The first commercially available all-solid-state broadcast camera was introduced at the National Association of Broadcasters’ annual show in 1984. The CCD-1 camera, as it was known, replaced then-standard imaging tube technology with charge-coupled device (CCD) imagers developed at RCA’s David Sarnoff Research Center (now part of SRI).
The use of CCD imagers eliminated many of the inherent limitations of tube-type cameras that diminished picture quality in situations with varied lighting and rapid motion. Performance improved dramatically—images were clearer, sharper, and more detailed then ever before. Plus, backside illumination increased imager sensitivity, enabling the camera to perform well in near-dark and bright conditions.
These advantages of the CCD imagers made the camera particularly useful for news and sports coverage. Broadcasters now had the ability to capture quality footage outside of the studio where lighting is not controlled, and fast-moving objects could be shown in detail rather than as a blur across the screen.
In 1985, the company was given an Emmy® award for creating the camera, one of the nine the organization has received to date. Solid-state imagers have since become the standard for today’s cameras.
Read our 75th anniversary blog feature
75 Years of Innovation: CCD Broadcast Camera