Descriptions of Systems

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Electronic Video Synthesizer 1971
Processing Chrominence Synthesizer 1975
Processing Chrominance Synthesiser Model 100 1976

S. V. S. (Siegel Video Systems) EVS
I wish to make it public knowledge that I have just completed the first all electronic video synthesizer in the world. It is called the Electronic Video Synthesizer (E.V.S.) and it makes pictures electronically. It is an instrument for the Creation of Color Visual information in the medium of video with the possibilities of at least one thousand different pattern variations. They are geometric formations, symmetrical as well as asymmetrical. All of these are controlled by keyboard, foot pedals, knobs and switches. The unit is designed to be performed on the air live. It has inputs in the back for Station Sync, Station Blanking, and Station Subcarrier, thereby making it totally EIA Standard. It can be played LIVE on the Air.

It could also be used in a video tape session involving music for the creation of mythical trips. Camera signals can be combined with the abstractions. The colors are the most intense ever seen on any T*V* or monitor before. The unit has a computer programming board to set-up the various video programs. All video signals in this Synthesizer are D.C. coupled, thereby insuring perfect black and accurate color, provided the monitor can handle such a perfect signal.

All video is A.C. and D.C. but most of video equipment is A.C. coupled, thereby producing signals that are highly inaccurate. The video inaccuracy is called B.L. D. (Brightness level distortion). The E.V.S. does not have this problem.

The E. V. S. is the instrument of the New Television; the growing tendency of more artistic abstract television performed by beautiful enchanting people. Where conventional television seeks to inform and entertain, the New Television will be engaged in expanding people's consciousness and providing a way for constructive meditation.

The E. V. S. hypnotizes you and the person playing it controls your trip. So the way you see the E. V. S. will depend on who is playing it. "It's the singer not the song."

This is the second instrument in the Siegel Video System. The first is the Video Chrominance Synthesizer which converts the gray scale of a monochrome video signal into a full color chrominance signal.

Information available through Howard Wise Gallery February 10, 1971

Siegel Video Systems Processing Chrominence Synthesizer
Distributed by Siegel-Ferraro Electronics 1975

The PCS synthesizes NTLC colour on any monochrome video signal. Accordingly, any monochrome camera, tape or broadcast signal may be "colourised"

These colours are of course synthetic, and will not correspond to or re-create whatever the original colours were, however it will create many useful and pleasing effects. For example: monochrome cartoons (with a multi step grey scale) may be converted into striking colour. X-ray densities can be converted into colour areas, making detail more prominent. The PCS has also found extensive use in abstract video, providing the brilliant colours so necessary for an effective abstract video piece.
The PCS. is different from other colourisers in these respects:
1.          The PCS is the only colouriser (of this type) with a U.S. patent. (# 3,647,942)
2.          The PCS will give sharp edged colours with no smearing or bleeding. The colours stay within the grey scale confines.
3.          The colours are not keyed. They change gradually with the grey tones, smoothly and naturally.
4.          Fully regulated power supplies for stable operation.
5.          These circuits, in use for over three years, have been the subject of constant improvement - towards ultimate perfection.
6.          The unit is constructed with plug in circuit boards, which can be returned for repair or exchange, in case of difficulty.

Unlike other colourisers, the P.C.S. is also a processing amplifier, which performs the following functions:

It cleans and reconstructs the sync pulses to the required .3 volts peak to peak level.
It regenerates field and frame blanking signals (back porch only)
White peak limiter: to prevent over modulation of video tape equipment (max. white level set to .7 volts p-.p).
Input level control: to adjust video signals of improper level.
Keyed clamp L.C. restorer: for restoration of the proper black level, and the elimination of low frequency phase shift and hum.
Black level control: for manual adjustment of black level, and colour tone saturation.
Luminence control: allows you to fade the luminance signal While retaining the chrome signal.
Detail control: is an adjustable boost of high video frequencies allowing one to boost resolution or cut noise.
The colour synthesizer section of the P.C.S. has the following chrome controls:
Chrome level control: for adjustment of colour saturation from zero to one hundred and ten per cent.
Chrome modulation control: adjusts the amount of colour modulation and the number of colours dresent in the picture simultainiously. It has a limit of six simultainious colours.
Phase one and two: these are the two controls (with two switcl-,es7 @hat adjust colour placement. -by setting these controls darticular colours can be placed in tle desired picture area.
Colour trap: the 2.C.S. has a colour filter circuit that removes colour information from the incoming video signal. This allows one to re-colourise existent colour video with new colours.

Processing Chrominance Synthesiser Model 100
Distributed by Siegel Electronics, Brooklyn 1976

Regulated Power Supply
Reconstructed Sync and Back Porch
White Peak Limited
Well Defined Colors
Keyed Clamp D.C. Restorer
Black Level Control
Luminance Control
Detail Boost
Black Burst Operation
Chroma Level Adjustable from 1 to 100%
Colour Phase Adjustments
Input Color Trap
Functions as Basic Proc Amp
PAL Versions Available

The PCS adds synthesised N.T S.C. colour to any monochrome or colour video signal. (a filter is included to remove any pre-existing chroma signals) The PCS operates by modulating a locally generated (chroma) subcarrier with the input signal thusly generating colour from grey scale. The PCS is a chrolwnance synthesiser, and will not necessarily re-create or reproduce original colours from monochrome video, however reasonable facsimilies can be created in many instances. Some uses to which the PCS has been put are: colorizing graphics, abstract video art, adding colour to black and white titles, etc, and is currently being used by many colleges and individuals in the U.S. and Canada. The PCS can also be used to generate "black burst'; (monochrome video with colour burst) for inter-editing monochrome and colour tapes. The P C.S. also functions as a elementary proc amp, regenerating sync and back porch, and providing a white peak limiter, keyed clamp D.C. restoration and detail, black level and video level controls. The PCS is simple to use, having just video in and out jacks. It does not require anything else. Custom options, such as external subcarrier, external sync, 240 volt operation, PAL etc. are available.

Product literature
Pioneers of Electronic Art, Ed. David Dunn. Ars Electronica. 1992.
Jud Yalkut interview with Eric Siegel, tapes by Jackie Cassen in 1970 in conjunction with WNET broadcast of Free Time WNET. Unpublished manuscript

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