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HDTV Comes to U.S.


Rebo's HDTV Paints 

the Town and Climbs Video Walls




Barry Rebo introduces Lone Star Roadhouse for his hi-def "Manhattan Music Magazine" series. 


Barry Rebo's thoughts on high-definition were always lofty. In 1986, before most people were even aware of the prospect og high-definition television, Rebo had set up a hi-def production truck and studio in New York City. He shot music videos and even a feature film in HDTV. Now, with three affiliated operations – Rebo Research, Rebo High Definition, and BRT High-Definition Network – Rebo seems to be reaching his eye-definition plateau.  


But Rebo, who just returned from Japan to pick up the Hi-Vision '90 award for his research company's work in developing U.S. software, is not stopping there. He is now pushing a new project called "Manhattan Music Magazine," a package of 26 half- hour shows being taped in R&B, jazz, country and pop clubs. The series is produced for the international market and is being shot with three Sony HDC-300 cameras and HD-I000 VTRs. The soundtrack is recorded on 24 tracks of two 48-track Sony PCM- 3348 digital audio recorders. 


"We are making it as high-quality as we can," observes Steve Dupler, Rebo Studio's VP of music, and music producer of "Manhattan Music." "High-definition is coming in this decade, and this is a way to build up a library of programming. You can exploit [the library] in NTSC and other formats, and then re-release it when high-definition is widely available." Dupler says it is not unlike the strategy of 1950s TV producers who shot programs like "Superman" and "The Cisco Kid" in color, even though black and white was the standard. "They had the foresight to look ahead, and therefore increased the shelf life of 

their programming," he says. "We can do the same, releasing [the tapes] in analog now, and holding onto the hi-defmasters for the future." 


Rebo Studio is shooting at the clubs using a 45-foot Air-Ride Semi that belongs to Effanel Music (whose principal, Randy Ezratty, was involved in taping the recent "Rolling Stones Steel Wheels" special). The director is Sandy Dorfman, who supervised "Top of the Pops," the BBC music series, for 16 years.


The job is made easier by the three new HDTV cameras which Dupler says are lighter (the head is about 40 pounds) and faster (in the 100-125 ASA range, compared to the 60-80 ASA of the older versions). "With these, you can model the light a little more or stop down and hold your depth offield," Rebo notes. That, combined with the wider aspect ratio of high-definition, translates into fewer camera setups, according to Dupler.' "You can see two musicians interacting in one shot without having to have a camera covering each of them," he says. "It's like looking at a show through a glass window, like you're in the audience." 


Rebo is also hoping to set up a "Rebo Software" label by 1993, marketing programs like "Manhattan Music Magazine" on hi-def laserdisc. "There is a lot of interest in laserdisc technology now," he observes. "Basically, it's the best picture quality you can get for home video. It really ties in with things we're interested in here. We want the best visuals and the best audio. With laserdiscs and compact (MISSING CONCLUSION)