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Author Topic: Video Records?  (Read 672 times)
Lazaras
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« on: July 12, 2016, 12:10:40 am »

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacitance_Electronic_Disc

On the one hand the thing has microchips in the player, and the grooves were much smaller than audio records, and RCA lost the farm on the format's research and development. However itfeels very in line with 'what if someone had managed to make this work in edison's time mix of impossibility and awesome.

On the one hand wholly impractical but at the same time for some reason I just see 'society crawling back up from the margains managed to make this work.'

Does the format have any advantages over VHS? I mean I doubt it, but on the other hand... I kinda like the thought experiment.

Discuss?
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« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2016, 12:24:12 am »

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacitance_Electronic_Disc

Does the format have any advantages over VHS?

IIRC the video quality was superior to VHS. They were actually quite popular for a brief period.
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« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2016, 03:04:40 am »

The sad thing is that the groove stylus method is a much more reliable method of information preservation than any other method of storage. Partly because of physical longevity of the disk, and partly because long after our civilization has perished, other cultures (or alien visitors to Earth) could have an much easier time figuring how to decode the information stored in groove-needle systems.

If I understand correctly, the problem with digital laser systems like Compact Disc, and Laser Disc, is that the plastic plates develop microscopic fractures as the plastic ages. And magnetic tapes' magnetic patterns degrade very quickly (I forget, is it a change in the magnetic Suceptance of the metal oxide?)

Videos recorded in SelectaVision would last much longer than any Laser Disc, Video Compact Disc, DVD, or Blu Ray disks available. And certainly would last much much longer than any analog magnetic storage like VHS,  or digital magnetic storage such as Digital Tape.

The argument has been made, by preservation societies that digitally stored music should be converted and archived in analog records.  If I understand correctly, there already is  a major effort by some to do precisely that. I see no reason not to extend the idea to video.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2016, 03:15:04 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged

Lazaras
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« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2016, 03:26:25 am »

It just feels like had this format not come out right when tapes had gotten commercial it might have lasted, at least for a time. However due to laserdisc and VHS hitting at the same time (laserdisc hitting earlier at least in some regions I think) it... just kinda lost out.
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« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2016, 03:35:59 am »

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacitance_Electronic_Disc

On the one hand the thing has microchips in the player, and the grooves were much smaller than audio records, and RCA lost the farm on the format's research and development. However itfeels very in line with 'what if someone had managed to make this work in edison's time mix of impossibility and awesome.

On the one hand wholly impractical but at the same time for some reason I just see 'society crawling back up from the margains managed to make this work.'

Does the format have any advantages over VHS? I mean I doubt it, but on the other hand... I kinda like the thought experiment.

Discuss?

I think that you just hit it on the nail.  The possibilities are endless.  To begin with the technology could be combined with the same Fourier Transform  Theorem method used to compress information digitally.  Why? Because the Fourier Transform is not just digital (Discrete Fourier Transform)  but analog as well.  The same techniques applied to make mp3 music compression can be applied to video (any mpeg related format), and once you decompose image and sound into "bands" like your equalizer, you can also manipulate the audio and video, much the same way a 1970s analog synthesizer can make sound.  

The Fourier Transform Theorem was developed early in the 19th century by Joseph Fourier, so the application could be developed well before the turn of the 19th century.

Oooh! With your permission, I'm going to include a "Gramoscope" in my stories  Grin
« Last Edit: July 12, 2016, 03:38:25 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
Lazaras
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« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2016, 03:39:56 am »

Go for it! I'm surely not the first to have the idea. I don't know if it's possible with current technology, without microchips... but I just like the idea of a gramaphone horn acting as a projector.
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« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2016, 04:55:16 am »

Go for it! I'm surely not the first to have the idea. I don't know if it's possible with current technology, without microchips... but I just like the idea of a gramaphone horn acting as a projector.

You don't need microchips. Television sets got their start with vacuum tube technology. The only information needed was the electron beam (cathode ray) position on the screen (anode), and the intensity of the beam. The "signal" was a continuous line which zig-zagged across the screen, so recording an image simply involves recording a single time evolving electrical signal whose amplitude is the brightness of the beam. That's why recording video was so simple and achievable with analog magnetic tape.

A more mathematically sophisticated method would use a 2-dimensional Fourier transform to record the intensity of video "pixels" which actually could be electron beam bursts.

You could store phase information as well, perhaps useful to encode sound in the same signal, if for example, instead of using Fourier Transforms you use Laplace transforms...
« Last Edit: July 12, 2016, 04:59:15 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
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« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2016, 04:56:48 am »

So what did the chips in the disc player do?
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« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2016, 05:01:32 am »

So what did the chips in the disc player do?

They're just smaller versions of circuits that one decade prior would have been made with transistors, and the previous decade with vacuum tubes. Circuits are circuits, Chips just make them smaller by "growing" the semiconductors and conductors within a silicon crystal.

Chips can be analog or digital circuits, but even digital circuits can be made with vacuum tubes or transistors. Remember Univac?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/UNIVAC
« Last Edit: July 12, 2016, 05:05:56 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
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« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2016, 05:39:10 am »

True but having to require a room sized collection of tubes isn't practicle for the home market, and the rich would insist on going with the old standby of projectors and reel film if that were the case.

However if the whole thing could be done and be no bigger than a 50's era TV set... I don't see how it wouldn't have been popular if it'd been released in the 50's or 60's.
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« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2016, 06:13:03 am »

True but having to require a room sized collection of tubes isn't practicle for the home market, and the rich would insist on going with the old standby of projectors and reel film if that were the case.

However if the whole thing could be done and be no bigger than a 50's era TV set... I don't see how it wouldn't have been popular if it'd been released in the 50's or 60's.


The thing to remember is that digital circuits as in computers tend to be much more complicated than your average radio or analog TV (pre ATSC era just a few years ago). An NTSC Era TV set, as well as the device needed to record an analog video signal from the TV, will as a rule of thumb not be as complicated as a computer circuit.

I would expect an analog video recording device to be not much more complicated than the analog video reproduction device (TV). This is just logical. Perhaps in our modern minds since computers "do everything for us," we have grown accustomed to taking about little "black boxes" called chips and measure power in terms of memory and speed as in Gigabytes and Gigahertz, and so we naturally expect all electrical devices to be equally complicated. These ideas are more a product of the 21st C. we live in, and don't really apply to the world of analog circuits.

Case in point: Among the first mass marketed television sets, stood the RCA 630-TS sold between 1946–1947. and this TV set used a total of 30 vacuum tubes.

http://antiqueradio.org/RCA630TSTelevision.htm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Television_set


Quote
The first commercially made electronic televisions with cathode ray tubes were manufactured by Telefunken in Germany in 1934,[9][10] followed by other makers in France (1936),[11] Britain (1936),[12] and America (1938).[13][14] The cheapest model with a 12-inch (30 cm) screen was $445 (equivalent to $7,481 in 2015).[15] An estimated 19,000 electronic televisions were manufactured in Britain, and about 1,600 in Germany, before World War II. About 7,000–8,000 electronic sets were made in the U.S.[16] before the War Production Board halted manufacture in April 1942, production resuming in August 1945. Television usage in the western world skyrocketed after World War II with the lifting of the manufacturing freeze, war-related technological advances, the drop in television prices caused by mass production, increased leisure time, and additional disposable income.


Fast forward in time, and a 1970's pocket radio will have no more than 10-30 transistors. Perhaps a TV of the era would approach 50 transistors? If it was a state of the art "solid state portable TV"? A digital logic (computer) chip from the same era in the 1970s (depending on what you're talking about) will have many thousands of transistors. For example the MOS 6502 chips used for the Apple I computer in 1976 had 3510 transistors.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_I

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MOS_Technology_6502

Digital and analog circuits are very different and perform very different functions, even if both are comprised of transistors. TV sets never rose to the complexity of even a 1976 Tandy pocket calculator. Instead the challenge of an analog circuit is different.

The issue in most analog circuits is converting weak signals to strong signals, that is power production and amplification, whereas digital circuits are made of low level signals interrupted by "gates" to direct the flow of information according to mathematical logic. These are two different "universes" of electrical circuits, even though both can be made with vacuum tubes or transistor circuits
« Last Edit: July 12, 2016, 06:35:45 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
Lazaras
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« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2016, 06:27:27 am »

See first you're arguing 'it's just a chip tubes could have done it.l' OK great that nixes the reason I thought this couldn't be done earlier.

Now you're doubling back on me by putting back my initial fears on why they went with chips in the first place.
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« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2016, 06:44:47 am »

See first you're arguing 'it's just a chip tubes could have done it.l' OK great that nixes the reason I thought this couldn't be done earlier.

Now you're doubling back on me by putting back my initial fears on why they went with chips in the first place.

Fears? I don't follow. I have not backed down on anything. It's not that complicated.

Analog circuits for image capture in analog format use a fairly small number of transistors and mostly handle power and amplification. The transistors used for TV tend to handle a lot more power, but with few numbers.

On the other hand, computers handle as little power as possible with many thousands of transistors to perform complicated mathematical operations.

If you have to make your 21st. C tablet or smartphone with vacuum tubes it will take an entire building. If you want to build an analog TV camera or a television set with vacuum tubes, at it's biggest it will fit in a small furniture sized cabinet. That was my point.



Where is the confusion?
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« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2016, 06:56:49 am »

Or let me put it to you this way. Which of the two above is closer to a video recorder (any video recorder, say VHS?  Note: modern DVR's don't count, because they use digital (computer) methods of storage and processing

a) A TV or video camera
b) A computer
« Last Edit: July 12, 2016, 07:05:12 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
Lazaras
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« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2016, 06:58:19 am »

My confusion is simple. First you're kinda making it seem like it is theoretically possible ot have a tube driven tv record player set. On the other hand you're going on about how complex the circuits would have to be.

So which is it chum? Possible or not without resorting to something building sized?

And something on the order of a modern phone out of tubes? I'd frankly put it at needing a computer the size of a city, or perhaps if you put the entire ATT switching network from the 50's on the job... Maybe.
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« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2016, 07:01:05 am »

My confusion is simple. First you're kinda making it seem like it is theoretically possible ot have a tube driven tv record player set. On the other hand you're going on about how complex the circuits would have to be.

So which is it chum? Possible or not without resorting to something building sized?

And something on the order of a modern phone out of tubes? I'd frankly put it at needing a computer the size of a city, or perhaps if you put the entire ATT switching network from the 50's on the job... Maybe.

Chum: An analog recording device will not be too far away from a TV set. Provided it's analog. That is my final answer and I'm sticking to it.
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« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2016, 07:41:32 pm »

If I may just interrupt here chaps....


I think the system could have been made to work on a pre-transistor era level of technology, though the video encoding may need to be modified to suit. As long as the signal can be modulated with the correct information for the picture, and the same can be retrieved from a recording device, then there is no reason for it not to work. If audio can be encoded onto a steel wire or magnetic tape using a valve based reel to reel recorder, then there is no technical reason why picture data could not be encoded similarly. Indeed this is where the first "Video" recording machines came from. Changing the media to an encoded groove on a disk should not really effect the result.

Now if you are talking about Victorian / Edwardian or "Steampunk" era technology, then YES, it could be made to work, BUT *ONLY IF* you forget about the complexities of CRT television and go back to the mechanical 'Televisor' style of receiver. The picture format of the mechanical TV is encoded into an audio file (currently via a CD for playback on modern builds), and this would be possible to do with a basic technology based on a phonograph or similar device. However the "data" disk would probably resemble the monster 20 inch diameter Pathé records, and the length of recording would probably be greatly reduced - maybe 15 to 20 minutes, possibly 30 if sufficient reduction in RPM was possible and still get a strong enough signal.

To encode the data for both picture and the audio, the disk would likely have to be encoded in both horizontal and vertical cut grooves, which would be technically difficult, but not impossible to make function.

A disc based on the later "microgroove" LP 33 1⁄3 rpm records, at a diameter of 20" could in theory play for longer than 40 minutes, so a full 60 minutes of recording is at least theoretically a viable format...
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« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2016, 08:52:07 pm »

Bah! Use the grooves to move pins in and out of a mechanical display, a la The Difference Engine

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Difference_Engine

ie. something like this:- http://pinoypresyo.com/item/16669/77-Off-Pin-Point-Impression-Needle-Art-Frame-Toy-OkayOkay-/

The record would have to be larger- about 5 feet should do it and about 2 inches deep to get enough contrast...

The exact mechanism is left as an exercise for our readers...

 Grin

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« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2016, 09:48:25 pm »

See... I like the idea of recordplatter as giving an analog machine a set of instuctions.
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« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2016, 10:01:58 pm »

My confusion is simple. First you're kinda making it seem like it is theoretically possible ot have a tube driven tv record player set. On the other hand you're going on about how complex the circuits would have to be.


I believe you misunderstood wilhelm.

Wilhelm is saying how simple the circuits were for a Tube TV, and that reflects that a analog recording system would also be simpler.

TV/video = simple circuits (tube or transistor tech)

Computers= complex circuits (tube or transistor tech).

When I was a teen, I had in my posession a huge Tube TV.  The screen was probably close to 19" give or take.  The cabinet was 4 feet long, and stood about 3' tall from the floor.

Inside, asside from the cathode ray tube, and the speaker, the tube-based electronics (no transistors) took up about as much room as a shoe box.

Obviously, tech that can record (in whatever foundation be it tubes or transistors or groove/needle) will take some more parts and probably space to do that function, compared to the read-only display/rendering of the information.

But I suspect there's a sense of scale to it such that it's likely maybe twice as much parts.  Maybe 4 times.  depends on the tech foundation.  Whatever the ratio, it's guesstimatable Smiley

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« Reply #20 on: July 13, 2016, 02:03:55 pm »

Am I really the only person here that has ever heard of Nipkow disks?

The precise technology being inquired about actually existed, and was developed in 1927. It is described on a Wikipedia page:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phonovision

The device took the signal from a Nipkow disk (an electromechanical television camera) and wrote it onto a regular record disk of the type that was commonly used to record sound in the 1920's. The signal could then be played back on a Nipkow receiver for viewing.

Yes, The technology really existed. It was in 1927, half a century before Selectavision's micro-chip controlled device. This was early vacuum tube era stuff, and pre-dated the cathode ray tube.

This technology is still available today; you can buy a kit to build your own electromechanical Nipkow television receiver. The kit comes with a Nipkow video recording, which is on an audio CD because many people don't have a turntable these days, and because the kit is produced in small numbers so pressing a vinyl record would have added to the cost of the kits. The Nipkow receiver plugs into the headphone jack of you CD player; one stereo channel supplies the video signal and the other provides the mono sound track.
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« Reply #21 on: July 13, 2016, 02:25:48 pm »

Interesting, but most decidedly the same. The reason it failed was because of poor picture quality. What I'm referring to was done much later and seems to use much the same principle as a record, just with grooves far far finer to allow enough information to be put on a platter.

...kinda like laserdisc if you removed the laser since that was analogue too.

For more on the Nipkow disk:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9bV5LdlIhs

A demonstration of the image quality is approximately four minutes in. Compare that to CED which had essentially VHS quality images.

Edit2:
Apparently there's an ongoing community/information/fan page about these things.
http://cedmagic.com/
Edit:
Here's an interesting thing about the politics and such behind CED. Turns out a large part of the holdup was due to insistence on electron beam recording. Curious.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1f9J2q_fOk
« Last Edit: July 13, 2016, 03:12:14 pm by Lazaras » Logged
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« Reply #22 on: July 13, 2016, 07:22:15 pm »

I actually found some of these in the records section of a charity shop (unlabeled) a few months and was half tempted to buy them but didn't as I had no idea what they were!
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« Reply #23 on: July 18, 2016, 04:22:20 am »

Hindsight being 20/20, it's an eminently doable technology. It's simply not that difficult to do, but it requires that many pieces come together at the same time, like math and electromechanical engineering. It takes time to assemble all of these pieces on time.

I actually found some of these in the records section of a charity shop (unlabeled) a few months and was half tempted to buy them but didn't as I had no idea what they were!

I'm thinking that modern optical laser diode technology could be used to read these original volumes, and software could be written to process and display the contents.

Further on the idea of mechanical vs. optical information storage, after reading an article on Scientific American years ago, it follows that a needle one-atom wide is actually a device that has already been used to map the atomic structure of an object, basically an image that is far more detailed than an electron microscope can achieve, and which in turn is much much more detailed than an image that is achievable with visible or invisible (UV) wavelength light, on account that photons are much "coarser" than unbound electrons, and unbound electrons are much "coarser" than electrons, neutrons and protons bound into atoms. So technically speaking the most accurate microscope works by touch!
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