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The Avid Handbook, 5th Edition by Steve Bayes, Greg Staten

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THE WILD WORLD OF HIGH DEFINITION 6

“A camel is a horse designed by a committee.”

—Sir Alec Issigonis

A good friend of mine, when faced with his first high definition (HD) online, wondered to me how a system (NTSC) that worked so well could have been turned into the nightmare of incompatibility that is high definition. Perhaps the best way to understand it is to realize that the NTSC format was a series of brilliant inventions and hacks that created a system that, despite its quirks, worked reliably and predictably. After it was up and running, a committee codified how it worked so others could understand it (via SMPTE 170M, and so on). Digital standard definition (SD) was therefore an attempt to bring this simple system into the digital age. ...

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