This study describes and evaluates the three electronic graphic communication systems presently used by the printing and publishing industry. The author has selected generic system names for each of the systems. These are: System 1: Page Facsimile System 2: Character-Encoding System 3: Pixel Density-Map Page Facsimile systems are primarily used by newspaper publishers. The Character-Encoding and Pixel Density-Map systems are alternate methods primarily used by newsweekly magazine publishers. All three communication systems offer the user a means of transmitting editorial, and in some cases advertising pages, to remote printing facilities for manufacturing and distribution. Each electronic graphic communication system is investigated in depth. The study provides specific information for the potential user, and the current user. The problem for the user is how to best match the communication system, i.e. how the system operates, the cost and performance of that system, with the user's requirement for transmitting graphic information. Based on the full evaluation of each of the systems in the study, the author concludes the following: System 1: Page Facsimile The Page Facsimile system is relatively simple for the user to install and operate. However, all pages must be prepared as camera ready copy prior to transmission. The component costs for this system design are relatively low. Conversely, the method of encoding generates the most data to be transmitted. As a result, the user is required to use expensive transmission lines. Also, with limited data storage, this system requires the immediate transmission and reception of data. From an overall cost standpoint the Page Facsimile system is the least expensive system in the study -The quality levels attained by this system are best suited for newspaper applications, where the text and 4/color quality requirements of the publications are not paramount. These systems offer the user the many advantages of a full communication system, i.e. the transmission of all editorial and advertising pages. Broadcast transmission is used for remote printing locations. System 2: Character-Encoding The Character-Encoding system is more complex to install and operate, particularly if 4/color pages are transmitted. The component costs for this system design are relatively high. Character-encoding is the most efficient method used to encode graphic information, enabling the user the advantage of using less expensive transmission lines. From an overall cost standpoint the Character-Encoded system is the second most expensive system in the study. The high text quality levels attained by this system are best suited for publications that are text oriented. Conversely, this system has inherent limitations in the levels of 4/color quality which can be transmitted, limiting its use as a communication system. At present, point-to point transmission is used, a factor which will eventually limit the number of remote printing locations. System 3: Pixel Density-Map The Pixel Density-Map system is more complex to install and operate because of the level of system sophistication. The component costs for this system design are very expensive. In addition, the method of encoding the graphic information is data intensive requiring the use of expensive data transmission lines. However, the data storage built into this system offers the user the advantage of selecting variable data rates and transmission times. From an overall cost standpoint the Pixel Density-Map system is the most expensive system in the study. The Pixel Density-Map system is the best 4/color transmission system. This communication system is best suited for publications that are pictorially oriented. However, this system has inherent limitations in the levels of text quality which can be achieved. The major advantage of this system is its potential to be eventually used as a full communication system. At present, broadcast transmission is used for remote printing locations.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Printing industry--Communication systems; Publishers and publishing--Communication systems; Data transmission systems
Department, Program, or Center
School of Media Sciences (CIAS)
Richards, Susan, "A cost and performance analysis of the three electronic communication systems currently in use in the printing and publishing industry" (1986). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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