At 12:24 PM 10/22/2003 -0700, Tony Greiner/Mary Grant wrote:
>I am finishing up an article for "Public Libraries" on basic
>videotape preservation for small public libraries. One of my sources
>says that, when preparing a duplicate, to use a "NTSC color bar" and
>a "sound tone" to calibrate the machines.
>Two questions:
>What does NTSC stand for, and where can people get a color bar?

National Television System Committee

Color bars are available on any LaserDisc or DVD calibration disc and on
many inexpensive LaserDiscs of quality (e.g., Criterion).

>Is the "sound tone" something that is generated by the player, or is
>this an outside tone as well.  If a small library is dubbing a video,
>it is probably using a household VHS- are there household VHS models
>that have these calibration features?

Audio calibration is of limited value for private taping. Reference tones
are usually on calibration discs along with various sets of color bars. I
would certainly recommend that you become familiar with such a disc - there
have been at least three for LaserDiscs and a couple for DVD. I have four
such discs:

Sony "Tune-Up A.V." - never in commercial distribution, best for audio setup

Reference Recordings "A Video Standard" - Excellent with several sets of
color bars and other standard video

Image "Video Essentials" - Update of "A Video Standard"; less powerful on
video, stronger on audio.

Ovation Software/Alpha DVD "Aria" - excellent all around; includes set of
viewing filters (two of the eseential blue one).

Note that an uncalibrated monitor can contribute to an inferior transfer.
(My temptation is to make that stronger: 'will produce an inferior
transfer', but that is only true in practice, not in theory.)

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