First camcorder and first CCD camera

Dear editor:

I enjoyed the two retrospectives on technology in the March issue — “The TV camera: Past, present and future” and “Tape machines.” Remembering history cannot always be accurate. I am referring to the statement that John Luff made in the TV camera retrospective, relating to the first broadcast camcorder and first broadcast CCD camera.

Both firsts were by RCA. In 1981, RCA introduced the HCR-1 Hawkeye camcorder, a one-piece camera VTR package. The camera was built using an all-new 1/2in Saticon, manufactured by RCA. The VTR was built by Matashita, parent of Panasonic, using RCA's recording technology. The tape format was M type. The camera/VTR did not do well in the marketplace because of excessive bulk and a problematic tape format.

Sony's Betacam came out a couple of years later and put an end to the Hawkeye. The Hawkeye was also the first component-based recording system. Being YIQ was another reason for its failure.

Built on the upgraded Hawkeye II camera was the first broadcast CCD camera, the RCA CCD-1. It was introduced for sale at NAB in 1984. It used a frame transfer imager, which met the requirements of broadcasters.

The two cameras were the forerunners of today's ENG cameras.
Maurice Schechter
Chief engineer
DuArt Film & Video

IP addressing basics

Dear Brad Gilmer:

Thank you so much for writing the “IP addressing basics” article in the February 2009 issue. The article was well written and easy to understand. It is difficult for many of us with a broadcast and RF background to get a good grasp on this important aspect of this changing technology. Do you have any recommendations on further articles or books? Are you planning on writing more articles?

Again, thanks for the informative article.
Randall F Miller Jr.
Broadcast computer technician
Pennsylvania Public
Telvision Network

Brad Gilmer responds:

Thank you very much for your comments regarding the article. I can recommend the following books, which will give you a thorough explanation of the topics I covered in the article and more:

  • “Internet Core Protocols, The Definitive Guide” by Eric A. Hall
  • “Routers and Routing Basics, CCNA 2 Companion Guide” by Rick McDonald and Wendell Odom

These two books are excellent sources of information on setting up networks.

Lip-sync solution

Dear Aldo Cugnini:

I just finished reading your “Managing lip sync” article in the March issue. In the last paragraph of your article, you state: “… but not all broadcasters and program distributors are willing or able to spend sufficient time or money in its solution, perhaps in part due to the difficulty of determining the actual effect on revenue.”

Prior to DTV, I received 26 off-air analog signals at my home. Now, I receive one digital signal. So, I converted to Dish Network because I had no other choice. What I find amazing is that the satellite channels prepared for satellite delivery seem to have no lip-sync problems, but the broadcast signals converted for satellite delivery have huge lip-sync problems. It's not my desire to place blame because I have developed a perfect solution: I just switch channels or turn the TV off! Now, it stands to reason that if I'm not watching, I can't be exposed to broadcast station advertising. You tell me whether this will impact broadcast advertising revenue or not. Among the people I talk with, it's a bigger problem than the broadcast stations seem to be willing to admit, or accept.
Jerry Proctor