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KODAK PHOTO CD SYSTEM DESIGNED TO EXPAND UTILITY, ENJOYMENT OF PHOTOGRAPHY

 KODAK PHOTO CD SYSTEM DESIGNED TO EXPAND
 UTILITY, ENJOYMENT OF PHOTOGRAPHY
 ROCHESTER, N.Y., Dec. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- When the concept of the Photo CD system was announced by Eastman Kodak Company (NYSE: EK) more than a year ago, the company promised "a turning point in the history of photography."
 Since then, the photographic trade has assiduously studied everything written about the Photo CD system. The mid-1992 introduction of the Photo CD system may be the most widely anticipated event in photo technology in decades.
 Application of that technology to non-photographic commercial needs, such as MCI's customer billings, hints at the power that CD technology will soon deliver to computer users.
 For commercial applications, the Photo CD system represents a breakthrough in three distinct areas. The first is scanning. Until the Photo CD system, full-resolution scans typically required several minutes. At such slow rates, high-volume image transfer was inefficient and costly. Kodak's Photo CD film scanner, on the other hand, employs a proprietary linear CCD (charge-coupled device) array, and new film and data management techniques that cut the scan time to six seconds.
 The second breakthrough is storage density. Color images translate to huge digital data files; a 35 mm film image contains nearly 20 megabytes of data. But through unique data compression algorithms, Kodak has reduced the effective storage need to just 4.5 megabytes. As a result, each Photo CD disc will hold up to 100 full-resolution images.
 Finally, there is economical disc creation. Kodak predicts that photofinishers will sell Photo CD discs, with 24 exposures transferred from film, for approximately $16. It is the ability to fill a recordable CD with computer data so economically that attracted MCI.
 The MCI CD holds roughly 600 megabytes of customer statement data, enough information to fill 120,000 sheets of computer printout paper. Having such a massive database at the PC level, combined with a well designed software program, opens new opportunities for data analysis. At MCI, with their Perspective software and the Kodak recordable data CD, the focus is on providing customer statement data in an easy-to-use form. Other companies will doubtless find other applications.
 HOW THE PHOTO CD SYSTEMS WORKS
 Here's how the Photo CD system works: When consumers take 35 mm slide or print film to photofinishers for processing, they will soon have a new option. In addition to conventional prints and slides, they can also have their photos captured in digital form onto a Photo CD disc. If the consumer so specifies, the photofinisher will scan and digitize the 35 mm film images, and write virtually all the information in the original frame onto a compact disc. Images can then be displayed on television, using Photo CD players which will become available in mid-1992.
 The Photo CD system provides image quality far superior to anything available from electronic still photography systems. Yet once the image has been captured on the CD, consumers enjoy all the benefits of electronic imaging.
 "The Photo CD systems marries the unsurpassed quality of silver halide technology and the convenience of electronics in a consumer product," notes Kodak's Stephen Stepnes, general manager and vice president, CD Imaging. "Television display will make pictures more dynamic in appearance, and convenient to find and use."
 The Photo CD player's ability to zoom in on a particular detail, or pan across an image, will add to consumers' enjoyment of their photographs.
 Images can be grouped together on a single disc to create a CD "album," or copied from one disc to another for distribution to friends and relatives. Because the files are digital, copies retain all the quality of the original.
 Even if the original negatives are lost, consumers can still get high-quality prints directly from the Photo CD disc. Photofinishers will be equipped to print the digital file using a high-resolution thermal printer. The resulting prints are virtually indistinguishable from traditional, silver-halide prints.
 COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS
 The Photo CD system goes beyond a simple consumer technology, though. Commercial applications may well drive the market for Photo CD discs during the early years on the market.
 The system was engineered to be compatible with existing CD-ROM XA and CD-I drives used with personal computers. As a result, Photo CD discs will make full-color images easily accessible for the first time for desk-top publishing.
 The Photo CD system also provides a new storage medium for photo libraries, stock photography and numerous niche markets.
 "This technology is a result of our long-term efforts to develop imaging sensors, storage of, and access to high density data, image-manipulation software, and high-quality thermal printing," notes Stepnes. "Over the next few years, this technology will result in new applications throughout the computer, publishing and photographic industries."
 The Photo CD system will be translated into various kinds of opportunities, Stepnes predicts.
 "Imaging has always been our primary focus at Kodak. But as the technology expands into other areas, it can be leveraged to solve business problems we haven't even begun to consider."
 -0- 12/17/91
 /CONTACT: Paul C. Allen of Eastman Kodak Company, 716-724-5802/
 (EK) CO: Eastman Kodak Company ST: New York IN: CHM SU: PDT


CG -- CL003 -- 2906 12/17/91 11:18 EST
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Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 17, 1991
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