The Vidifont Titling Device

How did TV put a caption on the screen in the Sixties?

Graphics, including all title graphics (i.e. "President Lyndon B. Johnson” or "Walter Cronkite”) were set in type or drawn by graphic artists. The graphic was photographed using 35-mm film, the film developed, and a 35-mm slide generated. The time to generate a slide exceeded one hour. The slide, when used, was placed in a special projector, scanned by a television camera, and keyed into the studio video feed. This method was known as ‘Superimposition’. Since the news department had to be prepared to identify any speaker who might appear before the cameras during the convention, Bass was faced with creating in excess of 4000 slides in advance for each convention. If an individual who was not a delegate or an alternate was called upon to give a seconding speech or to participate in an interview, a title slide probably would not be available. Bass was seeking an instantaneous, graphics-quality titling capability solution to the problem. The goal was to produce graphics that could be transparently mixed with artwork created using traditional methods.

Imagine then the delight when the Vidifont device was invented.

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     Posted By: Paul - Fri Mar 24, 2017
     Category: Technology | Television | 1960s | 1970s

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