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Video Demystified, 3rd Edition Paperback – March 15, 2001

ISBN-13: 978-1878707567 ISBN-10: 1878707566 Edition: 3rd

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Product Details

  • Series: Demystifying Technology Series
  • Paperback: 812 pages
  • Publisher: Newnes; 3rd edition (March 15, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1878707566
  • ISBN-13: 978-1878707567
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 7.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,357,138 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Somewhere within the 759 pages of Keith Jack's $69.95 Video Demystified: Third Edition (ISBN 1-878707-56-6) is the answer to nearly every conceivable question involving analog and digital video. The author has not only assembled a tremendous amount of information, but also structured it in a manner that enables easy navigation. Video Demystified's incremental-complexity format enables you to explore the material to whatever degree you desire. Folks who want only a high-level overview can stop when they've satisfied their objectives and won't be frustrated by lots of upfront jargon, and those who want a deeper understanding can continue reading to their hearts' content.

Jack includes a list of references at the end of each chapter, along with a 50-pg glossary at the end of book. He's also bundled two CDs, containing an e-book version of the manuscript; a directory of still test images; source code for H.261, H.263, MPEG 1, and MPEG 2 video encoders and decoders; and image sequences at various resolutions for use as test-source material for the codecs. A companion Web site ( provides links to companies, standards organizations, and other references."
--EDN, June 7, 2001

"If you are going to get seriously involved with digital video--perhaps writing programs for video editing and special effects--you need to know at least some of the technical details. And not only for consumer digital video, but also for the various analog formats that are in widespread use throughout the world. That's where this book comes in."
--Visual Developer

"I have never seen such a wealth of useful information about video signals as the author provides in this book. And with today's emphasis on multimedia computers, video-processing devices, and graphic add-in boards, the book is invaluable, whether you're a test engineer or a designer."
--Test and Measurement World

"Video Demystified is a one-of-a-kind book. Anyone who designs multimedia or digital-video products will most certainly benefit from reading it."
--Electronics Handbook

"This is the kind of engineer¹s source book you wish publishers would do more often. It contains a vast amount of information on the relationships between video and computer graphics--everything from the basics of NTSC to complex color space conversion and MPEG video compression--all of it explained in a clear, easy-to-understand language and richly illustrated with diagrams, waveforms, and tables."
--Stephan Ohr, contributing editor, Computer Design

"It's [Video Demystified] extraordinarily technical, with an astonishing number of superb figures--and you'd better know your 'rithmetic coming in. If you want to do custom video interfacing, get it."
--PC Techniques

About the Author

Keith Jack is Director of Product Marketing at Sigma Designs. Sigma Designs develops and markets high-performance, highly-integrated System-on-a-Chip (SoC) semiconductors for IPTV Set-top Boxes, Blu-ray and HD DVD Players/Recorders, HDTVs, Digital Media Adapters, and Portable Media Players. Prior to joining Sigma Designs, Mr. Jack held various marketing and chip design positions at Harris Semiconductor, Brooktree, and Rockwell International. He has been involved in over 40 multimedia chips for the consumer market.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

78 of 84 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 24, 2001
Format: Paperback
If you ever wanted to be the guy in your neighborhood that knows the most about Analog and Digital video signals, then this is the book for you. I must have read the words RGB and YCrCb 100 times by page 500. And I now can tell you anything you want to know about how my VGA plug works, not to mention feeling very confident that I now understand my S-video cable on my Camcorder. If I ever travel overseas, I also have a very good grasp of the difference between "my TV signal" and "their TV signal".
Video Demystified is a good name for this text, because when you are done reading this book, you won't have any questions about anything relating to video. You'll clearly understand everything about your TV set also. How the contrast control works; how the picture is drawn on the screen; what the signals running through the cables look like, etc. And I don't just mean know them... I mean "know them". And if you feel like you need to suddenly need to build a TV set from spare parts at Radio Shack, you certainly will want to order this book and have it handy.
But I have to say, be prepared for a headache by page 300. This book isn't light reading and after a while it becomes rather redundant in areas. It's almost more of a reference manual in some ways actually.
Additionally, be warned that the author jumps right into things head first assuming you already know quite a bit about the basics of video signals already. There's no warm and fuzzy "get you up to speed" intro section in this book, so you better have a clear understanding of video signals and hardware (not to mention some background in bitmap images) before you start.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By "daveharpe" on October 11, 2001
Format: Paperback
If you are an experienced video person, this book is for you. It does a good job of explaining the difference between all of the different digital video standards. It's helpful if you have experience with analog video before reading this book.
Be advised that it's definitely NOT a dummies book. It's very academic. You have to read through things a couple of times to get them to click. If you've just started in the world of digital video, you need to find another book.
The best thing about this book is that all of your standards definitions are all together in one place. Wondering what the encoding format is for NTSC HDTV DVCam? It's in there.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By "vidvad" on March 6, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book is a good introduction to NTSC / PAL / SECAM / digital video. The information on MPEG is superficial at best, but that is not what this book is about anyway. Expect a challenging read if you are new to this field.
This book is mainly aimed at the hardware developer. If this is you, do not base your design strictly on information in this book without reading the relevant standards documents: this contributed to the company I work for having had to spin a few chips. This book is NOT suitable as a reference.
If you're a software / driver developer, you're probably better off reading "Digital Video and HDTV" by Charles Poynton (ISBN: 1558607927). The information there will be a lot more relevant (and useful) to you. After that, you'll have a much easier time reading "Video Demystified" (if you really, really want to find out what planet the hardware designers you work with are from).
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4 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 8, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is a book for people who do NOT work on designing video devices. If you want to build something based on this book, your design will most likely fail since there are many ERRORS in the book. BUT if you want to FOOL your boss on some paper design or FOOL some employers to get a JOB, this is a book for you since it is easy to read and you don't need any knowledge beyond high school.
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