MSRP: $2,325.00

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M1000 "THE TITLER" Basic to any video production application is the utilization of titles on the screen. Titles support what is being said both in the audio portion as well as the video portion of the program. In the early days of television, before electronic character generators, titles were created on paper by graphic artists, and were shot with television cameras to be keyed over the live video. If the titles were to scroll, such as the ending credits in a television program, they were placed on a rotating drum. With the advent of electronic character generators, the manual titling systems disappeared almost immediately. Systems which the user could type into, choose fonts and colors electronically, and manipulate the text on the screen became commonplace in virtually every television production facility. With the recent improvements in personal computer technology, it is now possible to accomplish with a PC many of the functions of a professional character generator. The Mindset Titler is an entry level character generating and graphics system designed for non-broadcast video professionals. The system comes complete with all the hardware and software necessary for the user to add high quality characters and titles to video productions. Multiple pages of titles can be created, edited, sequenced and stored in any order. The system can genlock to any NTSC standard video source and enables the user to key or mix characters and graphics with video. Optionally available is graphics software which allows the user to do electronic drawing on the video screen over a live or recorded video image. The system consists of three primary components: 1. System Unit. The Mindset system unit is actually a personal computer minus the floppy disk drives. It has connectors on the top and rear for expansion modules (one 128K memory module is provided) and video and sync outputs. In addition, it has a built-in RF converter for connection to a standard TV receiver (this is for home-use applications). There are two slots on the front of the unit for plug-in software modules. The user merely plugs the Titler software cartridges in to these slots, and turns the power on. No other software handling is required by the user. 2. Keyboard. The keyboard is basically a standard computer keyboard. There are a couple of nice features about this particular keyboard. The system power switch is located on the backside of the keyboard as opposed to the system unit where it is on most PCs. This is especially convenient if the user has installed the system unit into a rack, and has extended the keyboard any distance. This is possible, since the keyboard uses six conductor modular connections. The keyboard also has a connector for an optional "mouse" which is a pointing and drawing device which can be rolled around on a table top. This eliminates cabling problems, since the mouse can be plugged and unplugged as necessary right where it is normally used: next to the keyboard. 3. Video production module. The video production module is a small box which attaches with a 9-pin cable and RCA cables to the Mindset system unit. It has composite video inputs and outputs (RCA connectors) and an output for "fade control". In a simple system, the video source signal (either tape or live) is fed into the module. The output of the module is then connected to the destination for the video signal ... say another VCR. The only user controls on the unit are a power switch on the rear, and a slide fader control. With this control, the titles can be dissolved onto the video signal passing through the module. The Titler system also allows the titles to be faded into and out of the signal automatically, so that the user doesn't have to touch the module, if desired. Explanation of features Ease of use The simplest way to begin using the Titler, once it's hooked up, is to simply turn on the power switch and start typing. As letters are typed on the keyboard, they are displayed on the "preview" or composition screen. The user sees a representation (1/2 size) of the display screen to assist in formatting and text entry. The preview screen also displays the number of the current line and page. The keyboard's function keys, labeled F1 thru F10, are used to call up various options. For instance, pressing the F10 key instantly centers every line on the page. When the page is finished, it can be overlaid onto a video source by just hitting two keys on the keyboard. It's that simple. Since there are up to twenty pages of text which can be composed, designers made it extremely easy to change pages. Hitting the "page down" key moves the screen to the next page. The "page up" key returns to the previous page. At any time, the user can go back and change text on previous pages. It is also not necessary for the user to enter pages of text in the same order as they will be displayed on the final output. Pages can be displayed in any order, either manually or automatically, and can even be cycled or looped, so that they can be repeated over and over, if desired. Some of the function keys call up menus which "pop-up" over the editing screen. These menus are designed to guide the user through even the most complex and exotic functions of the Titler with ease. For instance, the color of text on a particular line can be selected from 512 possible colors. This is done visually, by simply watching the colors change on the screen as the arrow keys are struck, or by selecting a 3 digit code. Either way, the resulting code can be recorded, and will allow the user to later duplicate the same color if desired. Characters The characters produced by the titler are smooth and easy-to-read. On many lower price character generators, the characters can have a "block" look to them, with jagged edges. This is due to the resolution limits of these systems. With a resolution of 640 X 200, the Mindset titler is able to minimize jagged edges. Small amounts of "aliasing" disappear when the signal is recorded onto a VHS tape. (Aliasing refers to the jagged appearance that computer generated objects have. This is due to the fact that computers deal with pixels in an abrupt fashion: either turning them on or off. A number of systems have developed "anti-aliasing" routines which blend colors into the background. The designers of the Titler didn't feel that it was necessary on this level of product because of its relatively high resolution and intended application--VHS.) There is currently only one font available, san serif, which is as close to a general purpose font as you can get. Since the text can be displayed in 3 sizes, this is more than adequate for most situations. The appearance of the font can also be modified by adding drop shadows or by producing 3-D characters. The amount of shadow or 3-D effect can be adjusted and color of the shadow or effect can also be selected. As previously mentioned, the color of the text can be selected. Up to four colors can be displayed on the screen at any one time. These four colors (selectable from a palette of 512) include the background and shadow colors, so in reality only two actual text colors are possible if drop shadows or 3-D effects are used. Other special effects can be created with the titler, including character outlining and see-through characters. All characters are "proportionally spaced." This means that the spacing between characters is variable, depending upon the actual width of each character. To demonstrate this, look at the character spacing produced on a standard office typewriter. Each character takes up the same amount of space. These characters are not proportionally spaced. Then look at a book or newspaper which is composed on a typesetter. There is more space taken up by some letters and punctuation than others. The effect is more natural, and pleasing to the eye, because the letters are proportionally spaced. Some low cost titling systems don't have proportional spacing. Formatting There are visual borders at the edges of the screen to prevent text from running off into areas that would not be visible on some over-scanned monitors. The entire area inside of the borders is considered the "safe title area." As each page of text is being entered, striking two keys will allow the user to preview the text on the full size screen, in the proper text colors. Margins can also be set, and the text can be justified along either the right or left margin. Text can also be automatically centered. The spacing between lines and spacing between characters is adjustable. This gives maximum flexibility with respect to the positioning of text on the screen. However, the default (preset) values of line and character spacing are adequate for most situations. Another unusual feature for an economically priced titler is a separator bar (underscore line). This is basically a solid line which can be placed over, under, or between two lines of text. (This effect is constantly used on TV news broadcasts when reporters names are flashed at the bottom of the screen.) The width and thickness of the line are variable, and the line can have a color and drop shadow just like any other character. Motion, transitions Smooth rolling is an effect which is difficult to accomplish on PC based titling systems. Because the Mindset has specially designed graphics chips (VLSI chips), text rolling and crawling is possible. Pages of text can be linked together in any order with simple commands, and then "played back" in the linked order. Some pages can be made to roll vertically, while others can crawl horizontally. There is even a "teletype" effect which unveils the characters one line at a time from left to right. The screen can be cleared when a new page is displayed, or the old text can be left on the screen when the new text is added. A creative producer can perform various special effects such as animation, blinking, and color cycling by using these capabilities. If the pages are linked so that a loop is created, then the playback will be continuous. For trade shows, the demonstration software supplied with the titler will run continuously. The demonstration software is also an excellent method of showing the full capabilities of the titler. Despite the flexibility of the motion and page linking capabilities of the Mindset, the most often used feature for the video producer will be the "manual mode." This mode allows the user to call up individual pages at random while on line by simply typing their page number. The user can also move forward and backwards through the sequence by pressing the "up arrow" and "down arrow" keys. The screen can be cleared at any time by pressing the "del" key. Storage Since all software in the "Titler" system is cartridge based, no floppy disks are required. The program itself is permanently recorded on ROM (Read only memory) chips in the program cartridge. The user may store a sequence (20 pages) of text onto a NVRAM cartridge which is supplied with the system. The cartridge contains a battery which prevents allows it to be removed from the system unit without loss of data. Additional NVRAM cartridges can be purchased if required.

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