Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
This term is used to describe video material where a human-readable on-screen version of the timecode information is superimposed on the image. Sometimes used in conjunction with "real" machine-readable timecode, but more often used in copies of original material on to a non-broadcast format such as VHS, so that the VHS copies can be traced back to their master tape and the original time codes easily located. Sometimes abbreviated to BITC by analogy to VITC.
Professional VCRs can "burn" (overlay) the tape timecode onto one of their composite outputs. This output (which usually also displays the setup menu or on-screen display) is known as the super out. The character switch or menu item turns this behaviour on or off. The character function is also used to display the timecode on the preview monitors in linear editing suites.
Some consumer cameras, in particular DV cameras, can "burn" (overlay) the tape timecode onto the composite output. This output typically is semi-transparent and may include other tape information. It is usually activated by turning on the 'display' info in one of the camera's sub-menus. While not as 'professional' as a true overlay as created by a professional VCRs, it provides a cheap alternative to professional dub-houses.
Some modern editing systems can use OCR techniques to read BITC in situations where other forms of timecode are not available.
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