Video amplifier

Posted on Jul 9, 2012

I've seen an NE592 used as a video buffer amp at the end of a 75 ohm line. Used so that the 75 ohm line could drive all kinds of neat processing stuff without affecting the signal (that's what a buffer is after all, right?) Now National Semiconductor makes an LM592 that's also a video amp. They are the same chip. Sources for NE/SE/LM/uA592 include TI, Harris, Philips (Signetics) and Motorola. Be aware that there are 8 and 14 pin versions of it, the difference being that the larger package has two additional gain control pins. It's not really an op-amp, so you can't use feedback to control the gain. Additionally, they're _fast_ circuits, so use a ground plane and ceramic bypassing caps as close as possible to the supply pins.

Video amplifier
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The DC components in video are normally a non-issue. Most video equipment are AC coupled (at least the input), which is the reason why you can't get away without black level clamping if you plan to process the video signal. Nothing is said about the actual voltage levels of the video signal, they are just referenced to the black level which may float anywhere (well if I remember right, you're guaranteed to have less than 1W power dissipation in the terminating resistor with standard video...). A typical video input has a 75 ohm terminating resistor to ground and then the signal is fed to the input buffer via a ~50uF electrolytic cap. Anyway, here's a simple discrete video output stage. Can't get much simpler than this. Note that there's a serial matching resistor on the output, so you'll have to feed 2Vp-p video into the buffer to get the usual 1Vp-p into the equipment you're driving. This is the way it's usually done. Sorry for the crude transistors, but I hate doing ASCII graphics. The simplest black level clamp consists of a signal diode (1N4148) reverse-biased to ground from the output line of the input buffer above and a 4k7 resistor in parallel with it. That forces the sync tips to be at (gnd - threshold voltage of the diode), which shifts the black level of a 2x amplified video reasonably close to ground. Add that and you can connect the two circuits above together and see how they...

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