Production Journal: December 7, 1994

This is an excerpt of one of our planning session documents.

Fr:Tom Newman
Re:JASON Project/Side Screen Control

These are my understandings based on today's conference call on the control system for the
side screens, plus a few related thoughts.


1.1 The screen on audience left is hooked up to the videodisc player, and receives no other
signal. (We need to ask the PINS to standardize this position).

1.2 There is a computer hooked up to the videodisc player, which also runs other programs (Q 
& A and Driving Simulation). These other programs DO NOT appear on the projection screen.

1.3 The computer controlling the videodisc player is controlled from Hawaii, under my

1.4 PINS cannot control the videodisc player unless they take it off-line.

1.5 Commands will come from Hawaii at moments yet to be determined, but safe to say at key
moments Hawaii will direct the videodisc to advance or freeze, keeping the image in sync with
the program content. The number of such events will be somewhere less than 30 and more
than 10, is my guess.

1.6 The videodisc will be organized to allow generally sequential (linear) play, that is, with the
images on the disc arranged in the order they will be needed.

1.7 The videodisc images will be arranged in topic areas. The last image in each topic area
will freeze on the screen until there is a command by Hawaii to advance to the next sequence.
This will allow synchronization to be maintained if a subject runs long.

1.8 Likewise, to maintain sync when a subject runs short, Hawaii will be able to command the
disc to skip ahead to the next sequence.

1.9 To allow free-ranging changes in subject, any sequence can be triggered by Hawaii in any
order if necessary. We do not expect this to be common.

1.10 Hawaii will have a table of contents of these sequences. We can share that with the PINS
in the form of a planned show order. 

1.11 The Hawaiian table of contents will be on my computer screen and can be rapidly 
accessed by clicking on a given sequence.

1.12 The exact contents of the disc are still in development and will be defined at the same
time the script is ready in January; the script will essentially be for a three-screen show.


2.1 The projection screen on Audience Right shows either the computer (Interactivity
Platform-- Io and Spider Exercises, Driving, & Evaluation at end of show) or the same
videodisc image as the other side screen.

2.2 PINS can switch between these two choices or conceivably some other source at their
discretion. EDS Technicians will accomplish the switching.

2.3 At specific intervals, Hawaii will send commands which will call up certain files on the
computer. It is expected that PINS will switch the computer onto the projection screen at that
time. Hawaii will send messages over the computer to warn of such events.

2.4 During the rest of the hour, Production recommends the screen show the output of the

2.5 PINS will be given a minute-by-minute breakdown showing what screen should be doing
what throughout the hour. If PINS choose to switch to their own material, they can use this
breakdown to come back into sync with the program or to pick what times to insert their own
signal. Those PINS for whom local programming is vital can thus select times to override the
system without missing any crucial event.


We did not discuss this, but for the record:

3.1 Hawaii will have the following incoming sources for the Right screen:

Williams Co. network, bringing in keystroke data from PINS in real time
Internet, bringing in data from anywhere approximately 24 hours delayed

3.2 Students will generally enter spider data from the PINS directly into the Williams network,
and Hawaii will be able to show this data in compiled form to the scientists or use it as a video
input to the center screen. PINS will also see this compiled data simultaneously with Hawaii.

3.3 Some students may use Internet to enter data ahead of time, and this will also be compiled 
and used in the show they see, assuming they enter the data no later than the day ahead.

3.4 Biologists in the field will have monitors which allow them to see two NTSC signals, one 
for program output and the other for computer output converted to NTSC. 

3.5 Notwithstanding all the above, PINS will still receive abundant footage to use as they wish.


4.1 Ruder Finn will create the master and arrange for pressing the disc.

4.2 We propose this timetable:

Jan. 10: all materials in hand
Jan. 17: Master completed by Ruder Finn & sent for pressing
Jan. 24: Receive alpha disc (test copy)
Jan. 30: Complete evaluation
Jan. 31: Order final pressing or
Feb.  6: Complete revisions and order pressing
Feb. 13: Distribute discs

4.3 This is the story so far on the length of the disc: If the player suggested by Bill will allow
the kind of control we need, the disc can be a 60 minute CLV disc (and my hat is off to Bill
for thinking of it); however, customarily CLV discs are played only in a linear mode. I am
designing accordingly. But if the player cannot address frames with enough accuracy, we
would need to use a CAV disc, which offers random access with complete accuracy, but only
runs 30 minutes; this limitation may not be apparent with subtle use of still-frames. Last I
heard, Jim was evaluating the options. I can go either way, but need to know soon. Also, the
costs may not be identical, but not so different as to tilt the decision.

4.4 Jim is going to check with the UK PINS about NTSC and videodisc.

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