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Timecode A User's Guide, 3rd Edition by J. Ratcliff

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Chapter 1Basic video and magnetic theory

Introduction

Timecode was originally developed in order to clearly identify positional information on videotape in a manner similar to traditional motion-picture film. On film, this information is printed in human-readable form along the film edge, and the individual frames are clearly seen by inspecting the film. Videotape frames are recorded as magnetic imprints that cannot be seen by inspection, so when the timecode was introduced, it needed to contain details of the frames. The introduction of colour to the original monochrome signal increased the complexity of the video signal, so care had to be taken in joining non-contiguous sections during editing if disturbances in the picture were to be avoided. ...

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