VIDEO FUNDAMENTALS - 2025/6

Module code: FVP1014

Module Overview

This module is central to your development as a broadcast engineer. It covers the fundamental concepts that underpin all professional video systems in both Television and Film industries, and introduces essential concepts that you will use across a wide range of the other modules, as well as throughout any career related to professional video. It also will provide you with the theoretical understanding to support your practical film making activities, both within the programme and for a successful career in any area of the creative industries.

You will learn the basic principles of analogue and digital video signals, specified in industry standards, as used in all professional practice. The module balances understanding of the underlying theory with application in professional contexts, and the coursework is intended to allow you to put the theory into practice. You will look at analogue video waveforms on an oscilloscope, and examine digital bit streams down to binary data level, as well as learning the basics of setting up monitors and critical viewing of moving images.

Module provider

Music and Media

Module Leader

HAIGH Alan (Music & Med)

Number of Credits: 30

ECTS Credits: 15

Framework: FHEQ Level 4

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 160

Lecture Hours: 46

Seminar Hours: 26

Laboratory Hours: 20

Guided Learning: 2

Captured Content: 46

Module Availability

Year long

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

None

Module content

Indicative content includes:


  • Analogue video

  • Light and colour

  • The human visual system

  • Luminance and gamma

  • Frame rates and raster scanning

  • Digital video

  • Waveform monitors and vectorscopes

  • Standard video test signals

  • Monitor line-up

  • Video signal and the camera

  • Colour temperature and colour matching

  • The video signal used in visual effects and editing

  • Video formats

  • Camera sensors and types of cameras

  • TV Monitor types

  • Digital video standards

  • Video codecs

  • Video and audio compression

  • Broadcast transmission

  • Vision engineering

  • Picture quality assurance


Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Practical based assessment Practical Labs 35
Oral exam or presentation Oral Presentation 15
Examination Exam (2 Hours) 50

Alternative Assessment

N/A

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate and develop knowledge and understanding of video engineering principles. It allows written feedback opportunities on the practical lab assignments. Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

Practicals – A variety of  practical lab sessions that will develop the students understanding of the analogue video signal; observing and evaluating video test signals and equipment set up procedures, using the video signal to line up cameras and apply the video knowledge to improve shots for editing.

Presentation – Oral seminar on a given topic

Exam – Written paper given under exam conditions.

Formative assessment

Formative feedback will be given to individual students in  the form of regular revision questions in lectures, and in practical lab sessions.

Feedback

Students receive written feedback on their coursework and verbal feedback on their practical work throughout the module, particularly in labs.

Module aims

  • Introduce the theory of professional video systems engineering
  • Develop an understanding of the history of the video signal leading and how this has lead to current professional formats
  • Comprehend light and colour reproduction in relation to the video signal
  • Provide students with an understanding of test signals and standards for the video signal that can be applied in broadcast craft skills
  • Introduce broadcast and transmission systems for moving image
  • Improve quality analysis of moving images and sound

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Analyse analogue and digital television signals KCP
002 Explain the basic features of the human visual system, and how its deficiencies are used in video systems KC
003 Describe basic video systems, including luminance, colour, gamma, frame rates and forms of scanning KCP
004 Recognise digital video formats KCP
005 Identify and understand video test signals KCP
006 Apply an understanding of the video signal to show the creativity of the camera, the application of visual effects and editing KCP
007 Evaluate camera and picture reproduction technology KCP
008 Compare analogue broadcast transmission systems KC
009 Develop knowledge of colour representation in moving images KCP
010 Determine signal and picture quality KCP
011 Problem solving T
012 Group Work T

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to: develop skills and knowledge in fundamental video engineering, allowing later modules to build on this knowledge. Theory is related to practice by means of practical labs.

The learning and teaching methods include: Lectures, Labs exploring video signal, lighting and standard test signals. Seminars. Guided reading and independent learning

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

https://readinglists.surrey.ac.uk
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: FVP1014

Other information

 

Digital capabilities: the module introduces the theoretical and practical fundamentals of digital video, giving you an accurate understanding of what the term "digital" truly means, as well as a theoretical understanding of how video is converted to and from the digital domain. As part of the coursework assignments, you will also develop skills in: measuring video signals, using test equipment

Employability: the knowledge and skills developed within this module are the fundamentals of a successful career in the audio or video / broadcast industry. The lectures and workshops cover fundamental video systems, required to understand and fault-find in practical situations. The coursework is designed as team excercise. Working on a complex project together as essential transferrable skills relevant to most jobs. The presentation is an essential skills in many more senior occupations. The module also includes some content which currently is needed in industry to fill a skills gap in the TV industry. Skills in practical Broadcast engineering in video in particular.

Sustainability: as part of the theoretical understanding of video, the topics will also discuss aspects of sustainability in professional video, such as the importance of backwards compatibility (for example in broadcast and modulation systems), and power efficiency, using LED lighting.

 

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2025/6 academic year.