Slow-scan television

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Slow-scan television (SSTV) is a picture transmission method used mainly by amateur radio operators, to transmit and receive static pictures via radio in monochrome or color.

A technical term for SSTV is narrowband television. Broadcast television requires 6 MHz wide channels in North America, because it transmits 25 or 30 picture frames per second (in the NTSC, PAL or SECAM color systems), but SSTV usually only takes up to a maximum of 3 kHz of bandwidth. It is a much slower method of still picture transmission, usually taking from about eight seconds to a couple of minutes, depending on the mode used, to transmit one image frame.

Since SSTV systems operate on voice frequencies, amateurs use it on shortwave (also known as HF by amateur radio operators), VHF and UHF radio.




The concept of SSTV was introduced by Copthorne Macdonald [1] in 1957–1958[2]. He developed the first SSTV system using an electrostatic monitor and a vidicon tube. In those days it seemed sufficient to use 120 lines and about 120 pixels per line to transmit a black-and-white still picture within a 3 kHz phone channel. First live tests were performed on the 11 Meter ham band - which was later given to the CB service in the US.

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