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Character generators come in a number of different varieties, and therefore have many different and unique features between manufacturers. They will generally include a simple to use interface for the addition and creation of words and graphics. The user can manipulate these words, the speed at which they crawl or scroll along the screen, and more.
How character generators work
The hardware character generators often used in television studios typically have a simple interface similar to a desktop publishing suite. The user will be able to create graphics and moving text, which the device will then encode into a video signal. This video signal is high quality, generally SDI (serial digital interface), although it can also create signals for analog component video, HD, and RGB video. They are able to add the moving text right to the video in real time. This is a faster and simpler method than they used in the past, which involved superimposing graphics and words.
About character generators
A character generator, sometimes simply called a CG, is a piece of hardware or software that will produce the animated text needed for insertion into video streams. Some of the character generators on the market today are even able to generate graphics to go onto the stream. While the software CGs are available in many software packages today, those who are creating high end television shows, news, editing suites, and more will usually utilize a hardware-based character generator instead.