Digital Video Encoder/decoder System
FPGAs give product a new lease of life
Technologies used


Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    323 Sound and Image
HDTV Ltd a company, located in Wokingham in England, with 6 employees and with a turnover of 290k, designs and manufactures innovative video products for the professional video and television broadcast markets (Prodcom Code 3230), in particular TV studios. Historically the majority of HDTV products have been designed utilising analogue circuit technology, together with some discrete logic and microcontrollers. However, the market place is now changing, demanding that new technology be employed utilising digital technology.

The general range of products the market demands remains the same; the difference is the utilisation of digital technology. The product range includes distribution amplifiers, encoders and decoders, genlocking equipment, pulse generators, signal correctors and Time Code to RS232 converters. Within this range of products is an analogue video encoder and decoder system. These products convert baseband analogue video (luminance and colour difference) to composite video and back to baseband. This product has a high technical specification, and a high unit cost. There is a lot of demand in the market at the moment for a digital version of this system. The entire system can be broken down into a series of sub-systems. Some of these subsystems HDTV have the ability to design and manufacture at the moment, however there is some digital technology namely FPGAs, that HDTV has no experience of using. It is this technology that the FUSE project concentrated on utilising.

By adopting FPGA technology into the company, the resultant encoder/decoder will recapture the market that had been lost and also a range of new digital products can be now developed. The advantages of utilising FPGA technology are numerous. These include, tolerance free realisation of required filters, improved product reliability due to decrease component count and lack of dependence on component tolerances, reduced temperature drift, and also a reduction in the number of tests that have to be carried out before a product can be shipped. The presence of the video signal in digital form also enables the user to implement special effects on the signal should this be required. These attributes have been demonstrated by the production of a prototype FPGA filter.

The company can now develop the encoder / decoder product that will enable them to recapture their market share, and also use the acquired technology to develop a complete range of digital video products. Without the ability to realise both of these goals it is difficult to envisage the long term future of the company.

The project commenced 1st February 1997 and ended on 30th April 1999. The total cost for the project was 48K and the Return on Investment has been estimated to be 1450% whilst the payback period is expected to be 29 months.
H.D.T.V Ltd.
Unit A4,
Grovelands Ave.,
RG41 5LB

Detailed information

You can also benefit from microelectronics

FPGA technology provided H.D.T.V Ltd. with the means of improving its products and enhancing its market position. You can also achieve significant benefits by acquiring the right microelectronics technology and utilising it in your product or manufacturing process. You can get help from FUSE to realise this.

FUSE is a technology transfer programme, funded by the European Commission to stimulate the wider use of microelectronics technologies by European enterprises to increase their competitiveness and enhance their economic growth. The demonstrator described here is one of many examples in the public FUSE portfolio covering the whole spectrum of microelectronics technologies and spanning a wide range of applications and industry sectors.

FUSE provides you with:

  • Best practice in acquiring specific microelectronics technologies and conducting full development projects through the FUSE portfolio of real life demonstrator documents.
  • Local training and expert support to plan your innovation realistically and help you conduct your project successfully.

Further information and support relating to this and other demonstrators can be obtained from the addresses below.

Further information   Guiding Technology Transfer Node
For further information and support regarding this case study, please contact a Technology Transfer Node (TTN) in your region.
Homepage: http://www.fuse-network.com
Bournemouth University
Poole House, Fern Barrow
BH12 5BB Poole
United Kingdom