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March 24, 1987


By CBR Staff Writer

Telesis Distributing Inc of Reno, Nevada, is preparing a video recording system that will store 1,230 black-and-white television-quality images on a 3.9 Syquest 10Mb disk cartridge, reports Microbytes Daily. The Telesis Video Image File uses a novel, analogue-style recording technique to achieve the high storage density – with normal digital techniques, a 512- by 256-pixel image with 256 shades of gray would require approximately 131Kb of storage space, and just 75 such images would fill a 10Mb disk. The Telesis analogue technique, however, manages to store the same-quality image in a single track of the disk with a digital capacity of only about 9Kb. Ironically, since digital techniques are so often used to restore the quality of things like telephone conversations that are irreparably distorted in analogue systems, another advantage of the Telesis analogue technique is that the drive is relatively immune to bad sectors and other problems often associated with digital hard disk drives. The image file system connects to a personal computer via an RS-232C cable. Although similar capabilities can be provided by a single-frame video cassette recorder, the Telesis system offers the fast random-access capability of disk. The maximum seek time for any image on the disk is claimed to be only one-fifth of a second. A representative from Calco Digital Equipment, the company that designed the storage system, says that it will be used primarily in security applications, as well as real estate and medical applications. A higher-resolution (512 by 512) system will be available for medical X-ray applications. No price was given for the new system, but Telesis currently offers a similar unit featuring a 20Mb 2,460-image fixed hard disk at $3,295. The new cartridge-based system is scheduled to be available during the second quarter.

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