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For other uses, see Fax (disambiguation).

A Samsung fax machine

A fax (short for facsimile) is a document sent over a telephone line. Fax machines have existed, in various forms, since the 19th century, though the modern fax machine became feasible only in the mid-1970s as the sophistication of technology increased and cost of the three underlying technologies dropped. Digital fax machines first became popular in Japan, where they had a clear advantage over competing technologies like the teleprinter, since at the time (before the development of easy-to-use input method editors) it was faster to handwrite kanjithan to type the characters. Over time, faxing gradually became affordable, and by the mid-1980s, fax machines were very popular around the world. Although businesses usually maintain some kind of fax capability, the technology has faced increasing competition from Internet-based alternatives. However, fax machines still retain some advantages, particularly in the transmission of sensitive material which, if sent over the Internet unencrypted, may be vulnerable to interception, without the need for telephone tapping. In some countries, becauseelectronic signatures on contracts are not recognized by law while faxed contracts with copies of signatures are, fax machines enjoy continuing support in business.[citation needed]

4.7 Fax paper 3 Alternatives 4 See also 5 References 6 External links [edit]History .2 Modified Read 2.4 Compression     2.6 Stroke speed 2.4 Computer facsimile interface 2 Capabilities o 2.4.3 Telephone transmission 1. standalone fax machines have been replaced by "fax servers" and other computerized systems capable of receiving and storing incoming faxes electronically. and then routing them to users on paper or via an email (which may be secured).4.1 Modified Huffman 2.5 Typical characteristics 2. Contents [hide] 1 History o o o o 1.4 Matsushita Whiteline Skip o o o 2.1 Analogue 2.4. Such systems have the advantage of reducing costs by eliminating unnecessary printouts and reducing the number of inbound analog phone lines needed by an office.1.1 Wire transmission 1.3 Modified Modified Read 2.2 Wireless transmission 1.3 Data transmission rate 2.2 Class 2.1 Group   o o o 2.In many corporate environments.1.2 Digital 2.

He introduced the first commercial telefax service between Paris and Lyon in 1865. German physicist Arthur Korn invented the Bildtelegraph. 1924 became the first photo picture reproduced by transoceanic radio facsimile. Ranger invented the wireless photoradiogram. Herbert E. not requiring manual plotting or drawing. since a widely noticed transmission of a wanted-person photograph from Paris to London in 1908.[edit]Wire transmission Scottish inventor Alexander Bain worked on chemical mechanical facsimile type devices and in 1846 was able to reproduce graphic signs in laboratory experiments. [edit]Wireless transmission Main article: Radiofax As a designer for the Radio Corporation of America (RCA). in 1924. Around 1900. the United States Army transmitted the first photograph via satellite facsimile ("fax") to Puerto Rico from the Deal Test Siteusing the Courier satellite.[1][2] In 1881. widespread in continental Europe especially. Its main competitors were the Bélinograf by Édouard Belin first. Radio fax is still in common use today for transmitting weather charts and information to ships at sea. In the 1960s. or transoceanicradio facsimile. Ives of AT&T transmitted and reconstructed the first color facsimile. Commercial use of Ranger¶s product began two years later. invented in 1929 by German inventor Rudolf Hell. using color separations. some 11 years before the invention of telephones. [edit]Telephone transmission . Richard H. then since the 1930s the Hellschreiber. thePantelegraph. Frederick Bakewell made several improvements on Bain's design and demonstrated telefax machine. English inventor Shelford Bidwell constructed the scanning phototelegraph that was the first telefax machine to scan any two-dimensional original. the forerunner of today¶s "Fax" machines. used until the wider distribution of the radiofax. A photograph of President Calvin Coolidge sent from New York to London on November 29. Also in 1924. was invented by the Italian physicist Giovanni Caselli. a pioneer in mechanical image scanning and transmission.

and a demodulator converted the varying tone into a variable current that controlled the mechanical movement of a pen or pencil to reproduce the image on a blank sheet of paper on an identical drum rotating at the same rate. Dr.Prior to the introduction of the ubiquitous fax machine. and the printer. varying in intensity according to the light and dark areas of the document. such as an office and factory. The reflected light. Horizontal resolution depended upon the quality of the scanner. Fax machines utilize standard PSTN lines and telephone numbers. design sketches or signed documents between distant locations. a handset¶s speaker was attached to an acoustic coupler (a microphone). A pair of these expensive and bulky machines could only be afforded by companies with a serious need to communicate drawings. one of the first being the Exxon Qwip[3] in the mid-1970s. transmission line.[4] Western Union began a "Faxcimile Telegraphy" service in 1935. This current was used to control a tone generator (a modulator). class. was focused on a photocell so that the current in a circuit varied with the amount of light. data transmission rate. This audio tone was then transmitted using anacoustic coupler (a speaker. called GammaFax. Ayaz Asmat. and conformance with ITU-T (formerly CCITT) recommendations. At the receiving end. with each scanned line transmitted as a continuous analogue signal. founder of GammaLink. [edit]Group [edit]Analogue Group 1 and 2 faxes are sent in the same manner as a frame of analogue television. Analogue fax machines are obsolete and no longer . produced the first computer fax board. [edit]Computer facsimile interface In 1985. in this case) attached to the microphone of a common telephone handset. facsimile machines worked by optical scanning of a document or drawing spinning on a drum. [edit]Capabilities There are several different indicators of fax capabilities: Group. the current determining the frequency of the tone produced. Their first coast-to-coast message contained images of Mickey Mouse.

 Group 3 faxes conform to the ITU-T Recommendations T.2 and T. Group 2 faxes conform to the ITU-T Recommendations T. Group 1 fax machines are obsolete and no longer manufactured. and take advantage of digital compression methods to greatly reduce transmission times. with a vertical resolution of 96 scan lines per inch.3 were withdrawn as obsolete in July 1996. The horizontal and vertical resolutions are allowed by the T. Only about one fourth of the length is shown. ITU-T Recommendations T. Group 1 faxes take six minutes to transmit a single page. Group 2 fax machines are almost obsolete.30 and T. Group 3 faxes take between six and fifteen seconds to transmit a single page (not including the initial time for the fax machines to handshake and synchronize).3. with a vertical resolution of 96 scan lines per inch. and are no longer manufactured.  Group 1 faxes conform to the ITU-T Recommendation T.4 standard to vary among a set of fixed resolutions:  Horizontal: 100 scan lines per inch  Vertical: 100 scan lines per inch ('Basic')  Horizontal: 200 or 204 scan lines per inch . The read-out circuit is at left.30 and T. Group 3 and 4 faxes are digital formats. [edit]Digital  The CCD chip in a fax machine. Group 2 fax machines can interoperate with Group 3 fax machines.manufactured. The thin line in the middle consists of photosensitive pixels.4. Group 2 faxes take three minutes to transmit a single page.2.

1 fax devices are referred to as "super G3".417.4/T.6 recommendation.70. but the T. T.6 data compression is performed by software on a controlling computer.32. This is described in ITU-T recommendation T.72.411 to T.30 session management themselves. Vertical: 100 or 98 scan lines per inch ('Standard')  Vertical: 200 or 196 scan lines per inch ('Fine')  Vertical: 400 or 391 (note not 392) scan lines per inch ('Superfine')  Horizontal: 300 scan lines per inch  Vertical: 300 scan lines per inch  Horizontal: 400 or 408 scan lines per inch  Vertical: 400 or 391 scan lines per inch ('Ultrafine') Group 4 faxes conform to the ITU-T Recommendations T.4 recommendation.4/T. T. . Class 2.[5] Class 2.62. which is a superset of the T. T.[5] Class 2 fax devices perform T. T.6. Their resolution is determined by the T.6 data compression and T. The relevant ITU-T recommendation is T. T.1 is an improvement of Class 2.0 is different from Class 2. they seem to be a little faster than Class 1/2/2.563. which indicates how much processing is offloaded from the computer's CPU to the fax modem. This type of faxing is not related to the e-mail to fax service that still uses fax modems at least one way.     Class 1 fax devices do fax data transfer where the T. [edit]Class Computer modems are often designated by a particular fax class.  Fax Over IP (FOIP) can transmit and receive pre-digitized documents at near realtime speeds using ITU-T recommendation T. T.503. Class 2. T.30 session management are performed by software on a controlling computer. Scanned documents are limited to the amount of time the user takes to load the document in a scanner and for the device to process a digital file.0. They are designed to operate over 64 kbit/s digital ISDN circuits. The resolution can vary from as little as 150 DPI to 9600 DPI or more.38 to send digitised images over an IP network using JPEG compression.31. T.521.0.38 is designed to work with VoIP services and often supported by analog telephone adapters used by legacy fax machines that need to connect through a VoIP service.

7200 TCM V. ITU Standard Released Date Data Rates (bit/s) Modulation Method V. [edit]Data transmission rate Several different telephone line modulation techniques are used by fax machines. 9600. The two methods are: Modified Huffman (MH). [edit]Compression As well as specifying the resolution (and allowable physical size of the image being faxed).34bis modulation that allows a data rate of up to 33. usually a minimum of 14. and  Modified read (MR) [edit]Modified Huffman  . the ITU-T T.34bis 1998 33600 QAM Note that 'Super Group 3' faxes use V. These devices are not common. 7200.27 1988 4800.17 1991 14400. They are negotiated during the fax-modem handshake.29 1988 9600. given little more than a phone number and the text to send (including rendering ASCII text as a raster image).34 1994 28800 QAM V.6 kbit/s.4 recommendation specifies two compression methods for decreasing the amount of data that needs to be transmitted between the fax machines to transfer the image. Class 3 fax devices are responsible for virtually the entire fax session.4 kbit/s for Group 3 fax. 4800 QAM V. 12000. 2400 PSK V. and the fax devices will use the highest data rate that both fax devices support.

[edit]Modified Modified Read The ITU-T T. Each line scanned is compressed independently of its predecessor and successor. This is because T. This is not continued to the end of the fax transmission. This is effective as most lines differ little from their predecessor. as the standard does not provide for error-correction. [edit]Modified Read Modified read (MR) encodes the first scanned line using MH. and four for 'Fine' resolution faxes. This limited number of lines is to prevent errors propagating throughout the whole fax. MR is an optional facility.4. and some fax machines do not use MR in order to minimise the amount of computation required by the machine. [edit]Matsushita Whiteline Skip A proprietary compression scheme employed on Panasonic fax machines is Matsushita Whiteline Skip (MWS). and then compresses several blank scan lines into the data space of a single character. the differences determined. The limited number of lines is two for 'Standard' resolution faxes. The next line is compared to the first. It can be overlaid on the other compression schemes. and then the differences are encoded and transmitted. but only for a limited number of lines until the process is reset and a new 'first line' encoded with MH is produced. which simply allows for a greater number of lines to be coded by MR than in T. In this case. but is operative only when two Panasonic machines are communicating with one another.Modified Huffman (MH) is a codebook-based run-length encoding scheme optimised to efficiently compress whitespace.6 makes the assumption that the transmission is over a circuit with a low number of line errors such as digital ISDN. This system detects the blank scanned areas between lines of text. this minimises the transmission time of most faxes. [edit]Typical characteristics Group 3 fax machines transfer one or a few printed or handwritten pages per minute in black-and-white (bitonal) at a resolution of 204×98 (normal) or . As most faxes consist mostly of white space.6 recommendation adds a further compression type of Modified Modified READ (MMR). there is no maximum number of lines for which the differences are encoded.

Many modems support at least class 1 and often either Class 2 or Class 2. unfortunately. The original page is scanned in a resolution of 1728 pixels/line and 1145 lines/page (for A4). many of the inkjet-based fax machines claim to have color fax capability. therefore. instead of about 3 minutes for the same uncompressed raw data of 1728×1145 bits at a speed of 9600 bit/s.0 and 2.4 kbit/s or higher for modems and some fax machines. [edit]Stroke speed Stroke speed in facsimile systems. and Intel CAS. Which is preferable to use depends on factors such as hardware. Typically a page needs 10 s for transmission. Fax machines from the 1970s to the 1990s often used direct thermal printers as their printing technology. the stroke speed is equivalent to drum speed. The transfer rate is 14. In most conventional 20th century mechanical systems. and expected use. inkjet printers and laser printers. so many of the color fax machines can only fax in color to machines from the same manufacturer. but since the mid-1990s there has been a transition towards thermal transfer printers. There is a standard called ITU-T30e for faxing in color. Available classes include Class 1. is the rate at which a fixed line perpendicular to the direction of scanning is crossed in one direction by a scanning or recording spot. When the fax system scans in both directions. The resulting raw data is compressed using a modified Huffman code optimized for written text. Class 2.0. achieving average compression factors of around 20.1. The compression method uses a Huffman codebook for run lengths of black and white runs in a single scanned line. but fax machines support speeds beginning with 2400 bit/s and typically operate at 9600 bit/s. the stroke speed is twice this number.204×196 (fine) dots per square inch. One of the advantages of inkjet printing is that inkjets can affordably print in color. software. modem firmware. Stroke speed is usually expressed as a number of strokes per minute. The most basic fax mode transfers black and white colors only. and it can also use the fact that two adjacent scanlines are usually quite similar. Class 2. it is not widely supported. The transferred image formats are called ITU-T(formerly CCITT) fax group 3 or 4.[6] . Fax classes denote the way fax programs interact with fax hardware. saving bandwidth by encoding only the differences.

No software.[edit]Fax paper Paper roll for thermal transfer printer fax machine As a precaution.[7] [edit]Alternatives One popular alternative is to subscribe to an internet fax service. a dedicated fax line. [edit] . Fax service providers allow users to send and receive faxes from their personal computers using an existing email account. or in proprietary formats that require the use of the service provider's software. Another alternative to a physical fax machine is to make use of computer software which allows people to send and receive faxes using their own computers. or consumables. and it tends to come off after a long time in storage. Faxes can be sent or retrieved from anywhere at any time that a user can get internet access. This is because the image-forming coating is eradicable and brittle. A virtual (email) fax can be printed out and then signed and scanned back to computer before being emailed. Also the sender can attach a digital signature to the document file. Faxes are received as attached TIFF or PDF files. Some services even offer secure faxing to comply with stringent HIPAA and Gramm±Leach±Bliley Act requirements to keep medical information and financial information private and secure. Unified messaging and internet fax. fax server or fax machine is needed. See Fax server. Utilizing a fax service provider does not require paper. thermal fax paper is typically not accepted in archives or as documentary evidence in some courts of law unless photocopied.

In this digital form. The Internet now provides a new and cheaper way to send faxes in some cases. or it must be retyped manually into the computer. . Even if a document is text only. the information is transmitted as electrical signals through the telephone system. However. usually to a telephone number associated with a printer or other output device. it is treated by the computer as a scanned image and is transmitted to the receiver as a bitmap. Faxing a message online works well if the recipient wants only to read the message. if the document requires editing. Some services also provide the ability to broadcast a fax to multiple addresses. The receiving fax machine reconverts the coded image and prints a paper copy of the document.fax y y y y y y y y y y E-mail Print A AA AAA LinkedIn Facebook Twitter Share This Reprints A fax (short for facsimile and sometimes called telecopying) is the telephonic transmission of scanned-in printed material (text or images). Almost all modem LEARN MORE y y Topics Archive Network Administration s manufactured today are capable of sending and receiving fax data. A number of free and commercial companies provide arrangements for using the Internet rather than the public telephone system for most or part of the path to the fax point. which treats the contents (text or images) as a single fixed graphic image. Fax/modem software generates fax signals directly from disk files or the screen. The original document is scanned with a fax machine. it must be converted into ASCII text by an OCR (optical character recognition) program. converting it into a bitmap. E-mail files are already ASCII text so they can be edited immediately in any text editor or word processing program. A more efficient method of sending documents that require modification is through the e-mail system.

90. small form factor (SFF).323 RELATED GLOSSARY TERMS: . encoder. H. BOC (Bell operating company).RS-232C. akamaize. Peltier effect. MBone (Multicast Internet). V. MDI/MDIX (medium dependent interface/MDI crossover).

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