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DTV test pattern

Dear Anthony Gargano:

Regarding your article “A test pattern for DTV” in the May issue, is the Visualizer HDTV test signal available, and how does the lip sync test signal work? Is there a file that can be downloaded to, for example, the Ensemble Designs 7400 TSG?
Steve Paugh
Project engineer, WISC-TV
Madison, WI

Anthony Gargano responds:

For lip sync testing, there is a moving block that appears on the set of what looks like film sprocket holes that appear between the two Sarnoff logos. The test generator provides a stereo audio track that contains a mono tick every two seconds. When the moving block flashes at the center sprocket hole and coincides with the audio tick, audio and video are in sync. The tick marks are one frame or one field apart, depending on the package being used. Using this method, you can actually measure lip sync offset to +/- 1 frame or field.

I've oversimplified a bit, but you really have to see this new test pattern in action. The developer at Sarnoff, Norm Hurst, has done a masterful job providing simple tools that produce highly accurate signal performance measurements. I first saw it demonstrated by Norm at the Hollywood Post Alliance Technology Retreat in February, and I was highly impressed with what he had done.

Sarnoff is currently selling the Visualizer directly. You can contact Jerry Berger at, who can you provide you with pricing and further details.

Ergonomic workstations?

Dear editor:

I happened to leaf through the May issue of your magazine. I was eager to look at the Field Report article on the new “ergonomic” workstations at Winsted. I was dismayed to see the photo from KENW-TV. How could a setup that includes those large flat panels mounted that high and close to where a worker is seated ever be considered ergonomic? Let me state the obvious: Screens of that size are designed to be viewed from much farther back. I can tell you from my own unfortunate experience working with a similar setup that the result is a very sore neck. Ergonomic? No way!
Maureen Crowe

Video servers

Dear John Luff:

I read your article on video servers in the May issue, as well as the response you received. Maybe it's my memory, but I don't recall a 10-second limitation on the Betacart. While at KGUN in Tucson, we went from a TCR-100 to a Betacart and never seemed to have limitations. The only problems we might have had were when the elevator went down or one of the four decks was down. Maybe our traffic department was trained to schedule around the TCR limits. As much as I hated the TCR, which we had slaved to a TR-60, I loved the Betacart. After spending years in front of a TR-70, TR-60, TR-600, and TCR-100, 1in and Betacart was a welcome change.
Richard Erickson
Manager, master control
Saint Paul Neighborhood Network
St. Paul, MN