, New Jersey

Proud Dad
After reading your editorial titled "The Confusion Solution," I felt prompted to write. I have been a regular
reader and subscriber of your magazine for several years now. My background is in 1" and Betacam
(broadcast quality) editing and production over the last 12 years. About 3 years ago, I started my own
business doing S-VHS A/B roll time-code editing utilizing the Video Toaster and AmiLink VT.

Most of the people I work with would have a tendency to "look down their noses" at a consumer/prosumer
magazine such as Videomaker; however, I regularly enjoy my monthly issues. I have found that
although some of the articles are a bit too basic for me, I frequently pick up useful tips and information from
your magazine. Videomaker frequently suggests less expensive solutions to problems that I
wouldn’t find in the video "trade" magazines.

Also, in your efforts to inform the video novice, I have found better explanations to some technical issues
than I have seen before. Keep up the good work.

Oh, by the way, my 14-year-old son is doing a study at school on careers and chose video editor as his
chosen topic of study (read here: proud dad). He explained that the school library had about one paragraph on
the subject that he was able to find. I went for my back issues of Videomaker and quickly found 4
issues that should get him started. I’m sure the article on Editing Basics in the current issue will prove helpful

Allan L. Kirby
Graham, North Carolina

Video Nazis

Regarding Steven Muratore’s October Pause column, I’m not worried about an invasion of the
NII (National Information Infrastructure) by the "Video Nazis." We don’t have to look, read or even care
about these folks. If they drive the paying customers away, so what–the vendors will fix the problem. Lost
revenue is a marvelous motivator in a capitalist society.

Richard Spears
Highland Village, Texas

Canada’s First Sinhala Reporter
It’s an honor to have my letter printed in your magazine. I am 15 years old and I go to Bebdale B.T.I.
Unfortunately, my school does not have a TV production class, so I read your magazine to learn about

With the education your magazine has given me, I have recorded and edited concerts of Sri Lankan
super stars like Clarence Wiijewardane (the Sri Lankan king of Pop), Sanath Nandasiri, Keerthi Pasqual,
Marizazelle Goodetilleke and others. I also made history when I recorded the first Sinhala interview produced
in Canada. This interview was with actor/director Roy De Silva.

So finally I would like to thank everyone at Videomaker Inc., for doing a great job
publishing the Videomaker magazine.

Tharanga Ramanayake, T.V.C.
Scarborough, Ontario

Amiga Lives
I received my first issue of your magazine today, and I was disappointed at best, horrified at worst.

I received the "free issue" card inside the box of a piece of software I purchased for my Amiga
computer. The bad ink you spill on this computer hardly seems justified if you intend to market your
magazine to users of the Amiga, a computer renowned for its video capabilities.

It makes no sense to discourage any future potential Amiga owners by telling them it is a defunct
computer. As far as video goes, absolutely nothing compares to the Amiga. (Need proof? Look at Babylon 5,
Seaquest DSV, and Robocop, the series.)

While it is true that Commodore US and Commodore International have voluntarily liquidated,
Commodore in other nations is going strong–and Commodore UK still operates on a profit and imports to the
U.S. Some other companies have intentions to buy Commodore and continue its product line. The Amiga
isn’t finished yet, and Macs and PCs are a joke by comparison.

And not just in video: in price, performance and games the Amiga is the ONLY true personal
computer–it does everything better than anything else.

Finally, where else can you get all equipment necessary to do a 4,096 simultaneous color animation
at 60 frames per second–in full screen and if you wish, coupled with a genlock device, for $413.99 including
monitor, 5-item software bundle, and all the amenities including shipping and handling?

Personally, I do no video, but I love to read about it. I use my Amiga totally for personal
use, and I couldn’t be happier. Being a 13-year-old user makes me quite a rare breed, especially in the

Nathan Jones
Shirley, Massachusetts

We have never stated that the Amiga was a "defunct" computer. And while many would debate that the
Amiga "does everything better than anything else," it does have certain advantages for video.

These advantages do not change the fact that, at the time of this writing, the future of the
platform is uncertain. Prospective Amiga buyers should proceed with caution.

-The Editors

Better Manuals, Please
I just wanted to drop a note and tell you how much I appreciate the fine articles you write as well as the
Product Probes which you research. I just purchased a Sony CCD-TR700 because of the evaluation you made
on this camcorder in the August issue of your magazine.

I appreciate the fact that you write the articles so that people just getting started in this fun avocation
or vocation can understand what you are saying. Thanks a lot!

Many of us at my user’s group have Videonics equipment from Thumbs Up to TitleMaker to
Equalizer to the new MX-1 mixer. We think the equipment is great; the only problem is that the instructions
on how to operate it (the earlier equipment anyway) is not well written. All members feel this way. It would
certainly help if the powers that be in this company had some knowledge to write the instructional manuals
for a novice to understand.

Many of us have called Videonics on their Help line and their answers are excellent, but many "how
to" answers are not mentioned in their manuals.

Tom Turney
Escondido, California

In the "Video Q+A" column of Videomaker‘s December issue, we mistakenly stated that the Sony CCD-TR500 Hi8 camcorder would not accept a stereo microphone. The Sony CCD-TR500 is a stereo
camcorder, and will accept an external stereo dynamic or condenser mike.

In the same column, we stated that the Sony SLV-R1000 S-VHS VCR’s Synchro Edit and Control-L
functions were unrelated. Instead, the Synchro Edit function sends its commands on the SLV-R1000’s
Control-L cable. While in Synchro Edit mode, the unit can act either as slave or master. We regret any

In the article "Commercial Distribution: The Next Step" in Videomaker‘s
November 1994 issue, we misidentified WGOT as a low-power television station. In fact, WGOT-TV60
is a full-power station, operating at an effective radiated power level of 1.4 megawatts. Also, the station does
not cover the city of Boston. Through broadcast and cable, WGOT reaches approximately one million homes
in Northern Massachusetts, Central and Southern New Hampshire, and the southern tip of Maine.

-The Editors

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

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