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Digital Headroom Testing

HD and digital headroom testing
A 60-minute course taught by Jim Boston

Students gain an understanding of key digital and HD signal parameters, focusing on system headroom and signal-to-noise.

This course addresses important digital equipment and path considerations including required headroom and noise. Engineers and operators need to understand what happens to digital signals when there is in sufficient headroom or excessive noise. The course addresses these important issues.

The course is designed for operating and maintenance engineers. They should have an elementary understanding of digital electronics, video and television equipment. Students are lead through an illustrative tutorial on the effects poor system performance have on HD and digital signals.

Students are treated to a tutorial on SDI and HD-SDI signal composition. Issues including bandwidth and noise are discussed. Students are basic measurements to identify key characteristics and system performance. Coaxial cable and connector performance and selection are also reviewed.

A student successfully completing this course will be prepared to handle basic digital system testing and understand how system degradation affects image quality.

You will learn:

  • Basic digital stream components
  • Bandwidth and signal requirements
  • Square wave components
  • SDI and HD-SDI signal characteristics
  • Understanding spectral analysis
  • The digital cliff
  • HD bandwidth requirements
  • The effect of coax on signals
  • Understanding signal-to-noise
  • Testing digital paths
  • Using eye patterns
  • Pathological testing
  • Understanding and measuring jitter
  • The importance of impedance
  • The effect coax connectors have on signals
  • Using polar displays

Your instructor:

Jim Boston is a former broadcast engineer. His experience includes positions as chief engineer at several television stations, working with Sony System Integration division and as a systems consultant. He is currently involved in planning and engineering BAS conversions for stations throughout the US. Boston is author of two books, DTV Survival Guide and TV on Wheels, The story of Television Remote Production.

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