CE Emmys Awarded

The recent round of Emmys handed out by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences has seen several consumer electronics manufacturers lauded for their technical achievements.

Sage, parent company of Faroudja, has been awarded its third Emmy, this time for "Pioneering Development of an HDTV Upconverter," recognizing a suite of technologies that the company explains is instrumental in converting ordinary standard definition NTSC content into "sparkling high definition video." The award-winning technologies include "IntelliComb" video decoding, "Directional Correlational Deinterlacing" (DCDi), and "TrueLife" enhancement, which Faroudja says is the culmination of 30 years of video experience.

Sage adds that upconversion of NTSC or other standard definition material to HDTV requires high quality video decoding, deinterlacing, scaling, and enhancement. According to the company, its intelligent adaptive combing (IntelliComb) separates luma and chroma signals and adds time-base correction to stabilize unstable sources like low-cost VCRs. Sage says that its deinterlacing technology is motion adaptive on a per-pixel basis and includes proper handling of 3:2 and 2:2 pulldown material, bad edit detection/correction, and DCDi, which eliminates jagged edges normally seen on angled lines in motion video.

Eastman Kodak Company received two Emmy Awards, for its role in the development of the 24P video image format for digital television and for its pioneering work in the development of color image sensors commonly used in solid-state consumer camcorders. The awards bring to 13 the number of Emmys that Kodak has won since the company began serving the entertainment industry more than a century ago.

Kodak says that it promoted inclusion of 24P in the HDTV standards and proposed its technical implementation to provide an improvement in the quality of film images displayed on television screens and also to enable a substantial improvement in the efficiency of program transmission for high definition television. LaserPacific Media Corporation and Sony Electronics are co-recipients of the award.

The company also says that its pioneering work in the development of image sensor devices with integrated color filter arrays made it possible for a single image sensor to produce a color image. "Previously, image sensors were monochrome, and camera makers would use three monochrome sensors with a prism beam splitter, or a single sensor with a rotating color wheel in front of it, to separate the light into its color components," says Kodak. Hitachi, JVC, Matsushita, and Sony are co-recipients of this award.

Zenith Electronics also took home a coveted Emmy for its development of flat-screen CRT (cathode ray tube) television technology. This marks Zenith's fourth Emmy, with previous awards for developing stereo television, remote control technology, and digital high definition television (HDTV).

Zenith says that its pioneering work in perfectly-flat-screen color CRTs spans three decades, beginning with intensive research in the 1970s. "The core innovation, which was later commercialized and implemented by others as well, involved stretching a shadow mask and holding it under tension," says the company. "This 'flat tension mask' (FTM) became the industry's first perfectly flat, high-resolution color CRT. Its inherent benefits of high brightness, high resolution, and glare-free and reflection-free performance revolutionized CRTs for consumer television and computer monitor displays."

As part of its restructuring, Zenith says, it phased out CRT manufacturing several years ago, but the technology has been licensed to others, and FTM displays today are sold throughout the world.