Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

New TV Camera Uses Special Type of Signal

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

New TV Camera Uses Special Type of Signal

Article excerpt

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- The impending revolution in television technology is going to make some people rich. One of them may be a Florida Atlantic University professor who has developed a camera that could become an integral part of the new technology.

If Bill Glenn prospers from the invention, so will FAU, because for every dollar he gets, the university will get almost two.

Glenn's camera, which would be used by television production companies and which probably would cost several hundred thousand dollars each, puts out a special kind of signal he has developed called visually compressed digital. The signal eliminates unnecessary data that the eye cannot see.

The camera contains a sensor developed by Eastman Kodak that scans images progressively, meaning it reads each of the hundreds of lines in an image rather than every other line as the interlaced sensors used in standard television cameras do now. The images thus are even more precise than the interlaced high-definition TV scan already being produced in Japan.

The first digital, high-definition TV sets will go on sale next year. By the end of 1999, 53 percent of the nation's households must be able to receive high-definition programming from at least three television stations, according to a rule approved by the Federal Communications Commission in April.

According to the FCC's current timetable, only high-definition television signals will be broadcast after 2006. That will render obsolete all 240 million TV sets now in use across the country, unless special converters are added to the sets.

The FCC has not specified which format -- interlaced or progressive -- is to be used on HDTV, and it is likely that both will. With a converter, a new HDTV set will be able to receive both formats.

Glenn is confident the film industry will prefer his progressive format.

Mike McCreary, director of operations of Kodak's micro-electronics technology division, said Glenn's camera is more technologically advanced than any other camera he's aware of.

"He's done a marvelous job," McCreary said. "The need for high- resolution, progressive-scan cameras is going to be increasing tremendously because of the new HDTV standards. …

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