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The Video Guide

About the web presentation of The Video Guide

Since its publication in 1981 Charles Bensiger's The Video Guide (second edition) has emerged as a crucial source for understanding the technical history of analog video. Recognized in its day for clear, concise explanations of of video equipment options and production methods, The Video Guide is all the more valuable today for its extensive descriptions, illustrations and diagrams of gear that is long obsolete and increasingly rare. As a broad technical resource, the book may be without parallel. Beyond this practical significance, the book is also suffused with a tremendous enthusiasm and excitement for the medium. The democratizing potential of portable video cameras and cable television, where ordinary people unaffiliated with large commercial interests, could control the media and the message, was a new concept in the 1970's and clearly energized the author and his peers. This exhilaration is powerfully evocative of today's promise of the Internet where anyone with a networked computer can find a community and a voice.

The authors of this web site gratefully acknowledge Charles Bensigner who granted his permission to allow presentation and distribution of his work via the web.

The book was prepared for its re-incarnation on the web by carefully disassembling the paperbound volume. The text was then scanned into Adobe Acrobat 6.0 using a Hewlett Packard Scanjet 5173 with an automatic document feeder. Editable text and illustrations were extracted from the Acrobat file using ScanSoft OmniPage 15.0 which was also used to output the html files. Images were adjusted using Adobe Photoshop 9.0.2. Final editing of the files was performed using Macromedia Dreamweaver 8.0.2. The text acquisition phase of the project was conducted by Christina Finlayson while Paul Messier took the raw pdf and rendered it into html. This process is by no means infallible. Errors are inevitable and should be brought to the attention of the authors. The pdf file of the entire book (49MB!) should be consulted if the reader has any doubt about the accuracy of the ocr'd and reformatted text. Click here for the file.


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