What’s the worst way to transmit video?

Perhaps the worst possible way to transmit video would be to send all pixel data in parallel.  That’s exactly how [Gebhard Sengmüller’s] parallel image device works. To be fair, this is an art piece called “A Parallel Image” that addresses the concept of where we would be if serial data transmission had never come to fruition. The brochure (PDF) accompanying the exhibit gives the juicy details we’re always looking for.

The device consists of a photo sensor unit and a display unit. Both are one-square-meter stripboard panels made of epoxy. The sensor unit consists of a 50×50 grid of photo-conductors that have their counterparts in the 50×50 grid of light bulbs on the display unit. Things start to get pretty crazy when you throw in the 7500 meters of magnet wire that connect the 2500 pixel sensor unit to the display unit.

You should be able to put together how this works. The sensors pick up light and then effect the brightness of the corresponding light bulbs. The result is an interesting image, and a nightmare of wire porn that would drive any TV repairman to drink.

57 thoughts on “What’s the worst way to transmit video?

  1. Stupid design choices aside. This would be a showpiece for any museum. The wires are very nice looking mess, reminds me of the Airbus A380 cabling nightmare http://www.flickr.com/photos/perspectivephotography/2178959089/

    Ugh, i don’t get why we even still use lightbulbs. Led’s are way better, allmost no heat, shock resistant, longer life, thus overall more reliable. And if your smart you can make LED’s emit and detect light at (well to the humane eye) the same time.

  2. Looking at the art (cough) installation, don’t you want to get in there and put an arduino on each line? (And swap in LEDs?) The manual imaging board is sick and wrong…but somehow made that pic of Hello Kitty, which is impressive.

    Parallelism is a major feature in AMLCD (and OLED, and plasma) displays; pixel memory on an active optical plane is a little rare, so unfortunately a more dynamic film editing display offloaded to the display device doesn’t exist yet. Storing half a frame or more to make display simultaneous is the dominant way (that is, transmission -is- largely parallel for the last 40″.)

    Those are huge wires! The thing to do for an installation is to have a tornado generated on the detector side and affecting the (silvered, preferably) wiring, with a weather announcer patched in or an aerialist erm…insured.

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