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Re: digitizing video images of plants

>     I have a VHS camcorder and heard that it's possible to convert images 
>     into binary format for computers. Anybody know how that works? Also 
>     curious about how to convert regular photos to digital format. You 
>     know, the Krib could use a lot more nice pictures of many kinds of 
>     plants. I don't know if there's lots of room on the disk or not; Erik?
There are two methods of storage for video information; baseband or
compressed.  Your camcorder is generating 30 individual pictures each
second; each has a size of 640 by 480 pixels.  For 24 bit color, this is
almost one megabyte of digital information per picture.  That's 30 MByte
per second for digitizing a TV signal.

This information can be processed by the computer to reduce the amount of
digital information.  Most of a picture is redundant and a motion picture
is even more so.  The process for reducing the information is called
compression.  The most common algorithms are MPEG for motion video and JPEG
for still pictures.  For digitizing a camcorder, you need a "video capture
card".  You can find these at computer outlets.  They range from a couple
of hundred bucks to a couple of thousand.  Check out the "Snapper".

For still pictures, you might check out Seattle Film Works.  Their URL is
Their compression algorithm is proprietary but they give away the
software(downloadable from their web page) so it's a pretty good deal.  It
cost less than 20 cents per picture(or did) above normal processing a roll
of film.  Just have them process your roll, pay them the extra charge and
you can even download the digitized prints via the internet.  They even
provide sample files so you have an idea how the process works.  By the
way, you need a graphics adapter that provides a "true color" display.  A
256 color display leaves a little to be desired.

For a more complete description, do a search on the web using the keywords,
MPEG, JPEG, fractals, video capture and HDTV.  By the way, there is some
good information on the FCC(Federal Communications Commission) webpage on
HDTV and the standard that has been adopted for future TV.  Go to

K5vkq at ix_netcom.com