Essential Video Resources
Note: I have
collected these video resources mostly for a quick and easy
reference for myself, and possibly for people I encounter in
newsgroups. Thus, this page lists mostly stuff I
am interested in. The idea is not to make this a
comprehensive giant directory to all video resources on Earth,
although if you have some truly excellent link suggestions, e-mail me and I might consider
adding them in.
Linking to this document
You are free to link to this document. If you do so, please
use the URL <http://www.iki.fi/znark/video/>
This ensures that the link will always work, regardless of the
actual physical location of this site.
Super Video CD
- Super Video CD Overview
- Explains the key aspects of the Super Video CD format (also
known as SVCD, Super VCD or Chaoji VCD). Provides links
to some FAQs, player manufacturers and authoring tools.
- Super Video CD FAQ
- Frequently Asked Questions about the SVCD standard - and
their answers! Complements the Overview
- Using Philips SVCD
- A quick and dirty guide to using this SVCD authoring
Digital8 and DV Camcorders
- A mailing list for the owners and users of Digital8 camcorders
- The DV FAQ by Adam Wilt
- All about DV, DVCAM, and DVCPRO.
Digital8 Image Captures and Observations Page by
- Answers questions like "Does D8 really use
exactly the same data format as (Mini)DV camcorders?"
or "Should I use 12-bit or 16-bit audio mode
with a Digital8 camcorders?". Lots of other
useful information, too.
- Using the
Sony DCR-TRV900 Camcorder by John Beale
- The web resource for a TRV900 owner. Vast
collection of news, FAQs, reviews, comparisons and
technical notes centered around the TRV900, but also
features lots of general information that is useful to
any videographer, and especially those that own Sony gear.
- DV-in overview
- Explains why us Europeans have to hack the DV-in and
analog-in recording capability into our camcorders while
the rest of the world gets these features off-the-shelf.
Also provides links to instructions how to get rid of
DV-in for Sony D8/DV camcorders
- Instructions on how to build a simple parallel port <->
LANC cable for enabling the DV-in and analog-in recording
capabilities. Also includes the necessary software and
Smola's LANC <=> parallel port cable
- Yet another LANC cable building instruction.
Digital 1394 Video
(the page no longer exists, this link goes to an archived copy)
- Even more information and software (including source code)
for DV-in enabling.
- Enabling DV-in on D8
- A very comprehensive DV-in web site with software, hardware diagrams,
DV-in codes for various camcorders etc.
Other camcorder hacks
hidden functionality in Sony camcorders by Martin
- Does your camcorder lack manual white balance controls,
manual shutter speed controls, color bar generator, frame
recording mode, interval recording mode and other
features you would need? Learn how to enable this hidden
functionality also in low-end Sony DV and D8 camcorders.
The best part is that you only need a parallel port <=>
LANC cable to do this - you do not have to open the
camcorder or do any hardware modifications whatsoever.
Also see the page for 2nd
generation D8 camcorders.
- NVRAM Memory Map for Sony D8/DV
- Lists some of the configuration NVRAM
addresses and their functions available on the Sony D8/DV camcorders . Also describes how to use
some of the enabled features.
Sony D8/DV camcorder as a real-time video digitizer
by Martin Smola
- Contrary to popular belief, there is no need to record on
tape first. See the above link for instructions on how to
do this - even with the 1st generation D8 camcorders.
the "see-through" NightShot mode by John
- After having found out that people used the NightShot
mode in bright daylight to see through clothes, Sony
disabled the manual exposure control while in NightShot
mode. These instructions let you regain that control.
Interesting video-related articles, guides and specifications
- A Quick Guide to Digital Video
Resolution and Aspect Ratio Conversions
- Ever wondered what is the real pixel aspect
ratio of digital video, and how to convert between
different frame sizes and formats? This guide tries to explain it all.
the Capture Window of a Capture Card
- PC video capture devices (such as regular "tv cards") – or,
in some cases, their drivers – are not necessarily calibrated to follow
the industry standards. This article explains a practical method of
finding out how your card does it.
User's Guide to Aspect Ratio Conversion (a 570K PDF
Snell & Wilcox Knowledge Center)
- Explains the production and shooting decisions that have
to be made for 4:3 and 16:9 productions so that they will
also successfully display when converted from one image
frame aspect ratio to another.
Why Video is Crucially Different from Graphics
- This document explains the difference between progressive
frames animation and fields-based video (which most video
- The Hard
Truth About Resolution by Peter Utz
- Learn about how "lines of horizontal resolution"
measurement actually works, how many CCD pixels do you
actually need to capture certain amount of detail, and
why is it that you can get better results by using a high-resolution
video camera while your target format is still only VHS.
oversampling: Why HD0 Broadcasting makes sense by John
- You really only need 493x373 pixels to represent 996x746
pixel's worth of information. Also see
Computer and Television Image Portrayal, part II.
Computer and Television Image Portrayal by John
- "Some manufacturers of traditional broadcast
equipment and consumer TVs, with their analog background,
understand analog very well, but lack a wide and deep
understanding of digital technology. Many aspects of
today's television standards were established empirically
before the relevant theory was understood. The computer
industry naturally knows digital techniques backwards but
tends to lack knowledge of psycho-optics and psycho-acoustics.
Certainly manufacturers of traditional television
equipment would rather deny the world a significant
improvement in television quality so that they can cling
to tradition (and their traditional profits). If this
paper serves to expose only one such instance, it will
have served its purpose well."
Colors, gamma and sampling formats
- Color FAQ by Charles
- The Color FAQ clarifies aspects of colour specification and image coding
that are important to computer graphics, image processing, video, and the
transfer of digital images to print. (Includes the equations for converting
between Y'CbCr and computer R'G'B'.)
- Gamma FAQ by Charles
- In video, computer graphics and image processing, gamma represents
a numerical parameter that describes the nonlinearity of intensity
reproduction. Having a good understanding of the theory and practice of
gamma will enable you to get good results when you create, process and
- Merging Computing with Studio Video: Converting Between R'G'B' and 4:2:2
by Charles Poynton
- In this paper, Poynton explains the R'G'B' and Y'CBCR
4:2:2 representations, and explains the technical aspects of conversion
between the two.
- DV Pix - Sampling
Methods by Adam Wilt
- Explains the difference between 4:2:2, 4:1:1 and 4:2:0 sampling formats
– with illustrations!
Rate Conversion by Dave Marsh
- This paper is of great relevance to anyone who wants to
display video-originated material on desktop CRT displays
at a flicker-free refresh rate (such as 75Hz) with good
quality. It is of slightly less importance to people
building systems with displays intended for a viewing
distance of something like 10 feet for the 60Hz market or
for people that plan to use flat-panel desktop displays.
It is also of less importance if you are planning only to
display film-originated material at high quality and are
happy with the video-originated material being juddery.
Engineer's Guide to Motion Compensation by John
Watkinson (a 327K PDF from
Snell & Wilcox Knowledge Center)
- There are now quite a few motion compensated products on
the market, yet they do not all work in the same way. The
purpose of this document is to clarify the confusion
surrounding motion estimation by explaining clearly how
it works, both in theory and in practice.
Engineer's Guide to Standards Conversion by John
Watkinson (a 325K PDF from
Snell & Wilcox Knowledge Center)
- Standards conversion used to be thought of as little more
than the job of converting between NTSC and PAL for the
purpose of international program exchange. The
application has recently become considerably broader and
one of the purposes of this guide is to explore the areas
in which standards conversion technology is now applied.
A modern standards converter is a complex device with a
set of specialist terminology to match. This guide
explains the operation of converters in plain English and
defines any terms used.
Engineer's Guide to Compression by John
Watkinson (a 343K PDF from
Snell & Wilcox Knowledge Center)
Guide to MPEG Fundamentals and Protocol Analysis -
Including DVB and ATSC
- MPEG is one of the most popular audio/video compression
techniques because it is not just a single standard.
Instead it is a range of standards suitable for different
applications but based on similar principles.
- DVB.org - Digital Video Broadcasting
- The digital television standards body for Europe and Australia. See the Technology
page for names and numbers of the related standards – you can then
download them from ETSI (requires free
- ATSC (Advanced Television Systems
- Same as above, but for the US. (The World Just Needs Two Competing
Digital TV Standards so that the Not Invented Here! Syndrome
can live on!)
- NorDig is specifying a common DVB-T platform for digital
TV within the Nordic region (Denmark, Finland, Iceland,
Norway and Sweden.) You can download all released NorDig
specifications, reports and documents.
- A hotspot for Linux and open source centric DVB applications and
Quality control and measurements
is a TBC and why do I need one?
Technical Video Resources
page is maintained by Jukka
Aho. Last updated: 25-Feb-2006