What are the different positions?

Not all positions are needed in every situations and may look a little different in different situations

Director: Calls camera shots, video rolls, ect. has the final say it what goes out on program and when the transitions take place

Assistant Director: Reads the script and any notes from the director.  Helps in preparing cameras for pre-determined shots

Technical Director: operates the production switcher while taking cues from Director

Producer: Essentially plans the show and the content within the show.  Makes sure the show is running on time and makes sure content is shown at the proper time (in some cases also acts as the Assistant director as well as the producer)

Shader/ Video Engineer: adjusts all the colors on the cameras so that they all look the same.  During the show opens and closes the irises for different lighting so that all the cameras match.

Character Generator operator: Operates the CG program for any graphical content used during a production

Tape operator: In charge of recording the show, and playback of content, (In broadcast these are also the people that do instant replays)

Broadcast Audio: Mixes audio from all broadcast sources, Band, Decks, direct mics ect.

Teleprompter: operates the teleprompter which has the script rolling and tracks with the talent on stage


FOH: Front of house cam- Main camera located in the center of the room

Slash: camera that has a shot at an angle

Hand held: operates camera on shoulder or within hands

Static: Camera with no operator (Lovingly said to be operated by Larry L. aka Larry Lockdown)

Jib: operates the camera on the jib/ crane.

Robotics: uses a controller to operate 1 or multiple cameras from a remote locations.

Stedi-Cam: Harness that holds the camera in front of the operator for ultra smooth operation

Dolly-camera: Camera that is on a dolly and track camera for smooth movements left, right, back and forth or possibly in a circle; requires both an operator and a pusher

Utility: manages cables for Stedi-cam and Hand held operators

What Gear do I need for standard video system?

Video switcher


Character generator:

Sync Generator:

Distribution Amps:

Signal converts/ Frame syncs:

Monitoring (including waveform/ Vector scope):

Projectors and screens

Record decks/ Server

Play-out Decks/ Server


(Each system is a little different and the right gear needed will change depending of purpose, usage and budget, this list is to act as a guide)

What is Genlock/ Black Burst/ Reference and Why do I need it?

Genlock is black video that is produced by a designated device that is distributed to each and every device in a video system.  This acts as a reference so that each piece of gear works in sync to capture and produce frames at exactly the same time.  By using genlock, this helps to keep all devices aligned properly for no delay and smooth operation.

What happens if a device doesn’t have Genlock?

If a device doesn’t have genlock, it will need to be synchronized with the rest of the system.  You will need some type of Frame sync so that it will work with the system properly.  By using a frame sync will cause delay.

Can I use a Handy cam for a camera?

What is SDI?

SDI stands for Serial Digital Interface.  This is the digital standard for video.  It carries the video signal, time-code, and 4-8 channels of audio.  There is both HD-SDI and SD-SDI.

Do I need to go HD if we are only IMAG?

For IMAG I personally believe that HD can be a waste of money.  With quality SD gear still available both new and used you can get a great looking picture in SD.  Where most people notice the difference in SD vs HD is the wide shots.  With IMAG the goal is to magnify, therefore IMAG mostly consists of tighter shots where more detail isn’t as necessary.    Because of Cost and some Delay issues due to data rates and processing I believe you can get more for your money by staying SD and still have a great product, especially if you go with widescreen SD.  If you are doing broadcasting then you need to take in account where the content is being played and if they support HD.

How can we do a “Live” broadcast to our video venue campuses?

There are a few different ways you can do this and just a couple of pros and cons to each, anyway you do it will cost some money:

Satellite: Gear is cheap, cost to uplink is very expensive! Great quality and very easy to add locations

Microwave: Expensive start-up! free after that. Need point to point system for each location.

Fiber: Renting fiber can be a little costly but the quality is amazing with next to no delay and it is easy to quickly add another site as long as there is Fiber ran to it.

Internet: Using encoders and decoders to get your signal anywhere.  This is the most cost effective option but the signal can sometimes be un-reliable

There are also a few hybrid options out there such as microwave network using encoders and de-coders or buying Fiber bandwidth also using encoders and decoders.  Each situation can be a little different to what is available and where the signal is coming from and where it needs to go.

What are the camera viewfinders Black and White?

Now that we are entering the new era of HD, cameras are coming out with color monitors.  But for a long time, most camera viewfinders are still Black and white because operators have found that it is easier to focus with a black and white viewfinder than with a color viewfinder.  Most viewfinders also have a Peaking feature which is another tool that only black and white viewfinders have to help the operators to focus.

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