Video Imaging: The making of a 1080p HD system

What I am seeing

HD is in and NTSC + PAL is on its way out. This is the impression I am getting as I stand at the front line between manufacturer pitches and customer demands.  The real shift is going to take some time and will start with video broadcasting (currently happening) and end with security camera’s transition (due to facial recognition software requirement).

So far, I have been involved in a few systems where the HD input is 1920×1080 @ 30 fps. Most of the teams started out for the first time and thought that it will only be a matter of simple code change, they are in for a big surprise.

A snapshot of the industry

As things stand right now (November 2008), the broadcasting sector is already fully transitioned into HD format while the rest of the technology sector involved with images are still in the research phase. This is due to the relatively simple use of technology from the video broadcasting industry. Basically, there is no need to process data and real time performance is not necessary. Therefore, up until now, the only bottleneck they have ever encountered, is figuring out where to get a CMOS sensor to take 1920×1080 and how to store the high definition data.

The topics discussed

Because storage of the medium is the first and foremost problem everyone who dabblesin HD will encounter, I will go through a scenario in the first part of this serie where I defined the requirements for Hard Disk Drives that will be used to handle HD storage needs.

I will follow up this article by doing a step by step decision process of the rest of the system specs based on image processing needs. Finally, I will complete this serie with an indepth look into some of the techniques we can use to speed up the display and defining the display hardware requirements that factors into your project decision.

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