Devices Make Video Interactive

Three new models in the Commander line of interactive video systems have been released: Conference-Commander, Caption-Commander and VTR-Encoder.

The Conference and Caption models, like the basic Model, work with most consumer-type VCRs and Mac or PC computers to handle automatic playback of video segments as defined by the user or encoded on the tape.

Conference-Commander simplifies documenting video events such as teleconferences, seminars and broadcasts. While recording or reviewing a videotape, tapping a key automatically creates a numbered placemark that can be overwritten with a typed-in note or title. The resulting list of notes and titles can be printed or transferred to a disk for filing with the videotape as a record of its content. If displayed on the computer screen in any Commander system, clicking on a note or title causes the VCR to locate and play from the corresponding position in the video.

The other new model, Caption-Commander, automatically provides a transcript for closed captioned (CC) TV. The resulting transcript, which is recorded on the computer's disk, can also be printed. If the program is recorded on a VCR, the transcript is automatically indexed to the video. A clickable table of contents can be created, with the VCR automatically locating the desired location. When CC TV and cable programs are recorded with Caption-Commander, any segment can be located quickly and accurately.

Finally, VTR-Encoder encodes broadcast-quality videotape recordings with "VITC" time code, for video tables of contents, lesson plans, etc. The unit ensures that these items are synchronized to the time code. When the encoded programs are distributed as VCR cassette copies, the encoded data can be read into a computer using any current Commander.

QualTech, Inc., Great Falls, VA, (800) 757-4472.

This article originally appeared in the 06/01/1996 issue of THE Journal.