Richtige Fernseher haben Röhren!

Richtige Fernseher haben Röhren!

In Brief: On this site you will find pictures and information about some of the electronic, electrical and electrotechnical technology relics that the Frank Sharp Private museum has accumulated over the years .

Premise: There are lots of vintage electrical and electronic items that have not survived well or even completely disappeared and forgotten.

Or are not being collected nowadays in proportion to their significance or prevalence in their heyday, this is bad and the main part of the death land. The heavy, ugly sarcophagus; models with few endearing qualities, devices that have some over-riding disadvantage to ownership such as heavy weight,toxicity or inflated value when dismantled, tend to be under-represented by all but the most comprehensive collections and museums. They get relegated to the bottom of the wants list, derided as 'more trouble than they are worth', or just forgotten entirely. As a result, I started to notice gaps in the current representation of the history of electronic and electrical technology to the interested member of the public.


Following this idea around a bit, convinced me that a collection of the peculiar alone could not hope to survive on its own merits, but a museum that gave equal display space to the popular and the unpopular, would bring things to the attention of the average person that he has previously passed by or been shielded from. It's a matter of culture. From this, the Obsolete Technology Tellye Web Museum concept developed and all my other things too. It's an open platform for all electrical Electronic TV technology to have its few, but NOT last, moments of fame in a working, hand-on environment. We'll never own Colossus or Faraday's first transformer, but I can show things that you can't see at the Science Museum, and let you play with things that the Smithsonian can't allow people to touch, because my remit is different.

There was a society once that was the polar opposite of our disposable, junk society. A whole nation was built on the idea of placing quality before quantity in all things. The goal was not “more and newer,” but “better and higher" .This attitude was reflected not only in the manufacturing of material goods, but also in the realms of art and architecture, as well as in the social fabric of everyday life. The goal was for each new cohort of children to stand on a higher level than the preceding cohort: they were to be healthier, stronger, more intelligent, and more vibrant in every way.

The society that prioritized human, social and material quality is a Winner. Truly, it is the high point of all Western civilization. Consequently, its defeat meant the defeat of civilization itself.

Today, the West is headed for the abyss. For the ultimate fate of our disposable society is for that society itself to be disposed of. And this will happen sooner, rather than later.

OLD, but ORIGINAL, Well made, Funny, Not remotely controlled............. and not Made in CHINA.

How to use the site:

- If you landed here via any Search Engine, you will get what you searched for and you can search more using the search this blog feature provided by Google. You can visit more posts scrolling the left blog archive of all posts of the month/year,
or you can click on the main photo-page to start from the main page. Doing so it starts from the most recent post to the older post simple clicking on the Older Post button on the bottom of each page after reading , post after post.

You can even visit all posts, time to time, when reaching the bottom end of each page and click on the Older Post button.

- If you arrived here at the main page via bookmark you can visit all the site scrolling the left blog archive of all posts of the month/year pointing were you want , or more simple You can even visit all blog posts, from newer to older, clicking at the end of each bottom page on the Older Post button.
So you can see all the blog/site content surfing all pages in it.

- The search this blog feature provided by Google is a real search engine. If you're pointing particular things it will search IT for you; or you can place a brand name in the search query at your choice and visit all results page by page. It's useful since the content of the site is very large.

Note that if you don't find what you searched for, try it after a period of time; the site is a never ending job !

Every CRT Television saved let revive knowledge, thoughts, moments of the past life which will never return again.........

Many contemporary "televisions" (more correctly named as displays) would not have this level of staying power, many would ware out or require major services within just five years or less and of course, there is that perennial bug bear of planned obsolescence where components are deliberately designed to fail and, or manufactured with limited edition specificities..... and without considering........picture......sound........quality........

..............The bitterness of poor quality is remembered long after the sweetness of todays funny gadgets low price has faded from memory........ . . . . . .....
Don't forget the past, the end of the world is upon us! Pretty soon it will all turn to dust!

Have big FUN ! !
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©2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 Frank Sharp - You do not have permission to copy photos and words from this blog, and any content may be never used it for auctions or commercial purposes, however feel free to post anything you see here with a courtesy link back, btw a link to the original post here , is mandatory.
All sets and apparates appearing here are property of
Engineer Frank Sharp. NOTHING HERE IS FOR SALE !

Friday, February 11, 2011

THOMSON 29DF45E "SCENIUM" YEAR 2000.









































































THE THOMSON  29DF45E  "SCENIUM"  WAS a Top High end television set with high number of features; digital scan converter means including field-memory means supplied with an input video signal of an interlaced television system having a selected plurality of fields per second different from PHILIPS 100HZ scan system.
The television receiver has an alphanumeric display  which appears on the picture tube screen, to give the user data on the tuned channel number, colour settings and other operating data. The digital processor which generates the characters for display also controls the channel setting, etc., under the control of a digital remote control unit . The processor  has an associated memory circuit  for permanente tuning back up. The control of the capacitance diode tuner  is achieved by the processor  altering the dividing factor of a feedback loop to a phase/frequency comparator . The other input to the comparator is a divided frequency from a quartz oscillator.

The   THOMSON  29DF45E  "SCENIUM"    is A 100HZ frame rate TELEVISION In a known arrangement, the frame rate of a television signal is doubled by using a field store. In a first operating mode, each field of the television signal is entered into the field store in this arrangement and read out twice at twice the frequency. In a second mode, only every second field is entered into the field store and read out four times at twice the frequency. In an arrangement for converting an original picture signal representing a sequence of frames, each of which is composed of two interlaced fields, into a converted picture signal which has a double field frequency with respect to the original picture signal, is for doubling the field frequency, for the purpose of noise reduction, motion compensation and line flicker reduction.

 The THOMSON  29DF45E  "SCENIUM"    features also Beam Scan Velocity modulation.
When the phosphor screen of a video signal reproducing apparatus, such as, the screen of the cathode ray tube in a television receiver, is scanned by an electron beam or beams so as to form a picture or image on the screen, the beam current varies with the luminance or brightness level of the input video signal. Therefore, each electron beam forms on the phosphor screen a beam spot whose size is larger at high brightness levels than at low brightness levels of the image so that sharpness of the reproduced picture is deteriorated, particularly at the demarcation between bright and dark portions or areas of the picture. Further, when a beam scanning the screen in the line-scanning direction moves across the demaraction or edge between dark and bright areas of the picture, for example, black and white areas, respectively, the frequency response of the receiver does not permit the beam intensity to change instantly from the low level characteristic of the black area to the high level characteristic of the white area. Therefore, the sharpness of the reproduced image is degraded at portions of the image where sudden changes in brightness occur in response to transient changes in the luminance or brightness of the video signal being reproduced. The increase in the beam current and in the beam spot size for bright portions of the reproduced picture or image and the inadequate frequency response of the television receiver to sudden changes in the brightness or luminance level of the incomming video signal are additive in respect to the degradation of the horizontal sharpness of the reproduced image or picture.
It is well known that an improvement in apparent picture resolution can be achieved by modulating the beam scan velocity in accordance with the derivative of the video signal which controls the beam intensity. This video signal is referred to as the luminance signal and the derivative of the luminance signal is employed for such control. An advantage of this method over a peaking approach to picture sharpness enhancement is the avoidance of blooming of peaked white picture elements.

Advanced osd is present for all functions (Inclusive nice Service features.)On screen display (OSD) arrangements employed in video processing systems include a switching (or "multiplexing") network for switching between graphic image representative signals and normal video signals so that a graphic image can be displayed on the screen of a picture reproduction device either in place of the image represented by the video signals or together with (inserted in) the image. The graphic image can take the form of alphanumeric symbols or-pictorial graphics, and can be used to indicate status information, such as channel numbers or time, or operating instructions.

In an OSD arrangement for use in an analog video signal processing system, the multiplexing network typically operates to switch in levels corresponding to the desired intensity of respective portions of the graphic image at the time the graphic image portions are to be displayed. In such an arrangement the graphic image representative signals take the form of timing pulses which occur when the graphic image portions are to be displayed and are used to control the multiplexing network. Such an analog OSD arrangement can also be used in a digital video processing system, but requires that the video signals be first converted to analog form. While digital video signal processing systems typically include a digital-to-analog converter section in which the digital video signals are converted to analog form, it may be more cost effective for the OSD arrangement to be incorporated as an integral part of the digital video processing section.

Teletext is a television-based communication technique in which a given horizontal video line is utilized for broadcasting textual and graphical information encoded in a digital binary representation. Such horizontal video line signal that contains teletext data is referred to herein as a Data-line. It is assumed herein, for explanation purposes, that teletext is sent by the broadcaster only during the vertical blanking interval (VBI), when no other picture information is sent. The organization of the binary information in the broadcast signal is determined by the standard employed by the broadcaster. By way of an example only, references are made herein to a teletext based on a standard referred to by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) as CEEFAX.

Each Data-line carries data synchronizing and address information and the codes for a Row of 40 characters. The synchronizing information includes a clock run-in sequence followed by an 8-bit framing code sequence. Each Data-line contains a 3 bit code referred to as the Magazine number. A teletext Page includes 24 Rows of 40 characters, including a special top Row called the Page-Header. Each ROW is contained in a corresponding Data-line. A user selected Page is intended to be displayed in place of, or added to a corresponding television picture frame. A Magazine is defined to include Pages having Data-lines containing a corresponding Magazine number. The transmission of a selected Page begins with, and includes its Page Header and ends with and excludes the next Page Header of the selected Magazine number. All intermediate Data lines carrying the selected Magazine number relate to the selected Page.

The set has even Digital Audio DOLBY NR feature, and AV SCART socket and stereo headphones jack.

It has heretofore been known that, in order to improve the S/N (signal-to-noise) ratio of certain specified transmission systems or specified recording/playback systems, a noise reduction system including a signal compressor and a signal expander is used for the system.

In particular, a noise reduction system wherein the circuit constituent parts of a signal compressor and those of a signal expander are shared and wherein the function of the signal compressor and that of the signal expander can be changed-over by transferring a mode switch has been proposed in the "Journal of the Society of Electronic and Radio Technicians", Vol. 8, May/June 1974. The switchable signal compressor/signal expander of this type is well known to those in the art as the "Dolby B-type Noise Reduction System"

 A SCART Connector (which stands for Syndicat des Constructeurs d'Appareils Radiorécepteurs et Téléviseurs) is a standard for connecting audio-visual equipment together. The official standard for SCART is CENELEC document number EN 50049-1. SCART is also known as Péritel (especially in France) and Euroconnector but the name SCART will be used exclusively herein. The standard defines a 21-pin connector (herein after a SCART connector) for carrying analog television signals. Various pieces of equipment may be connected by cables having a plug fitting the SCART connectors. Television apparatuses commonly include one or more SCART connectors.
 Although a SCART connector is bidirectional, the present invention is concerned with the use of a SCART connector as an input connector for receiving signals into a television apparatus. A SCART connector can receive input television signals either in an RGB format in which the red, green and blue signals are received on Pins 15, 11 and 7, respectively, or alternatively in an S-Video format in which the luminance (Y) and chroma (C) signals are received on Pins 20 and 15. As a result of the common usage of Pin 15 in accordance with the SCART standard, a SCART connector cannot receive input television signals in an RGB format and in an S-Video format at the same time.

 Consequently many commercially available television apparatuses include a separate SCART connectors each dedicated to receive input television signals in one of an RGB format and an S-Video format. This limits the functionality of the SCART connectors. In practical terms, the number of SCART connectors which can be provided on a television apparatus is limited by cost and space considerations. However, different users wish the input a wide range of different combinations of formats of television signals, depending on the equipment they personally own and use. However, the provision of SCART connectors dedicated to input television signals in one of an RGB format and an S-Video format limits the overall connectivity of the television apparatus. Furthermore, for many users the different RGB format and S-Video format are confusing. Some users may not understand or may mistake the format of a television signal being supplied on a given cable from a given piece of equipment. This can result in the supply of input television signals of an inappropriate format for the SCART connector concerned.

Attaining optimal sound quality in surround sound or multi-channel sound systems, over the largest possible listening area, can be quite challenging. Some of the difficulties in achieving optimal sound quality in such systems result from the fact that a wide variety of different surround sound and multi-channel audio formats and speaker configurations exist, so that a particular sound system may have reasonably acceptable sound with respect to one or perhaps two audio formats yet sub-optimal sound with respect to other audio formats. Therefore, where a consumer desires, for example, to use a single sound system to play sound recordings in a variety of different formats, different levels of sound quality, some of which are poor or impaired, are likely to be experienced. While the user can adjust speaker positioning or relative balances to try to improve sound quality, such techniques may involve significant manual effort or inconvenience, may be hard to reproduce consistently, and may benefit only one or perhaps a few listeners in a relatively small portion of the listening area.



TV signals are defined primarily the National Television Standards Committee (NTSC), the Phase Alternative Line (PAL) or the Sequential Couleur Avec Memoire (SECAM) systems, and used in different countries around the world. An analog TV signal utilizes mainly two or three RF carriers, combined in the same channel band. One carrier may commonly be amplitude modulated (AM) with video content, and the other may be frequency modulated (FM) and/or amplitude modulated (AM) with audio content. An analog TV receiver functions by performing a series of operations comprising adjusting the signal power, separating the video and audio carriers, and locking to each carrier in order to down-convert the signals to baseband. The baseband video signal may then be decoded and displayed by achieving horizontal and vertical synchronization and extracting the luminance and color information. After demodulating the received signal, the resulting baseband audio may be decoded, and left, right, surround channels and/or other information may be extracted.
 - The  THOMSON  29DF45E  "SCENIUM"    Features a multistandard PAL/SECAM/NTSC 3.58 & 4.43 CCIR B/G/H/I/L/D/K/M. The different coding processes, e.g. NTSC, PAL and SECAM, introduced into the known colour television standards, differ in the nature of the chrominance transmission and in particular the different systems make use of different colour subcarrier frequencies and different line frequencies.

The following explanations relate to the PAL and NTSC systems, but correspondingly apply to video signals of other standards and non-standardized signals.
The colour subcarrier frequency (fsc) of a PAL system and a NTSC system is fsc(NTSC) = 3.58 MHz or fsc(PAL) = 4.43 MHz.
In addition, in PAL and NTSC systems the relationships of the colour subcarrier frequency (fsc) to the line frequency (fh) are given by fsc(NTSC) = 227.50 * fh or 4•fsc(NTSC) = 910 • fh fsc(PAL) = 283.75 * fh or 4•fsc(PAL) = 1135 • fh so that the phase of the colour subcarrier in the case of NTSC is changed by 180°/line and in PAL by 270°/line.

The invention relates to a digital multistandard decoder for video signals and to a method for decoding video signals. Colour video signals, so-called composite video, blanking and sync signals (CVBS) (chroma-video-blanking-sync) signal is a signal comprising both the chrominance and the luminance component of the video signal. Therefore, the CVBS video signal may be PAL video signal, a SECAM video signal, or an NTSC video signal. are essentially composed of a brightness signal or luminance component (Y), two colour difference signals or chrominance components (U, V or I, Q), vertical and horizontal sync signals (VS, HS) and a blanking signal (BL).

In order to decode a video signal and restore a color image, a color TV set has to identify the color TV standard used at the emission. Conventional color TV sets are equipped with a system for automatically identifying the norm or standard of the color TV set used for the emission. The invention more particularly relates to an automatic method for identifying a color TV standard in a multistandard TV set.

Presently, the most commonly used color TV standards are PAL, NTSC and SECAM standards. For these three standards, each line of the composite video signal comprises a synchronization pulse, a burst of a few oscillations of the chrominance sub-carrier signal, then the signal itself corresponding to the image, comprising superimposed luminance and chrominance information, the latter information being carried by the luminance signal.

The characteristics of the chrominance sub-carrier in the various PAL, NTSC and SECAM standards are defined in the published documents concerning these standards and will not be described in detail here. However, the main characteristics of these various standards will be briefly reminded because these indications are useful for a better understanding of the invention.

In the PAL standard, the frequency of the chrominance sub-carrier is equal for all the lines, but the phase of one of the modulation vectors varies + or -90° from one line to another. The frequency of the chrominance sub-carrier is standardized at 4.43 Mhz. In this system, the burst signal is also shifted by + or -90° from one line to the next.

In the NTSC standard, the chrominance sub-carrier is equal for all the lines.

In the SECAM standard, one uses two chrominance sub-carrier frequencies which alternate from one line to another, at 4.25 Mhz and 4.40 Mhz, respectively. These two chrominance sub-carriers are frequency modulated.

The multistandard color TV sets must have distinct internal systems designed to decode the luminance and chrominance signals for each standard used.

Therefore, these TV sets have to previously identify the received standard.

Systems for automatically identifying the standard used already exist. Generally, for such an automatic standard identification, the systems known use the bursts of the chrominance sub-carrier signal that are present at the beginning of each line. In fact, these bursts are standardized and calibrated samples of the chrominance sub-carrier transmitted on the video signal and comprise all the characteristic information concerning the transmitted color standard. The information contained in these bursts represents the frequency, the phase of one of the modulation vectors and the frequency or phase variation of one line with repect to the next one.

- CTI Picture Improvements circuitry in which colour signal, e.g. the line-sequential colour difference signals (R-Y,B-Y), is processed by an edge steepening circuit e.g. a colour transient improver and/or a two-line delay line in which the colour signals from two lines are added. The delay line may be part of a drop-out compensation circuit in which the colour signal of line n is replaced by the signal present for line n-2. A CCD-line may be used as the two-line delay line, and an amplitude limiter included. ADVANTAGE - Increased picture sharpness and improved signal-to-noise ratio.



The screen is a real flat type with 29 Inches Black Matrix and perfect convergence on all corners with SVM.

It's a full digital high end 100HZ technology and it has stereo digital sound with DOLBY Sytem. Featuring the THOMSON ICC20 chassis.

3 AV SCART SOCKET are present, all fully selectable i/o.

A SCART Connector (which stands for Syndicat des Constructeurs d'Appareils Radiorécepteurs et Téléviseurs) is a standard for connecting audio-visual equipment together. The official standard for SCART is CENELEC document number EN 50049-1. SCART is also known as Péritel (especially in France) and Euroconnector but the name SCART will be used exclusively herein. The standard defines a 21-pin connector (herein after a SCART connector) for carrying analog television signals. Various pieces of equipment may be connected by cables having a plug fitting the SCART connectors. Television apparatuses commonly include one or more SCART connectors.
Although a SCART connector is bidirectional, the present invention is concerned with the use of a SCART connector as an input connector for receiving signals into a television apparatus. A SCART connector can receive input television signals either in an RGB format in which the red, green and blue signals are received on Pins 15, 11 and 7, respectively, or alternatively in an S-Video format in which the luminance (Y) and chroma (C) signals are received on Pins 20 and 15. As a result of the common usage of Pin 15 in accordance with the SCART standard, a SCART connector cannot receive input television signals in an RGB format and in an S-Video format at the same time.
Consequently many commercially available television apparatuses include a separate SCART connectors each dedicated to receive input television signals in one of an RGB format and an S-Video format. This limits the functionality of the SCART connectors. In practical terms, the number of SCART connectors which can be provided on a television apparatus is limited by cost and space considerations. However, different users wish the input a wide range of different combinations of formats of television signals, depending on the equipment they personally own and use. However, the provision of SCART connectors dedicated to input television signals in one of an RGB format and an S-Video format limits the overall connectivity of the television apparatus. Furthermore, for many users the different RGB format and S-Video format are confusing. Some users may not understand or may mistake the format of a television signal being supplied on a given cable from a given piece of equipment. This can result in the supply of input television signals of an inappropriate format for the SCART connector concerned.
This kind of connector is todays obsoleted !


Advanced graphic OSD with Navilight Sliding Windows menues are provided for full control of all functions.


Pictures produced by this tellye are superb; high contrast; perfect focusing; excellent detailed picture nothing to compare with modern LCD Toys.


This is one of the last Television Models produced by THOMSON before "Closing".

EAN: 3244480100363
Colour: Iceberg
Hersteller: Thomson

Bildwiederholungsfrequenz in Hz: 100 Hertz
Realflat-Bildröhre: mit Realflat-Bildröhre
Bildverhältnis: 4:3 Format
Bildschirmgroße in Zoll: 29 Zoll
Bildschirmgröße in cm: 72 cm
Dolby Decoder: Virtual Dolby



One more comment about digital in 2000..............

Over the years we have learnt that one of the most important things in video/ TV technology is selecting the best system to use. We have also seen how difficult this can be. Prior to the start of the colour TV era in Europe there was an great to-do about the best system to adopt. The US NTSC system seemed an obvious choice to start with. It had been proved in use, and refine- ments had been devised. But alternative, better solutions were proposed - PAL and Secam. PAL proved to be a great success, in fact a good choice. 
The French Secam system seems to have worked just as well. Apart from the video tape battles of the Seventies, the next really big debate concerned digital TV. When it came to digital terrestrial TV (DTT), Europe and the USA again adopted different standards. 

One major difference is the modulation system used for transmission. Coded orthogonal frequency   division multiplexing (COFDM) was selected for the European DVB system, while in the USA a system called 8VSB was adopted. COFDM uses quadrature amplitude modulation of a number of orthogonal carriers that are spread across the channel bandwidth. Because of their number, each carrier has a relatively low bit rate. 
The main advantage of the system is its excellent behaviour under multipath reception conditions. 8VSB represents a rather older,  pre phase modulation technoogy: eight  state amplitude modulation of a single carrier, with a vestigial sideband. The decision on the US system was assigned to the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC), reporting to the FCC. The system it proposed was approved by the FCC on December 26th, 1996. The curious date might suggest that there had been a certain amount of politicking. In fact there had been an almighty row between the TV and computer industries about the video standard to adopt, the two fearing that one or other would gain an advantage as the technologies converged. It was 'resolved' by adopting a sort of   "open standard"  we are talking about resolution and scanning standards here - the idea apparently being that the technology would somehow sort itself out.

 There seems to have been rather less concern about the modulation standard. 8VSB was adopted because it was assumed to be able to provide a larger service area than the alternatives, including COFDM, for a given transmitter power. Well, the USA is a very large place! But the US TV industry, or at least some parts of it, is now having second thoughts. Once the FCC had made its decision, there was pressure to get on with digital TV. In early 1998 there were announce- ments about the start of transmissions and broadcasters assured the FCC that DTT would be available in the ten areas of greatest population concentration by May 1999. Rapid advances were expected, with an anticipated analogue TV switch -off in 2006. So far however things have not gone like that. At the end of 1999 some seventy DTI' transmitters were in operation, but Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Association estimates suggest that only some 50,000 sets and 5,000 STBs had been sold.

 There have been many reports of technical problems, in particular with reception in urban and hilly areas and the use of indoor aerials, also with video/audio sync and other matters. Poor reception with indoor aerials in urban conditions is of particular concern: that's how much of the population receives its TV. The UK was the first European country to start DTI', in late 1998 - at much the same time as in the USA. The contrast is striking. ONdigital had signed up well over 500,000 subscribers by the end of 1999, a much higher proportion of viewers than in the USA. Free STBs have played a part of course, but it's notable that DTT 's reception in the UK has been relatively hassle -free. In making this comparison it should also be remembered that the main aim of DTT technology differs in Europe and the USA. 

The main concern in Europe has been to provide additional channels. In the USA it has been to move to HDTV, in particular to provide a successor the NTSC system. There have been plenty of channels in the USA for many a year. For example the DirecTV satellite service started in mid 1994 and offers some 200 channels. Internationally, various countries have been comparing the US and European digital systems. They have overwhelmingly come down in favour of the DVB system. There have been some very damaging assessments of the ATSC standard. The present concern in the US TV industry results from this poor domestic take up and lack of international success. Did the FCC make a boob, in particular in the choice of 8VSB? Following compara- tive tests carried out by Sinclair Broadcasting Group Inc., the company has petitioned the FCC to adopt COFDM as an option in the ATSC standard. Not only did its tests confirm poor reception with indoor aerials: they also established that the greater coverage predicted for 8VSB failed to materialise in practice. Could the USA have two DTT transmission standards? It seems unlikely. It would involve dual standard receivers and non  standardisation of transmitters. In the all important business of system selection, it looks as if the FCC got it wrong.
              ....................................   It is obviously wasteful to duplicate terrestrial TV transmissions in analogue and digital form. Sooner or later transmissions will all be digital, since this is a more efficient use of spectrum space. The question is when? It would suit some to switch off the analogue transmitters as soon as possible. 2006 has been suggested as a time to start, with ana- logue transmissions finally ending in 2010. All very neat and tidy. Whether it will work out in that way is another matter. Strong doubts are already beginning to be aired. 
 The government has, quite properly, laid down conditions to be met before the switch off occurs. Basically that the digital signal coverage should equal that achieved for analogue TV, currently 99.4 per cent of the population, and that digital receiving equipment should be available at an affordable price. The real problem is that there is a difference between a coverage of 99.4 per cent and 99.4 per cent of the population actually having digital receiving equipment. Why should those who are interested in only free - to -air channels go out and buy/rent a digital receiver? It is already becoming evident that this represents a fair chunk of the population. 
The ITC has warned the government that the 2006-2010 timetable is in jeopardy. Peter Rogers, the ITC's chief executive, has said "we need to persuade people only interested in watching free -to -air television to switch to digital. "
Unless we do, there will be no switch - over." Well not quite, because the analogue receivers will eventually wear out and have to be replaced. But that could take a long, long time. Meanwhile many people will expect to be able to continue to watch their usual TV fare using their existing analogue receivers. 

Research carried out by Culture Secretary Chris Smith's department has established that between forty and fifty per cent of the population expects the BBC licence to cover their TV viewing, which means what they get at present in analogue form. A substantial percentage of the population simply isn't interested in going digital. In fact take up of integrated receiver -decoders, as opposed to the free digital set -top boxes, has so far been very slow. 
Of five million TV sets sold in the UK year 1999 , only 10,000 were digital. There are important factors apart from overall coverage and how many people have sets. There is the extension of coverage, which becomes more difficult to achieve eco- nomically as the number of those not covered decreases. There is the problem of reception quality. And there is the question of domestic arrangements and convenience. Extending coverage to the last ten fifteen per cent of the population by means of conventional terrestrial transmitters will be expensive. Mr Smith's department seems to have conceded that other methods of signal delivery may have to be adopted - by satellite, by microwave links or by cable. The latter has of course never been economic where few households are involved. 
The frequency planners have been trying to find ways of increasing coverage even to well populated areas. There are so many areas where problems of one sort or another make the provision of DTT difficult. Satellite TV is the obvious solution. 
The time may well come when it is wondered why anyone bothered with DTT. Signal quality is becoming an increasingly important factor as the digital roll out continues. In areas where the signal is marginal, viewers could experience the extreme irritation of picture break up or complete loss like even todays. This is quite apart from the actual quality of the channel, which depends on the number of bits per second used. There is a maximum number of bits per multiplex, the total being shared by several channels. The fewer the bits, the poorer the picture in terms of definition and rendering. 

There have already been complaints about poor quality. The question of domestic arrangements is one that has not so far received adequate public attention. Most households 2000 nowadays don't have just one TV set that the family watches. They have a main one, probably, almost certainly one or more VCRs, and several other sets around the house to serve various purposes. What 'the percentage of households that have digital TV' should really mean is the percentage willing to replace all this equipment. It will be expensive, and people would not be happy if they were told to throw away their other equipment when they get a single nice new all  singing all dancing widescreen digital TV set. It fact there would be uproar. The move from analogue to digital is not like that from 405 to 625 lines, which went fairly smoothly.

In those days few people had video equipment or a multitude of sets. The transition to digital is not going to be smooth, and the suggestion of a switch off during 2006-2010 already looks totally unrealistic. Unless the government subsidises or gives away digital TV sets - and why should it? - people will expect their existing equipment to continue to be usable.  

So it's likely that analogue TV will be with us for many years yet. But that would be the end of analogue too. 

.............................Indeed...............................


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About Screen Formats...............

It is difficult to know exactly what to make of the unfolding widescreen TV saga, which seems to be yet another example of failure to agree to a TV standard. Is it perhaps simply an attempt by the European TV industry to snatch a temporary advantage over Far Eastern manufacturers?
 Certainly it's the European tubemakers that have developed the technology. 
But if this is the case the question that has to be asked is whether widescreen TV is a further example of an attempt by technology rather than consumer demand to drive the market forwards? If so it could well be a mistake. People won't buy technology for the sake of it: they'll buy only what suits them. 

The 16:9 aspect ratio sets that have been announced so far are a mixed batch. Nokia has opted for 625 -line PAL, Thomson has opted for 1,250 -line PAL while Philips has decided on 625 -line PAL with a 100Hz field rate. Nokia feels that the wide screen is the important thing rather than any change to basic TV standards. The company points to the cost advantage of using a standard chassis to drive the new type of tube. But evenhere the wide screen presentation is seen as essentially a top of the range phenomenon. In this case why not go the whole hog? With a chassis that features digital signal processing, why not take advantage of the opportunity to improve the definition and get rid of flicker once and for all? There are arguments as to exactly how much better a picture you get for your money at higher timebase frequencies. 
What this seems to boil down to is that compromises, as always with TV, have to be accepted. The argument is over what compromise to accept. It's a rather pointless argument really and one can't help but feel that the motivation behind it is simply a matter of gaining marketing clout rather than achieving the best in good picture reproduction.
There is much to be said for the view that a well set up display using conventional technology and a decent aerial system, with no corner cutting in circuit design, will with the presently available transmissionsprovide as good a picture as any for the viewer rather than the technology buff. 

Representatives of the main Japanese manufacturers in the UK have been making disparaging comments about widescreen TV. The case was put forcibly by Mark Todd, Toshiba's marketing director. He hit the headlines with coments that widescreen TV was "premature" and "a joke", but rather more to the point he suggested that instead of buying a set that is "too big" and "too expensive" the consumer would be better off with a 34in. Nicam set featuring surround sound. 

The money saved could, he added, be invested in a building society. The debate has been clouded by dispute over what programming is available. At present it seems to be limited to a few tapes and Continental satellite channels transmitted in D2-MAC form. Not much really to justify lashing out on a set that costs a few thousand pounds. Since some rather rude remarks about the 16:9 picture format  have been somewhat severely taken to task over what is and what isn't a natural display based on the characteristics of human vision, in particular who quoted a considerable amount of research. 
The fact that human eyes are horizontally displaced, giving perception somewhat elongated in the horizontal plane compared to the vertical plane, looks a clincher. 
But this rather overlooks the reason for us having two eyes in the first place to achieve bifocalvision. The images from the two eyes are superimposed to give us a three-dimensional fieldof view. It's nothing to do with aspect ratio!
 The aspect ratio debate continues in actual times with minor noise and debate is been  gratified by some support amongst more recent observations from people.

It all arrived too late for this issue, but watch this space as they say. What does rather intrigue me in all this is whether sight is really a scientific matter. It is, of course, as a subject for study. But as an aspect of natural history it seems more akin to disciplines such as economics rather than pure science. 
Those who take an interest in the endless economic debate, with one plausible argument after another seeming to establish opposite points of view, will appreciate this. The problem of course is that you can't conduct conclusive experiments with the subject matter of economics. You can't say right, call a halt,  go back five years and see what happens if we alter the conditions. Anything of an historical nature can only be observed and, in a more or less helpful manner, explained. That seems to be the case with human perception. You can't experiment with different vision systems. You have to understand as best you can the one we've ended up with. However that may be, the TV industry is not doing itself any great favours with its continual change.  

To the 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios we now have a proposed compromise 14:9. It's not easy of course to arrive at decisions with absolute certainty. Technological evolution continuously and often suddenly shifts, and new possibilities have a habit of coming at times that are inconvenient for the standards decision makers. Perhaps we should give up worrying about TV standards and accept the fact that there have always been and always will be different ways of going about things, with various advantages and disadvantages. Let's just sit back and watch the thing unfold. It would be nice to take a relaxed view like that. But of course there's more at stake.
 Sets have to be manufactured to standards, broadcasters have to observe system parameters and, at ourend of things, the public has to be presented with a good case for buying what's available. It doesn'thelp the salesman to have to work in an atmosphere of   continuing uncertainty.



Thomson-CSF was a major electronics and defence contractor. In December 2000 it was renamed Thales Group.


History

In 1879 Elihu Thomson and Edwin Houston formed the Thomson-Houston Electric Company in the United States.
On April 15, 1892 Thomson-Houston and the Edison General Electric Company merged to form General Electric (GE). Also in 1892 the company formed a French subsidiary, Thomson Houston International.
In 1893 Compagnie Française Thomson-Houston (CFTH) was set up as a partner to GE. It is from this company that the modern Thomson companies would evolve.
In 1966 CFTH merged with Hotchkiss-Brandt to form Thomson-Houston-Hotchkiss-Brandt (soon renamed Thomson-Brandt). In 1968 the electronics business of Thomson-Brandt merged with Compagnie Générale de Télégraphie Sans Fil (CSF) to form Thomson-CSF. Thomson Brandt maintained a significant shareholding in this company (approximately 40%).
In 1982 both Thomson-Brandt and Thomson-CSF were nationalized by François Mitterrand. Thomson-Brandt was renamed Thomson SA (Société Anonyme) and merged with Thomson-CSF.
From 1983 to 1987 a major reorganisation of Thomson-CSF was undertaken, with divestitures to refocus the group on its core activities (electronics and defence). Thomson-CSF Téléphone and the medical division were sold to Alcatel and GE respectively. The semiconductor businesses of Thomson CSF was merged with Finmeccanica. Thomson acquired General Electric’s RCA and GE consumer electronics business in 1987.
In 1988 Thomson Consumer Electronics was formed, renamed Thomson Multimedia in 1995. The French government split the consumer electronics and defence businesses prior to privatisation in 1999, those companies being Thomson Multimedia (today Technicolor SA) and Thomson-CSF (today Thales Group).



Thomson-CSF was a major electronics and defence contractor. In December 2000 it was renamed Thales Group.



Thomson-CSF independence

Following the privatisation of the Thomson Group Thomson-CSF explored the possibility of merging with Marconi Electronic Systems, however British Aerospace was successful in that aim, forming BAE Systems.
In 2000 Thomson-CSF went through a series of transactions, including with Marconi plc. The major acquisition at this time was the £1.3 billion purchase of the British defence electronics firm, Racal. This made Thomson-CSF the second largest participant in the UK defence industry after BAE. Racal was renamed Thomson-CSF Racal plc.
On December 6, 2000 the group was renamed Thales.


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