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Dear Ana
 
You have several options for getting subtitles on to video.
The first an cheapest is a title generator.  This is a simple
keyboard-like device which connects between the source and record
machines.  Videonics makes a unit called a Titlemaker, and JVC makes one
called the JX-T66.  Prices range from $300 to $500.  These are limited in
fonts and sizes, but will get the job done.  Visit your nearest shop that
sells video and camcorder accessories - they should be able to help you.
 
Your second option, if you already have a PC with VGA card, is a genlock
card and titling software (these usually come together, and could cost
about $800.  A genlock is a device which synchronises the computer and
video signals, allowing you to overlay graphics or titles over video.  A
well-stocked computer shop, perhaps specialising in multimedia, will be
able to help you.  Be aware that you should be able to get relatively
simple software that runs on a very basic 286 computer.  You probably
don't need all the fancy bells & whistles that they will try and sell you!
 
I personally have an Amiga computer with which I do video graphics,
animation and titles.  The Amiga is ideally suited to video work, and
because it is slowly becoming obsolescent, can be bought relatively
cheaply, with lots of software available in the public domain.  I believe
you can pick up an Amiga computer with genlock and software for about $2
000.  Note that the Amiga is not IBM-compatible, but its operation is
very user-friendly, with a Windows-type interface which is simple for new
computer users to relate to.
 
Perhaps you could also go and have a look at how local video production
companies, particularly in the lower-budget area, works.  Or perhaps
there is a small TV station, or College video unit, who can show you what
they use?
 
I hope this is of use to you.  Best of luck with the project!
 
Tobie Openshaw
Cape Town, South Africa
 
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