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4th of July—How video tech would have varied if…

If the British colonists in the now-called U.S. hadn’t revolted, today’s tech would likely be quite different.

If the British Colonists in the territory now called the United States hadn’t revolted against Britain, in addition to preventing the death of ≈32 thousand lives and ≈six thousand wounded, many tech details would likely be quite different nowadays. It is likely that standard electric tension in the entire world would be ≈230 volts, and the worldwide power cycle would likely be 50 Hz. Ahead I’ll cover the details in the video and television world that likely would be different —and simpler— than it has been, and the impact that would have had on my tech video articles.

  • There would have never been any NTSC video system.
  • There would have never been a 60 field per second rate for the grayscale (“black and white”) television system.
  • The non-existent 60 field per second rate would have never had to change to ≈59.94 in 1953 for color (or colorized) TV.
  • The non-existent 30 frames per second would have never had to change to ≈29.97 in 1953 for color (or colorized) TV.
  • I would probably be writing that word as “colour”, and the other one as “greyscale”.
  • The only worldwide television field rate would have been 50, for both grayscale and color.
  • The worldwide television framerate would have been 25 for both greyscale and color.
  • Manufacturing of TV sets, monitors, time base correctors and recorders would have been greatly simplified.
  • There would have been no hue adjustments on TV sets or monitors.
  • There would be no ≈3.58 MHz subcarrier in production, only ≈4.43 MHz.
  • Those time base correctors that offered subcarrier feedback would have been ≈4.43 MHz only.
  • There would have been no need for drop frame timecode, and therefore, there would have been no need to call the only remaining one “non-drop” timecode. There would just be timecode, a single standard for television.
  • Color framing in direct-color VTRs would have been standardized (or “standardised”) to a single 8-field (4 frame) color frame sequence.

  • There would have been no segregated cameras. They would all be worldcams (See my 2015 article Why we should only use worldcams, illustrated above), and no one would appreciate them as being especially desirable, or call them that way.
  • Many of my articles would never have needed to be written, since they would have been non-existent topics, so I would have had more time to write about other ones.

In summary, there would be more technical standards/agreements and fewer differences. But I mostly ponder about the superior option of saving the lives of ≈32 thousand people. Fortunately, Canada and the Bahamas both got their independence peacefully from Britain, and Ecuatorial Guinea did the same with its independence from Spain in 1968. It is great to have a day off and have fun, but let’s not celebrate violence and premature deaths. (For those who don’t know, I was born, raised and live in the United States.)

US national anthem (violence marked in red)

Oh, say! can you see by the dawn’s early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming;

Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight,

O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?

And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,

Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there:

Oh, say! does that star-spangled banner yet wave

O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,

Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,

What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,

As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?

Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,

In fully glory reflected now shines in the stream:

‘Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh, long may it wave

O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore

That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion

A home and a country should leave us no more?

Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution!

No refuge could save the hireling and slave

From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave:

And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave

O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Oh, thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand

Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!

Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n-rescued land

Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!

Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,

And this be our motto: “In God is our trust”:

And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave

O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

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The articles contained in the TecnoTur channel in ProVideo Coalition magazine are copyright Allan Tépper/TecnoTur LLC, except where otherwise attributed. Unauthorized use is prohibited without prior approval, except for short quotes which link back to this page, which are encouraged!


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Born in Connecticut, United States, Allan Tépper is an award-winning broadcaster & podcaster, bilingual consultant, multi-title author, tech journalist, translator, and language activist who has been working with professional video since the eighties. Since 1994,…

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John Spooner
John Spooner

I have occasionally wondered about a song of celebration that mentions rockets and bombs…