Monthly Archives: December 2007

Lithium Ion Battery Air Travel Restrictions

If you are one of the many air travelers who carry spare lithium laptop, cell phone, camera and other electronic equipment batteries with you when traveling by air, take note: The government has some new rules which go into effect on New Year’s Day, 2008.


There are new regulations going into effect on January 1, 2008 if you travel by air with lithium batteries. Everyone would be well served by checking with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) website BEFORE they travel. 


The SafeTravel.Dot.Gov website has additional information that may be helpful.


This information is subject to changes by the Federal Government. Check back with the above links often for the most up to date information. -33-


EDITOR’S NOTE – 12-30-07 at 2100H – Minor revisions to clarify article.



Video Archiving


What can I do to obsolete proof my video archives? Most of them are on Beta SP®. Do I need to go to a Duplication House to have copies made?

  Just a few quick thoughts:

  • There is no real “obsolete proof” archival format.

  • Beta SP® is still a very active format used by broadcasters, industry, education, media professionals and some hobbyists around the world.
  • You do not need to go to a duplication house to have your Beta SP® materials dubbed (copied). Will the format be here 20-, 40- or 60-years from now is anyone’s guess.
  • Most any television station, cable company, corporate facility, editing house or even your local event (wedding/party) videographers have the equipment to do this for you. The format is rather ubiquitous.


If you are looking for long-term storage of your program materials your best bet is to format hop as new formats develop. Beta SP® (A Trademark of Sony) is an analog format. An important issue with analog is that it does not copy into multiple generations well, although Beta SP® is one of the better formats for multi-generation duplication because signal quality holds up through several copies.


You should consider converting your program materials to a digital format (this is called “Digitizing”). To do this you would have your Beta SP® original digitized and placed on a DVD as a MPEG file. This is not a complicated process. You can simply go to your favorite electronics store, purchase a DVD player/recorder and connect it to a Betacam® VTR and you are on your way. 

Once it is in a digital format it can maintain the visual and audio quality of the original software. This means that you can make copies of copies with little to no loss in quality.


Format hopping comes in when you begin to see DVDs and MPEG formats slipping in popularity. Always go with the latest stable format to duplicate your materials. It is a lot of follow-up but well worth the effort to protect today’s program materials for generations to come. This is a big problem for still photographers. Many question if archived images taken today will be able to be opened for viewing 50, 75, 100… years from now. -33-

Shockley and Bardeen and Brattain, Oh My!

Where would our modern world be without the ubiquitous transistor? Many of the “things” that we take for granted on a daily basis would not work or even exist without this little switch. Televising The Revolution celebrates the Sixtieth birthday of the Transistor, born on December 16, 1947. 


 With a tip of the Televising The Revolution hat we thank the three physicists from Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, N.J., who built the world’s first transistor. William Shockley, John Bardeen and William Brattain. This triumvirate of inventors had been looking for a semiconductor amplifier to take the place of the vacuum tubes that made radios and other electronics so impossibly bulky, hot and power hungry. They were so instantly certain they’d found their answer that they didn’t speak a word of it to anyone for six months, until they could experiment further and apply for patents. 


 June 30, 1948, Shockley, Bardeen and Brattain held a press conference in New York City. They showed the world not only a big model of a transistor but also a TV and a radio with transistors in place of the tubes. Nobody was talking about anything like computers yet, but it was a first look at the future we all live in. The world’s response? The New York Times ran an item at the bottom of its “News of Radio” column on page 46.  

Just another world rocking invention that began with a whimper but certainly commands a roaring presence today. -33-