IP theft is an absolute plague in the high tech business world. Big companies find their market share slipping because a competitor has new technology, so they just go out and steal some new technology to compete. Often they find a small startup company with its own technology, often developed by the founders who mortgage their homes and cash in their retirement plans. This all started back in the late 60's when many foreign companies started to market products in North America. Many products were direct copies of US products. They were cheap, in part because there were no R&D costs. The US government whiz kid economists decided this "competition" was good for the US. Politicians that had never run a business used anti trust threats to force disgorgement of US technology to foreign competition. Coupled with a weak US patent system that continues today there was a boom of foreign competition. Unable to recover the cost of technology development or prevent its theft, many US industries and their jobs were lost. Today the US consumers which bought cheap foreign products during the 70's and 80's can't find a job. If Congress really wanted to help the US economy it would start by returning the protection for US innovation and business, especially small business, that enabled the post WWII growth of the 50's and 60's.
I feel most of those fancy video post algorithms make no difference to most consumers, especially fancy upscaling, de-interlacing and frame rate conversion. One thing in common for all those algorithms: Try to recover loss information based on remained information. You will never know whether you get it right or not. Simple algorithm just works fine for majority of images. Those fancy algorithms only make minor difference from expert's eye when it works. When it doesn't work, it is much worse than simple algorithm. If I am going to buy my next digital TV, I will not pay single dime for those fancy post processing features.
I used to work for a Company called Central Dynamics Ltd, in Ottawa/Montreal in Canada in early 1980s. They were making Television Broadcast Equipment, trying to enter digital TV broadcast business. I remember reading journal papers on frame interpolation, line interpolation etc. during those times. The basic principles may be the same, but Zoran and Trident may have new IC based solutions implementing old algorithms in newer and more efficient ways; not sure.
This problem of making lawyers richer and spending resources on lawsuit continues unabated. This is a very ugly incidence because in reality any company can sue another. We need to modernize the IP legal system and save resources for engineering and not law.
NASA's Orion Flight Software Production Systems Manager Darrel G. Raines joins Planet Analog Editor Steve Taranovich and Embedded.com Editor Max Maxfield to talk about embedded flight software used in Orion Spacecraft, part of NASA's Mars mission. Live radio show and live chat. Get your questions ready.
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