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The Evolution of Broadcast Technology

The device that made TV possible in the 20th century was the iconoscope. Current image pickup devices feature significantly improved performance; for instance, they are 100 times more sensitive. Advancements were also made on the microphone, transmission technologies, and the VCR system. Such developments in capture, production and transmission technologies helped further the era of TV.

1970-1980 Broadcast Technology Transforms the Home and the World

Research on Image Pickup Tubes for Cameras

Domestic research on image pickup tubes, a key component of cameras, started with the production of iconoscopes and image orthicons, originally created by RCA. Advances were made through the acquisition and accumulation of independent technologies, such as those that improved the lifetime and resolution of the image orthicon. In 1972, attempts to retain the high-quality of the Plumbicon images while enhancing resolution led to the innovation of the Saticon pickup tube. Saticon technology contributed to development of the handheld camera, which finally led to a contract with RCA for patent implementation in 1977.

Ultra High-Sensitivity HDTV Handheld Camera

The image pickup tube for the NTSC camera system was gradually being replaced with a solid-state device known as the CCD (Charge Coupled Device ), but during the early stages of HDTV research only the Saticon was able to produce a Hi-Vision (HDTV) level of resolution. HARP (High-gain Avalanche Rushing amorphous Photoconductor) photoconductive film, based on the groundbreaking principles of avalanche multiplication, was the result of research to increase the sensitivity of the Saticon (1985). Currently, a HARP image pickup tube is used in the ultrahigh-sensitivity HDTV handheld camera employed for emergency reports.