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4 Responses:

  1. Foone Turing says:

    I've been looking into how to generate this kind of titling recently. It's getting hard to research 90s TV titlers cause everyone's just doing it in After Effects/Premiere these days.

    I'm also keeping an eye out for cable scramblers (not descramblers!) cause I want to make my own "scrambled channels". Basically if I can recreate this GIF, perfect!

    • Foone, you can make a simple (but effective) scrambler using a couple of vcrs and a bit of soldering. I have something a lot like that queued for an upcoming art performance.

    • Peter says:

      That looks like Videocrypt, made infamous by Sky in the 1990s, although it was white text on a translucent black background on my descrambler. That square font is memorable from a number of devices and is almost certainly a standard off-the-shelf title generator chip. Good luck finding that 25 year old part and/or datasheet to extract the font, though.

      Videocrypt worked by taking each line of video, slicing it at a random point, and swapping the two halves. This is very easy to implement in software today. The card and the descrambler would collude to seed the PRNG, which could match up with the PRNG used by the head-end scrambler as often as 95% of the time. Those with connections would acquire a pirate card, which worked 100%.

      For the ultimate authentic Videocrypt experience, you need a cheap-arse Amstrad turd of a descrambler which mangles the PAL phase information and makes the picture look like a badly-tuned NTSC signal. Fortunately, Sky mainly just showed American reruns anyway so it gave a pretty authentic experience.

      • Tolomea says:

        some of the software descramblers for this worked by essentially doing edge alignment between the scan lines, which is surprisingly effective, except where it runs into a pure horizontal edge

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