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Video Demystified, Fourth Edition (Demystifying Technology) 4th Edition

3.5 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0750678223
ISBN-10: 0750678224
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Editorial Reviews


"The book is a strong combination of introductory text and reference work on video. The contents are very academic and technical. It should be useful for practicing hardware developers and engineers and college students in related fields. It is recommended for academic libraries and special libraries serving these audiences."
- Xu Peng, Business Librarian, Michigan State University Gast Business Library

"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 in invaluable, whether you're a test engineering or a designer."
- Test and Measurement World

"Since there's so much to know about video - techniques, coding, formats, protocols, signal shapes, connectors, pinouts and more - I recommend an excellent, comprehensive book that I have seen on this topic. It is Video Demystified . this 900-page book is great to have handy."
- Bill Schweber, Editor, Planet Analog

Book Description


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Product Details

  • Series: Demystifying Technology
  • Paperback: 960 pages
  • Publisher: Newnes; 4th edition (September 21, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0750678224
  • ISBN-13: 978-0750678223
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 7.5 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,436,583 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By calvinnme HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 3, 2006
Format: Paperback
To begin with, the 4th edition of this book was released in autumn 2004, so all reviews earlier than that are referring to previous editions. I think that too many people buy this book and are expecting either "Video Algorithms Demystified" or "Video Processing Demystified". That is entirely understandable since "Video Demystified" could be talking about one or several areas of video and until you purchase the book you don't really know which one. This book should probably be relabeled as "Video Systems Demystified" to cause a minimum of confusion.

This book is most suitable for electrical engineers that are interested in video signals and their diagrams, video interfaces, connectors and their pin-outs, voltage levels, and digital data and video formats. There are many diagrams showing, for example, typical scrambler and descrambler circuits. The chapters on the video standards (MPEG-1,2,4) do a pretty good job of detailing the format of the video data as it is encoded, including all of the possible header fields, but there is virtually no discussion on any of the compression and motion estimation algorithms that do the actual encoding. There is one chapter on video signal processing, and it is very superficial.

The CD-ROM contains a large variety of color test images useful to video engineers trying to determine if their video system has any problems, and if so, produce a diagnosis. The one item in this book of particular interest to people with more of a computer science/algorithm interest in video would be the source code for MPEG-1, MPEG-2, H.261, and H.263 video encoders and decoders present on the CD. However, I have not tried out these decoders myself, so I cannot speak to their functionality.
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Comment 18 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
I bought this on the recomendation of someone concerning a technical question I had on Video signalling over SDI. It turned out to have about 1 paragraph on the subject, and didnt come close to being able to answer my question.

Having worked on Computers for around 20 years including writing and debugging mainframe assembler code, as well as many a day spent searching though page after page of hexadecimal, I am no stranger to bits and bites, and large libraries of thousands of technical reference manuals.

I have 3 problems with this book.

1) The title is deceiving. A more accurate title would be "Primer for decoder/encoder design" or "Video Signaling Reference Guide".

2) It cetainly does no "Demystifying". I expected a book that was structured and had a flow to it (as any educational book should) but found it to be written with absolutely NO PERSONALITY (like a reference book), and using terms at the start that then only actually get explained half way through the book!

3) There are so many tables and figures (overkill IMHO used too much to fill pages rather than explain anything well) with very little descriptions, and no keys to the diagrams. 90% of them also seem to be referred to by text many pages away from the actual graphics, which is just bad book design.

I am sure that the author really knows his stuff, and the book is full of very useful refrence information for designers, but for someone looking for an educational book on Video, you should look elsewhere, unless you have a fulltime engineer to sit with you as you read the book.

I can only recomend this as a reference book for those who already have a very good grounding in this field, or to be used in conjuction with another higher level book written by someone with much better educational skills.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is supposed to be the Bible on all things video, but

the book falls short in many areas:

- Each successive edition has compressed old material and

added new material to the point where the coverage in

many areas is extremely superficial. Introductory material

has been hacked out.

- Terms are introduced and either not explained at all, or

explained pages later. A good editor should have read this

thing. It reads like it was pasted together.

- If the author broke the book into multiple volumes, the

book would benefit. I'd suggest one for digital standards,

and one for everything else (interface standards, video

basics, etc.). Then increase the total page count to restore

material trimmed out from previous additions.

- There are way too many useless, redundant pictures. Could have

used one picture along with a table to each resolution.
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This book serves as a very good reference for video engineers. However, for a person new to the field of video encoding/decoding, I would not recommend this book.
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