Tobin TVT-16: Low Cost 16mm Film to Video Transfer System
By James Grahame
Tobin Cinema Systems is now shipping the TVT-16 16mm film to video transfer machine. While its $4200 price tag might seem a tad high at first glance, it is well within the budget of professional transfer facilities.
A significant difficulty faced by amateur filmmakers is the exorbitant cost of getting 16mm film scanned to video. Traditional Telecine transfer can cost up to $600 per hour, putting it out of reach for many budget-conscious movie makers. The TVT-16 should level the playing field a bit by reducing the cost of high-quality film transfers.
Unlike old-fashioned projector-based systems, the TVT-16 uses a built in CCD module to deliver
frame-by-frame scanning in real time, without blended or blurred frames. It
incorporates a custom macro lens assembly with a solid state LED light source
that provides consistent illumination across the entire film frame.
The machine can be ordered with either an NTSC or PAL sensor module that outputs flicker-free video at either 752 or 768 pixel horizontal resolution. Supported transfer speeds include 24 and 16 fps (NTSC) or 25 and 16 2/3 fps (PAL). The maximum reel capacity is 2300 feet, giving one hour of running time. The company also manufactures several 8mm models.