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Vidi-RGB Manual

July 1990
Hardware version 1

Copyright 1990 ROMBO Productions

ROMBO Productions
6 Fairbairn Road
Kirkton North
Livingston
Scotland
EH546TS

Tel:(0506)414631
Fax:(0506)414634
Vidi-RGB - Contents

Contents
Introduction
Using this manual ....................... .............................. .... :.............................. 3
How (and why) we did it.. ................................. ................. .. ............... ....... 3

Getting started
Requirements ... ..... ... .................. .............. .......... ... ........................................ 4
Setting up ..................................... ................................. ....................... ......... 4
Software support ........................... ....... ....... ............. ....... .... ......................... 5
Connecting a video source .............. ................. ................ ........................... 5
Manual control ... .......................... .................................. ............... ........ ....... 5
Tutorials
Getting it toge the r ........................................................... .. ........................... 5
Contro ls ................... ............................................................ ......................... 6
Brightness level ................................................................... ......................... 6
Colour Saturation ..... ........... ....................... ......................... ......................... 6
Colour Balance ........................................... ... ....................... ........................ 6
Manual control ........................................................... ............. ..................... 6
Reference
Input .............................................................................................................. 7
Output .............................................................. ............................................. 7
Manual colour se lect button ........................................................................ 7
Automatic control ................................ ........................................................ 7
Colour control .................... ....... .. ................................................................. 7
Brightness Con trol ................................................... ................. ................... 7
1/0 Feature connector ............................. ... ........... ................... ..... ............... 7

Appendices
A: Hints and tips ...................................................... .................................... 8
B: PAL signal Encoding/Decoding .................................. .......................... 8 )
C: VidiChrome control ports ....................... ............................................... 9
D: Troubleshooting .................. ....................... ............................................. 9
E: I/O Feature connector .................. ... ..... ................................................. 10
F: Technical support ................................................. ....................... .... ...... 11
G: External power supply ......................................................... ................ 11

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Vidi-RGB - Introduction

Introduction
Vidi-RGB is an electronic colour separator and sequencer. It can accept input
from a variety of colour signal sources, the default being Composite colour.
Separate Luminance/Chrominance (S-VHS) and discrete RGB and Sync . may
be connected with specia l leads to the I/O Feature connector.
A combination of Vidi -RGB and a still colour source, will allow a
monochrome digitiser (our own Vidi Frame Grabbers , Digi- View etc.). along
with co lour processing software to produce full colour pictures with ease.

Using this manual


To ensure you don't cause too much damage, I recommend you first read and
understand the Getting started section to get you through installation of the
hardware, connecting up a video signal and basic operation.
The Tutorials section guides you through a typical 'session', showing the
various functions avai lable from the hardware. To find out more about a
particular function, look it up in the Reference section.

How (and why) we did it. .....


Vidi-RGB was designed to fill a need, namely to replace conventional optical
colour filter sets with a conven ient and AUTOMATIC means of co lour
separation.
It was conceived (not immaculately) and designed by Colin Faulkner during
the 1st half of 1990. Many sugges tions - on ly the polite ones - from the
ROMBO team and Vidi users were included in the final design. TIle original
VidiChrome for Vidi-Amiga was revised by resident programmer Keith
Wilson to incorporate automatic control for Vidi-RGB, so we know it works! .
All units are hand assembled and tested by our own dedicated production staff
at ROMBO Productions in Livingston , Scotland. Please remember, being
merely human mistakes can happen ....
The manual text was written using Amor's Protext wordprocessor, all pictures
were captured using Vidi-PC. The final manual layout was produced with
Timeworks DeskTop Publisher and printed by laser printer.

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Vidi-RGB - Getting Started

Getting started
Requirements
Your Vidi-RGB pack should contain:
Vidi-RGB interface
This manual
External 9-12 Volt DC Power Supply (UK only, See Appendix G)
To use Vidi-RGB you will need :
Colour video source, camera or recorder with perfect freeze frame
Vidi Frame Grabber, or other digitiser
VidiChrome or other colour merging software
For best 'Live ' results from Vidi-RGB, we recommend:
Bright f10urescent lighting
Good quality Camera or Camcorder
Copy stand or tripod
For good recorded image process ing you need :
Video recorder with perfect freeze frame
1st generation video tapes
Setting up
Vidi-RGB requires an external Power
Supply to operate. this should be
plugged into the mains supply and
then into the DC input socket on
Vidi-RGB.
Reset Vidi-RGB by pressing the col-
our se lect button for approximately 5
seconds. set both the Brightness and
Colour controls to mid travel and
connect the video output lead from
Vidi-RGB to the input of your digitiser.

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Vidi-RGB - Tutorials

Software support
If you have the foresight to be using
one of our Vidi Frame Grabbers and
VidiChrome software, this will incor- "
porating AUTOMATIC co lour selec-
tion, so connect the 9 pin joystick cable
to the port detailed in the VidiChrome
manual (see Appendix C), If not, leave
this cable disconnected ,

Connecting a video source


Lastly connect your colour signal to the video input socket (phono) on
Vidi-RGB , Your digitiser should now be receiving a black and white signal.

Note thal 'V ideo-Out ' is different from


'RF-Out' and although you r cable may fit.
you will be unable to grab any pictures!

Manual control
Simply press the button briefly to step through to the required colour, shown
by the LED, Off - Black and V/hite, Red, Green and Orange! I - blue LED 's
are as rare as hens teeth.

Tutorials
This section assumes you are using Yidi -RGB with our own hardware and
software, I make no apologies for this. If you are not, read it anyway and
extract the relevant details , at the very least it will show what you are
missing! ,

Getting it together
Firstly switch on your video equipment, computer and Yidi Frame Grabber
then load and run the YidiChrome software. Grab a frame or 2 to check that
your normal setup is operational. Connect Yidi-RGB between your video
source and Vidi (see Getting started) and switch on the 'Splitter ' option in
YidiChrome .

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Vidi-RGB - Tutorials

Controls
These allow you to setup Vidi-RGB for use with your other equipment.
Brightness adjusts the B&W or Luminance level of the output signal.
Saturation adjusts the colour or Chrominance content of the signal, and
ranges from fully saturated to Black & White.

Brightness level
For a first attempt, leave these at mid travel position and se lect ' Grab HAM or
Grab RGB ' from the VidiChrome Grab menu . Initially the computer display
will show a B&W image, the LED on Vidi-RGB should be off. On yo ur Vidi,
set the brightness to mid travel and contrast to fully open. If the grabbed
image is too bright or 'burnt out ' adjust the brightness contro l on Vidi-RGB to
compensate. It may be necessary to use both Vidi-RGB , Vidi's brightness
control AND change the subject lighting to get the correct level. REMEMBER
to leave the software brightness controls for colour co rrecti on. When the
brightness is correct, use the contrast control (Vidi-PC' s software control) to
set the black level. Try to set up the controls so that white areas in the picture
digitise as white, black as black, with an even spread of shades in between.
Press the key to capture the image. llle LED on Vidi-RGB should quickly
sequence through the colours and VidiChrome will merge the separate
components into a full co lour picture.

Colour Saturation
This first attempt may not be perfect. colour saturation depends on a large
range of variables , lighting, type of camera. white balance etc., so adjust
Vidi-RGB 's colour control as required .

Colour Balance
The Brightness option within VidiChrome allows you to change each level for
the individual Red , Green and Blue components to compensate. For example a
picture whi ch is too ye llow is actuall y suffe ring from either a lack of blue or
too much red and green. By changing the software brightness level for a
colour and re -grabbing the picture. colour corrections can be easily made.

Manual control
If you have to se lect co lours manually, press the button to step to the one
required. REMEMBER fiddling with this may confuse VidiChrome, so use the
'Reset split ' option to re-synchroni se software and hard ware before grabbing.

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Vidi-RGB - Reference

Reference
Input
{ The input to Vidi-RGB is standard I volt p-p composite colour signal, via
the rear panel phono socket. This input is NOT terminated to 75 ohms, to
l enable the connection of other devices , monitor etc. to the same signal.
Output
Vidi-RGB produces the decoded colour component, into which has been
re-mixed all the sync. pulses stripped from the original. The signa l is fully
buffered and leaves via the captive phono lead.

Manual colour select button


This single control has a dual function, firstly if pressed for more than a
couple of seconds, it resets the decoder to B&W. Second if pushed briefl y,
it sequences the B&W then RGB outputs in turn, when pressed.

Automatic control
Vidi-RGB uses digital colour se lection, allowing the host computer to
sequence through the Black & White, Red, Green and Blue decoded
signals. This control is duplicated in the -push switch on lOp of the case,
the tri-colour LED shows the se lection state.

Colour control
This varies the co lour satu ration of the output from maximum, fully
saturated to minimum , no colour. Note that if the input video signa l has
little colour content, Vidi-RGB will not add false colour, but bring out as
much of the origina l as possible.

Brightness control
This adjusts the level of luminance (pure B& W) part of the composite
signal fed to Vidi-RGB's decoder, and hence the overall brightness level
of the video output.

I/O Feature connector


This connector provides access to practica lly all signals fed to and
produced by Yidi-RGB . See Appendix F for full details.

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Vidi -RGB - Appendices

Appendices
Appendix A: Hints and tips
The human eye can discern many thousands of diffe rent colours, and here we
are trying to produce FULL colour from the limited pallene range provided by
your computer. This coupled with differences in camera sensitivity, lighting,
co lour balance and monitor setup, all affect rhe final appearance - accurate
colour pictures are not easy to produce.
When a professional video is produced great attention is paid to lighting to
achieve realistic results. The final picture will depend upon the care you take
to set it up. We find that flourescent or b right sunl ight give the most consistent
resu lts.
Most colour cameras have provision for adj ustment of colour or white balance,
use it! - if you expect your whites to stay white, as the adds say.

Appendix B: Signal encoding/decoding


RGB decoders are not new - in fact many millions exist, cleverly buried
within any domestic colour TV set, the difficult part is extracting the important
bits ...... All televisions are highly integrated, each section relies upon others
for the signals it needs, remove one part and the whole set stops working.
Vidi-RGB uses a Large Scale Integrated Circuit (LSI), which combines all the
functions required into a single chip. This coupled with digital control and
integrated switches makes for a compact and versatile unit.
The reason that encoding works is all to do with the way our eyes perceive
different colours. In fact, eve ry visible colour can be mixed using varying
proportions of red, green and blue light. These are the called primary colours
because they can' t be created by colour mixing
(artists please note that yellow and blue don't
make green when dealing with light - this only
happens with paint or ink).
You may recognise the diagram of three
overlapping circles of coloured light producing
yellow, cyan and magenta (the secondary
colours) where they overlap, as well as pure
whi te in the centre.

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Vidi-RGB - Appendices

A colour video signal is produced by combining or encoding the Red Green


and Blue signals in a special way. The eye is more sensitive to changes in
intensity than to colour, then to the green, red, finally blue components.
Using these characteristics, the red green and blue signals are combined to
produce the luminance or Y component using the formula
Y =O.3R+O.S9G+O. II B. This Y signal has no colour content and would give an
accurate monochrome picture, it is transmitted with as large a bandwidth as
possible.
Pure colour signals are derived by subtracting the Y signal from the R.G and
B signals , producing R-Y. G-Y and B-Y. Because the Y signal is used, it can
be shown that only the R- Y and G-Y colour difference signals need to be
transmitted - simultaneous equations and all that.
111ese colour signals are transmitted on altemate picture lines within a
compressed frequency band and mixed in with the transmitted Y signal.
Decoding is simply(?) the reverse of this process .

Appendix C: VidiChrome control ports


At present VidiChrome uses :-
Vidi-Amiga/Vidi-ST second joystick port
Vidi-PC Plus its own 9 way ' D Type ' control port

Appendix D: Troubleshooting
No video signal
If your digitiser gives this message, firstly re-check all connections. If possible
use your computer monitor to check that you are feeding a signal to
Vidi-RGB, similarly look at its output to see if its there. Always reset
Vidi-RGB fully before use.
Bad colour or 'st reak y' pictures
Vidi-RGB can lose its ' lock ' on difficult colour signals , VCR ' s on fast
forward etc. If this happens simply disconnect the video input to Vidi-RGB for
a few seconds, re-connect and proceed as normal.
....I Washed out or no colour
Adjust colour and brightness contro ls, check original to see if it has any!.

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Vidi-RGB - Appendices

Appendix E: 1/0 Feature connector


This was added in response to the suggestion ' If you've got it, flaunt it' .
Below is a block diagram of Vidi-RGB. All the useful input and output signa ls
are available tJlrough this connector, the pin-out is as detailed. To utilise tllese
extra features you will need a special lead to connect to Vidi-RGB. ROMBO
wi ll produce these leads as and when they are requested according to demand,
contact teclmical support (by letter preferably) for details .
The list below shows the pin-out for the 1/0 feature connector.
NOTE, no responsibi lity can be accepted for any damage to your video
equipment or Vidi-RGB caused by incorrect connection to the feature
connector.
I ............................. 's' Luminance input
2 ............................. 's' Chrominance input
3 .................. ........... Gnd for'S ' inputs
4 ....................... ...... Decoded RED output
S .. ........................... Decoded GREEN output
6 ......... .................... Decoded BLUE outp ut
7 ............................. Gnd for RGB outputs
. 8 ............................. SYNC* output (TTL level comp.)
9 ........................ ..... Duplicate of Video lip phono socket
1O ........................... Duplicate of Video Olp phono lead
11 ........................... BURST* Burst output
12 ........................... SC Subcarrier clock sig.( 200mv olp high imp .)
13 ........................... Duplicate of of EXT DC P5U lip
14 ........................... GND
I S........................... '5 ' input select, hold low to enable '5' inputs . NOTE
no connection must be made to Video lip if these are used.
16 ....................... .... Extemal RED lip
17 ........................... Extemal GREEN lip
18 ..................... ...... Extemal BLUE lip
19 ........................... GND
20 ........................... Extemal SYNC* lip
2 1 ........................... Extemal lip select, hold low to enable
22 ........................... GND
23 ...... .....................SYNC, compliment of pin 8
24 ........................... GND
2S ...... .................... . Regulated +5v Olp (MAX SOmA)

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Vidi-RGB - Appendices

Appendix F: Technical support


Tchnical support is, as always FREE from Rombo - contact us if have any
problems, suggestions or special requirements. However, if you are having
problems with Vidi-RGB , please make sure that you have read the relevant
parts of this manual before getting in touch!
Contact us by phone if possible between 9am and Spm (lunch 12.30-1.3Opm)
and it would be helpful if you call whilst actually in front of the machine with
the appropriate software loaded. If you are writing, clearly mark the envelope
Vidi-RGB Technical Support and try to send examples on disk or a print-out
to illustrate the problem.

Appendix G: External DC Power Supply


Vidi-RGB requires an external DC input of approx . 9v @ lOOmA. In practice
this can be obtained from a small ' battery eliminator' type unit. These are
readily available, and anything which gives out between 8 and 12v at l OOmA
is adequate.

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