Large Screen Monitors
Five new features of the FOCUScan FS400 raise the bar in quality standards

Five new features of the FOCUScan FS400 raise the bar in quality standards

FOCUS Enhancements, Inc. announced today that it has begun sampling its fourth generation proprietary NTSC/PAL digital video co-processor technology to designers of PC-to-TV video and large display monitor products. The new FOCUScan FS400 (multiple patents pending) co-processor has several new features never before available in a low-cost ASIC, raising the bar in video quality standards for televisions, large screen computer monitors, integrated appliances, network computers, PC motherboards, PC add-on graphic cards, and cable and video scan conversion set-top boxes.

The FOCUScan FS400 is the highest quality NTSC/PAL digital video co-processor on the market, supporting non-interlaced resolutions up to 1600x1200. It is compatible with virtually all monitor refresh rates up to 152Hz, and unlike other PC-to-TV video conversion chips, supports high quality compression with independent horizontal and vertical underscan. The FS400 accommodates a broad range of resolutions and displays the entire contents of a computer screen on any size television. It is the only scan converter chip capable of scaling 4:3 computers to 16:9 TVs, and preserves line color and intensity with all compression and flicker reduction settings.

In addition to its superior resolution and high quality compression, the FOCUScan FS400 has five new features which further raise video quality standards. A new2D Flicker Filter significantly enhances Asian font and small text readability; Progressive VGA and SVGA Outputs are now available, in addition to TV outputs, to drive large screen monitors and advanced digital TVs; 100i PAL Outputs directly drive 100Hz interlaced PAL TVs for the highest quality display in countries which support PAL standards; Instant Input Video Recognition and Reconfiguration microprocessors monitor incoming video and adjust the output for resolution, size, and centering; and Macrovision 7. Support is available for integration into computers with DVD video capability.

Other unique characteristics of the FS400 include its ability to accept virtually all common commercial frequencies, support for studio-grade timing and encoding, variable zoom mode with full-page panning, genlock for graphic overlays and studio broadcast sync, and direct RGB or YUV output. Users have full control over video quality with programmable brightness, contrast, saturation, and composite Y-notch and C bandpass filtering to prevent color rainbows surrounding text. The FS400 also includes such advanced features as optional direct digital RGB input, RGB clamped analog inputs, and support for CCIR601 data format, 3-channel 8-bit input digitizer, and 3-channel 9-bit D/A converter.

During the first and second quarters of 1999, FOCUS expects to begin shipment of the FS400 to OEM customers. FOCUS also plans to incorporate the FS400 in its line of PC-to-TV video scan conversion set-top boxes during 1999, thus introducing advanced video quality capabilities while dramatically reducing the cost of goods and retail pricing. The FS400's advanced feature set provides superior performance at market prices comparable to lower quality PC-to-TV scan conversion chips. Wholesale prices are expected to be less than $12 for 50,000 units per year. Unlike competitive chips which are expected to use up to four field memories and external A to D chips that could add a cost of $35 per unit, the use of only one synchronous DRAM is another cost-containing feature built into the new FS400.

According to Tom Hamilton, vice president of research and development at FOCUS, "the video quality of the FS400 is better than any PC-TV integrated circuit I have seen from any manufacturer. We are pleased with the results of this complex proprietary design, especially the new 2D flicker filter and sharpness features which significantly enhance Asian text and small font readability on standard television sets."

When built into a TV, PC, or a PC/TV set top box device such as FOCUS Enhancements' TView Gold, the FOCUScan FS400 has important applications in a wide variety of environments. Sales and business presenters can display multimedia and software demos from their laptop computer onto any TV, eliminating bulky, expensive projection systems. Trainers and educators can use FS400-integrated products to videotape classroom sessions. PC users can surf the Web from any large screen TV in their home, classroom, conference room, or hotel, eliminating the need to purchase a separate Internet appliance. Additionally, the FS400 is ideally suited for television broadcast and video design, computer gaming, teleconferencing, interactive home entertainment, graphic design, and animation.

Author Notes:

Wes Sims contributes and publishes news editorial to  An online look at projectors, home theatre and accessories; such as digital, video, screens and slides.

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