Teletext was an early mainstream precursor to the web that became successful in the UK and France: hundreds of low-res pages a day streamed in the invisible overscan margins of the TV signal. It died with analog television; archivists are finding the original data can be recovered from VHS tapes.
Technology is changing that. The continuing boom in processor power means it’s now possible to feed 15 minutes of smudged VHS teletext data into a computer and have it relentlessly compare the pages as they flick by at the top of the picture, choosing to hold characters that are the same on multiple viewing (as they’re likely to be right) and keep trying for clearer information for characters that frequently change (as they’re likely to be wrong).
It's an interesting study in horsepower: it takes such "phenomenal processing power" to accurately and reliably scan VHS recordings of text that we're only now on the cusp of being able to do so.
That hundreds, even thousands of frames of each teletext page are required to OCR each one is also a powerful tribute to just how astoundingly awful VHS is.
Legendary comedian, actor, writer, and director Carl Reiner has died at age 98. Reiner is best known for performing with Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca on the 1950s TV variety program Your Show of Shows and later creating The Dick Van Dyke Show. He also directed George Burns in the classic “Oh God!” (1977), Steve […]
On May 28, 1982, Joseph Billie Gwin, then 28, took four people hostage at the KOOL-TV station in Phoenix, Arizona. He eventually surrendered but not until news anchor Bill Close read Gwin’s 20-minute statement on live television with a gun pointed at his stomach under the table. Gwin watched a portable TV to make sure […]
It’s creepy and it’s kooky. Also kind of spooky.
Photography isn’t just about lighting and composition anymore, especially when you’re shooting with your smartphone. While a wealth of expertise can absolutely help you grab better images, sometimes it’s just about having a great light or an amazing smoothing gimbal to instantly elevate your Instagram pics and other social videos from meh to standout. To […]
As the summer surges forward, grilling and evenings in the backyard may be the only serious outdoor excursions many of us take this season. Yet even with all of our current problems, there’s one group who doesn’t care a bit about COVID-19 and will still look to make any trip you make outside into an […]
With all due respect to our vegetarian friends, there might be nothing more intrinsically linked to the 4th of July holiday than a big ole cookout. Sure, fireworks and celebrating the birth of a constitutional republic are great too, but showing off your cooking prowess with a brilliantly seared, mouth-watering slab of grade-A American beef […]