Digital Data In Analog Signals (1997)

By WalterS. Ciciora, Ph.D.

The NTSC television system was designed primarily to make television receivers affordable in the era of vacuum tube circuits. In the age of digital and analog integrated circuits, much more aggressive signal processing is possible. This allows some of the signal inefficiencies accepted when NTSC was created to be overcome. It is now possible to add significant amounts of digital data into an analog signal in a compatible manner. The FCC has authorized the use of several of these systems and has encouraged the development of others. Some of these systems simply use the Vertical Blanking Interval, VB!. Others add additional carriers. At least one system takes over portions of the video screen and adds digital data in its place. This paper will review the methods proposed for compatible data insertion into NTSC signals and explore possible applications of this approach.

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