You’ll no doubt have seen the familiar color bars used as a standard reference for video signal calibration.  Two examples are shown here.  Figure 299 is an example of the color bars used in NTSC countries, while Figure 300 is a PAL example, common throughout European nations.

You can use color bars in conjunction with TriCaster’s Waveform and Vectorscope to make sure the video supplied to the Switcher is consistent, accurate and broadcast legal.

Most video cameras are capable of displaying color bars – check your camera manual to see how to display these (given a choice, use 75% bars).  Then look at the Vectorscope to see how it traces the individual colors comprising the image.

The Vectorscope graticule has six distinct rectangular targets, one each for Yellow, Red, Magenta, Cyan, Blue, and Green.  The targets are small rectangles with a cross-hair superimposed on them.

When a source is properly calibrated, the trace from the different colored segments of the color bars displayed will fall right inside their individual targets (see Figure 302).

If the trace vectors do not line up as they should even after performing a white balance at the camera, you can use TriCaster’s Proc Amp controls to tweak the signal.

Adjust the Hue control to rotate the vectors around the center point to line them up correctly on their respective targets.  Increasing Saturation will move the trace further out towards the edge of the scope.  Decreasing Saturation lowers color intensity, bringing the trace back closer to the center.

At this point, your video signal should be reasonably accurate, and broadcast legal.  Naturally, there are other devices between that signal, you, and your viewers.  Let’s discuss ways to calibrate downstream video monitors to ensure that you see your video at its best.


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