RE: Video conversion

Subject: RE: Video conversion
From: Kim Roper <kim -dot- roper -at- pixelink -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 30 May 2003 11:22:41 -0400

France Baril wrote:

> It seems you need to use a device called a codec.

"Codec" isn't quite specific enough. "Codec" is short for "coder/decoder",
just as "modem" is short for "modulator/demodulator." It doesn't say
much--if anything--about the necessary techniques; it simply states the kind
of device needed. Even this isn't particularly illuminating since the term
is generic enough that the device can be a chip, a part of a chip, or a
subsystem. Codecs are also found in a number of different products, not
just video converters.

As well, the original question involved a one-way conversion. A "video
decoder" would suffice and is probably preferable.

The high-level priciples are out there on the Web, but the specific
techniques for converting an NTSC/PAL/SECAM signal into a digital format are
proprietary. At the lowest level, there are chips designed specifically for
that purpose. If you're interested in the nuts and bolts, there are some
examples of chips here:

... or you could search the Web for "video decoders." You get the idea.

Cheers ... Kim
kim.roper at


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