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Programmable real-time hardware MPEG1/2/4 encoder/decoder

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article image The M257 MPEG1/2/4 video encoder/decoder PCI card.

INVENTA Australia has released a high-quality real-time hardware MPEG1/2/4 video encoder/decoder PCI card – the M257 that is suitable for developing various customised video capture and output applications.

Designed around high-performance VWeb and Philips MPEG Codec and A/D Conversion hardware chipsets, M257 processes high-quality MPEG video/audio encoding and decoding entirely on-board.

This is not affected by the host PC's hardware, therefore slow or faster CPUs and hard disks, high-end or low-cost graphics cards and sound cards will all achieve the same quality video capture and playback.

The M257's features include:

* Real-time hardware-based MPEG video decoding as well as encoding, this allows both live or captured video files to be displayed on external TV and VCRs in extremely high quality. During video capture and preview time, the video displayed on the PC's screen and M257's TV output port are always synchronised with the live incoming video signal.

* Guaranteed audio and video synchronisation at video capture and play back time, no matter how long the video is. Inventa has repeatedly tested over 8-hours continuous video capture with perfect A/V sync at both live video preview and the captured video files.

* Chipset-level support for live multiple-layer text and graphics overlay during the video capture and playback time, with colour, position and duration fully controllable by software. This live text/graphics overlay can be used in many video collection applications to save expensive and time-consuming post-processing on captured MPEG video files.

* In addition to MPEG1 and MPEG 2 formats, hardware MPEG4 video encoding and decoding is equally well supported, achieving high-quality MPEG2-level video encoding at less than half the data rates.

* Multiple M257 cards can be installed and programmed on the same PC to realise simultaneous multiple-stream MPEG encoding and decoding.

* Real-time no-delay video preview and recording: unlike many other MPEG encoders, M257 responds to user's ‘recording’ command immediately without any visual delays - critical for many real-time video capture applications.

* Hardware-assisted transcoding and transrating: M257 allows captured MPEG video files to be converted to different formats in different data rates and frame sizes.

* Software Development Tool Kit with sample codes and documentations, crucial for application software developers.

Other features include hardware controls of video/audio parameters such as colour brightness, contrast, hue, saturation and sharpness, frame sizes, data rates, audio gains/volume, etc. Constant and variable bit rates encoding, PAL and NSTC video input and output are all supported.

M257 runs on both Microsoft Windows XP/2000 and Linux operating systems.

Currently M257 is mainly suitable for customers requiring customised application software development, supplied either from Inventa Australia or third-party developers.

M257's impressive hardware-based real-time features make it ideal for wide-range video encoding and decoding applications where many other MPEG devices are unsuitable.

Commercial generic application software oriented for home-users will be available in the future.

Daily live demonstrations of M257 will be held at Inventa Australia, Unit 102, 288 Wattle St, Ultimo NSW 2007. Interested customers can telephone 02 9518 6100, or e-mail info@inventa.com.au for more details.

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