CCD Block Pixel Repair

Lucke’s Camera Service, Inc., specializes in pixel repair on Sony broadcast cameras. We use the same circuitry that Sony uses to refurbish FRB blocks with the differences being:

  • Our software and process is more versatile.
  • We repair your block in your camera.
  • No alignment is necessary, the camera’s “look” stays the same.
  • We can turn your camera around in 3 days.
  • Best of all, our prices are lower!

We are continually adding to our capabilities and following is our current list of Sony cameras. Please contact us for current pricing.

Now this service is available to our European customers through Vocas Sales & Services B.V., your European CCD pixel repair specialists.

We warranty the pixel repairs for one (1) year as part of our service. We now offer an extended warranty which covers one additional year for 100% of pixel repairs. This warranty is limited to pixel repair on the original CCD block we repair and is renewable for that block for as long as the block is repairable.

Pixel Trivia

Pixels are the points of light that make up the picture on your video monitor. They come in three colors: red, green, and blue, and for each pixel on your video monitor there is a corresponding light receptor (also commonly called a pixel) in your CCD block. In a perfect camera every pixel would produce the same signal level from dark to bright. Most cameras develop defective pixels as they age. Defective red and blue pixels show true to color, but green shows as white.

Is a bad pixel the same as a hot, stuck, or dead pixel? They are one in the same. Bad pixels are a subject that camera manufacturers avoid like the plague. All cameras have problem pixels but the manuals and other publications avoid describing them, explaining terms, or noting specifications. Let us define some of the terms and explain some of the systems used in laymans’ language.

Pixels show more as the camera warms up. The camera under evaluation should be turned on at room temperature for at least 2 hours before measurement. With the iris closed, check for pixels at 18db. Use a video monitor with the brightness turned up enough to see the background noise. You will see all the defective pixels that the camera has. By switching gain between 9db and 0db you can determine whether or not the pixels are in an acceptable range. Acceptability should be determined by the type of work done and the light level in which the camera is used.

The term defective pixel covers a wide range. The most common problem is a bright pixel, or RPN (Residual Point Noise). Variations of bright pixels have different temperature characteristics, bounce in level at varying time intervals, and affect other color pixels later in the camera circuitry.

The primary system used to correct pixels identifies the coordinates of the pixel and provides an offset signal in the correct time relationship. One name for this method is “compensation”. The act of locating the offending pixel(s) is often called “remapping” or “masking the block”. Our name for this is “pixel repair”. Another system also identifies the coordinates of the pixel then cancels the bad pixel and replaces it with an adjacent one. This method has the disadvantage of being visible in some picture patterns. One name for this method is “pixel restoration”, which we call: “pixel substitution”. Possible options you may have when you detect a bright pixel are:

  1. Find out if your camera has an automatic system to correct pixels, (such as APR), and how to use it.
  2. Have the block repaired by Lucke’s Camera Service.
  3. Have Lucke’s Camera Service replace the block if all else fails.