How Everything Works
How Everything Works How Everything Works

Question 306

How does the television camera record the picture?
Like the television picture tube, the camera generates a signal that indicates the brightnesses of individual spots one at a time. It first measures the brightness of light reaching it from the upper left hand spot, then the spot to its immediate right and so on horizontally across the field of view. It then moves down to a low horizontal line and repeats this sweep. It eventually records the light levels from the entire scene in front of it and begins again. It detects this light using an optical system that forms an image of the scene on a light sensitive surface. This surface may be part of an imaging vacuum tube (sort of a reverse picture tube), or it may be a semiconductor device that resembles a vast array of tiny photocells.

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