Learn About Burnt-In Time Code

By March 26, 2021Education
TV camera filiming

What is Burnt-in Timecode?

Burnt-in time code, also referred to as BITC or window dubs, is a readable time code that is superimposed over a video image itself.  It is not part of the original video but is added to show time elapsed.  BITC gives the viewer a numeric reference point to quickly find video clips within larger portions of raw footage.  You are more familiar with BITC than you realize.  YouTubers add time code to videos all the time.  You use those time stamps to jump to relevant portions of the video as you view.


Where did Burnt-In Time Code begin?

BITC was initially used for VHS tape copies to sync back to their original masters.   TruTranscripts was one of the early pioneers of that technology, creating time-coded transcripts from BITC videos.  As technology evolved and digital media overtook analog as the predominant media format, burnt-in time code successfully made that jump and has become even more relevant.  TruTranscripts uses the BITC video to create to a verbatim transcript of the dialogue that corresponds exactly with the time code on the video.  See a sample of BITC here.


Who Uses BITC Transcripts?

Video editors in broadcast media use BITC transcripts to create everything from broadcast news reports to commercials and much, much more.  TruTranscripts works with broadcast news networks like ABC and CNN, entertainment outlets like Comedy Central and Hallmark Entertainment, and media marketing agencies.


BITC is also useful for interview sessions and focus group discussions.  A BITC transcript allows analysts and researchers to easily tag topical references or find specific moderator questions.


So how does all this work in the real world?

Let’s imagine a video crew shoots an hour of raw footage out in the field.  This could be a news reporter interviewing witnesses or a scripted monologue for a television commercial.  Behind the scenes, that footage is then time coded and transcribed.  Post-production editors review the transcript along with video and choose clips to splice together (digitally, of course) to create a cohesive message.  The rest of the video footage is figuratively “left on the cutting room floor.”


TruTranscripts handles the BITC transcription piece for our clients, so they can quickly review video and create their final product.  If you have a video project and need BITC, contact us and find out how quickly and accurately TruTranscripts can complete your project.