MPEGIO: Hardware MPEG1/2/4 Encoder/Decoder with Powerful Professional Features inc. SDKs

Adding to existing MPEG encoder products, Inventa Australia has released a new high-quality realtime hardware MPEG1/2/4 video encoder/decoder PCI card MPEGIO, that has many powerful professional features.

Designed around Philips/VWeb MPEG hardware and Inventa's powerful application software, MPEGIO encodes/decodes superior quality MPEG video and forever synchronized audio, and offers many unique features such as Seamless Recording File Splitting, Simultaneous Video Streaming Server and Streaming Client Operation, Start-stop recording as video signal start-stops, Centralized Remote Management of unlimited number of capture cards, etc., that are nowhere else available in the world.

Since the MPEGIO's encoding and decoding are processed entirely by on-board hardware, not affected by the host PC's performance, slow or faster CPUs and hard disks, high-end or low-cost graphics cards etc will all achieve the same high quality video capture and playback. MPEGIO's significant features that outperform all other mid-range realtime MPEG capture devices include:

--    Superior video and audio quality encoding with multiple selectable parameters inc. VBR/CBR, colour sharpness, brightness, etc. When playing back to TV screen through MPEGIO or from DVD player, the MPEGIO-encoded video is always sharper and clearer than the original analogue footage, especially when the footages are from aged VHS tapes: the MPEGIO-captured video feels clean, vivid and smooth, as if time rewinds back.

--    Realtime Hardware-based MPEG Video Decoding(to TV/VCR) as well as Encoding, this allows live video or captured files to be displayed on external  TV and VCRs in extremely high quality. During video capture and preview time, the video displayed on PC's screen and MPEGIO's TV output port are always synchronized with the live incoming video signal, which means watching and recording can proceed simultaneously.

--    Guaranteed Forever Audio & Video Synchronization at video capture and play back, no matter how long the video is. Furthermore, this forever A/V sync is kept on all times and everywhere: it's on live video preview on PC's screen regardless the recording is on or off, on TV output through MPEGIO's output port, in the captured video files, and in the streamed out video over the network.

--    Live Streaming Incoming or Pre-recorded Video over any TCP/IP LAN or Internet: this allows MPEGIO to function as either a Live Video Streaming Server or a Video-On-Demand Streaming Sever, with Multicast or Unicast streaming modes. Video streaming can be easily started or stopped by single mouse clicking at video preview, recording, playback and transcodng time. Video streaming can also be initiated together with video recording, video playback, and video transcoding operations. MPEGIO streams video in their raw hardware-encoded or hardware-decoded format, making the remote site to receive the video as if MPEGIO cards were physically available there: if DVD-compliant video is streamed out, the remote streaming client can use them to create DVD movie disk immediately without re-compression.

--    Live Displaying and Recording Incoming Network Video received from LAN/WAN/Internet: this allows MPEGIO to function as a Live Video Streaming Client to display and record the received network video in realtime. MPEGIO decodes and transcodes the received network video using its on-board MPEG chipset in realtime, this gives it many advantages:

        (1) Live incoming network video can be displayed on external TV and recorded on VCR immediately, as well as previewed on PC's screen

        (2) Incoming video can be recorded on hard disk in the same way as live video signal through RCA/SVideo sockets is recorded

        (3) Locally-generated overlay text/time/graphics can be added on PC screen, on external TV, recorded in MPEG files and still image files

        (4) Recorded MPEG files can have encoding parameters different from the original encoding parameters of the incoming network video

        (5) Minimum PC resources needed to display network video: multiple MPEGIO cards can decode multiple network videos on moderate PC

        (6) Received network video can be re-streamed out again, e.g. video received over WAN can be re-broadcast to a local LAN

--    Program/Transport/System Stream Support:  MPEGIO encode, stream, decode and transcode both Program Stream (PS) and Transport Stream (TS) MPEG2, MPEG4 video, and System Stream MPEG1 video, making it suitable for both video disk creation and video transmission application environment.

--   Multiple Frame Rate Support: from 23.976fps up to 60 fps, PAL and NTSC, encoding/streaming/decoding/transcoding.

--    Seamless Splitting Recording File in Realtime allows video to be recorded continuously on multiple any-sized files for convenient DVD disk burning. Not only recording can be split according to pre-defined file size or recording-time, MPEGIO also allows arbitrary file split live at recording time by a simple mouse clicking: , and all the adjacent split files have 100% smooth continuation between them without any binary data loss, with guaranteed perfect video/audio for consecutive DVD movie disk creation, etc. When live incoming network video is used as source for playback-recording or transcoding, seamless splitting will create continuous MPEG files from the received network video.

--    Recording can be Paused and Resumed without closing the current recording file.

--    Multiple Fields File Naming allows the recorded video file name to contain recording date, time, video duration, video format, user name, PC name, auto-incrementing serial number etc fields that can greatly facilitate retrieving recorded video data from large volume of recorded files. For example, a user defined text string "MyRecord" followed by recording date, time, length, video format and bit-rate will create a 3-Min 15-Sec DVD video file as: MyRecord_20070130_164720_0H03M15S_DVD_Video7000Kbps.mpg

--    Multiple Aspect Ratio Encoding inc. 16:9, Square PEL and normal 4:3, gives MPEGIO an obvious edge over other encoders that can only handle 4:3 aspect ratio. As more and more video footages are available on 16:9 wide-screen format,  using MPEGIO  will be the best way to create true wide-screen DVD movie disks.

--    Wide-range Data Rate Encoding from the very low 50Kbps up to high 15Mbps, for all MPEG1, MPEG2 and MPEG4 format video. The high-bitrate MPEG1 encoding is un-usual among hardware MPEG encoders and will be very useful in creating exceptionally high quality MPEG1 video files that are universally acceptable by all operating systems across all hardware platforms (not just Windows and PCs), while the low-bitrate MPEG4(H.263) encoding can easily create 56Kbps full motion a/v synchronized video that slow dial-up modem and mobile-phone web browsers can realtime watch, and the excellent quality low-bit-rate MPEG2 video can be easily used for live video streaming acceptable by numerous browsers without special Codec installed. See live MPEG2 video encoded by MPEGIO at 150Kbit-per-sec. at 176X144-Pixel here playable directly in MS MediaPlayer etc software. Also Click here to download 56kbps MPEGIO-encoded MPEG4(H.263) video stream (H.263 decoder such as vlc.exe is needed to watch).

--    DVD-Compliant MPEG2 Encoding allows the real-time captured video to be burned to DVD Movie Disks without any further re-compression by DVD-Authoring software.

--    Unique Teletext function allows live viewing Teletext/Subtitle pages embedded in the TV signal and saving them to hard disks in graphics, text or raw data formats. Multiple MPEGIO cards can display multiple Teletext pages simultaneously on the same PC.

--    Multi-format Still Image Grabbing, that allows image to be grabbed at any time during video preview, playback, recording, transcoding, and streaming operation, both manual grabbing and automatic grabbing through user-defined timer (min. 1 sec. per grab) are supported. Still images can be grabbed from live video signal input at RCA or SVideo socket, from incoming network video received over LAN/WAN/Internet, and from currently played-back MPEG files. BMP, JPG, GIF, TIF and PNG graphics format are supported, and grabbed files can be saved to any folder location on disk, with an instant image feedback on screen. Time and Date text string can also be optionally imprinted on the surface of the grabbed image files, where the text string's X/Y positions, font type face, colour, point size, etc can all be user-defined and remembered by the MPEGIO software.

--    Centralized Remote Management Function allows one PC to remotely manage unlimited number of MPEGIO cards through Internet or any TCP/IP network from anywhere in the world: from one single screen all remote MPEGIO cards' operation status, recording parameters, etc can be viewed and controlled in realtime. The manager PC can remotely start/stop any remote MPEGIO card's recording and changing its video encoding parameters instantly. Bi-directional connection allows either the managing PC or any MPEGIO card to initiate a remote connection, whichever is the most convenient. Auto-polling allows any MPEGIO card to automatically connect to remote manager PC without human intervention, particularly suitable for unattended video capture operation. Remote Scheduling allows the manager PC to monitor, setup and change recording schedules for remote MPEGIO cards, exactly the same as scheduling on a local PC.

--    User Data Insertion allows arbitrary data, inc. continuous serial port data from the PC's RS232 port or manually typed in text etc, to be inserted in the encoded MPEG streams, that can be picked up and interpreted by MPEG decoders for any application-specific requirement: this is particularly useful for collecting realtime RS232 data from devices such as GPS or Satellite Receiver etc and insert them live into MPEG video streams, to be stored in MPEG video files or streamed out over network, that can be extracted at the video decoding and receiving time.

--    Send warning e-mails automatically when video signal loss, hard disk out of space, or simply starting or stopping the MPEGIO software happens, providing a convenient remote monitoring of its video capturing status.

--    Using Video Signal to Start/Stop Recording allows MPEG encoding starts when video signal appears, and stops when video signal disappears for a period of time -- this unique feature is ideal for capturing video from video tapes where the video starting point is usually preceded by some no-signal area or is at the very beginning of the tape: MPEGIO video recording will guarantee the recorded video will always start from where the video signal starts on the tape, and the recording can be optionally stopped when video signal disappears for a user-definable length of time  --- useful for un-attended long time recording, etc.

--    In addition to MPEG1 and MPEG 2 formats, hardware MPEG4(H.263) Video Encoding and Decoding up-to full D1 Frame-size(720X576 PAL and 720X480 NTSC) is equally well supported, which can encode much higher quality video than MPEG2 / MPEG1 format at low bit rates and small frame sizes.

--    Hardware-based Video Line Masking allows masking out those annoying flicking pixel lines appearing in many recorded MPEG video files.

--    PAL and NTSC signal auto-detection & auto-switching saves time and effort to manually switch again and again in multi-TV system encoding.

--    Multiple MPEGIO Cards (up to 10) can run on one PC to simultaneously capture, display, transcode and stream MPEG video: each MPEGIO card can be independently configured with different settings. Mixed mode simultaneous encoding, decoding, transcoding and streaming can also be set up so that different MPEGIO cards perform different tasks at the same time  ---- one interesting case is to use a card to realtime playback video currently being recorded(and watched) by another card. System resources used by running multiple MPEGIO cards are low: normal Celeron 2.67GHz PC can run up to 5 MPEGIO cards without consuming more than 35% CPU time, click here to see a screenshot of multiple MPEGIO cards' simultaneous recording.

--    Overlay Text and Graphics onto MPEG video (OSD -- On Screen Display), with different text size, colour, position and alpha blending values during video decoding and transcoding:. Up to 2 bitmaps and 20 text lines can be dynamically added with various parameters, changes to these parameters can be realtime reflected on the live MPEG video through a simple "Apply" button on the OSD setup window.

--    Hardware-realtime Transcoding: MPEGIO can realtime convert incoming network video or captured MPEG video file in to new MPEG video with different data rates, frame sizes, MPEG types, etc., in extremely high quality. Live Text and Bitmap Graphics can overlay onto the newly created MPEG video, which can be realtime stored as MPEG files and/or transmitted as network video streams. Most standard MPEG2, MPEG1 and H.263 files, inc. files created by other hardware or software, and network streams originated from different hardware/software encoders, can be realtime transcoded -----  this can be useful in many applications, e.g. transcoding digital TV video to different format with added text / graphics overlay, etc.

--    Instant No-Delay Recording: unlike many other MPEG encoders, MPEGIO responds to user's "recording" command immediately without any visual delays -- critical for many realtime video capture applications. Currently almost all other MPEG encoders have visual delays after user issues Record command, some devices can even have up to 30 seconds delays. 

--    Black Screen Recording for Long-Hour Audio DVDs: MPEGIO allows recording black-screen video at very low video bit rate while keeping normal audio recording, thus creating a long hours DVD movie disk that can play in normal DVD set-top box players --- e.g. a 24-hour DVD movie disk with quality audio but black-screen video plus date & time display, etc.

--    Loop Disk and Reset Split File Number options allow Automatic Disk Space Clearing-up when free space is low, by deleting either video files recorded earliest, or video files within a pre-defined name range  --- such as files within a play-list, that can be used repeatedly by video playback or streaming software(vlc.exe etc.).

--    Mirror Disk Recording allows two identical files to be recorded simultaneously on different hard disks automatically for backup purpose.

--    All-User Access: MPEGIO can be run by any user logged onto the PC, not just the system administrator. This is especially useful in multi-user environment for video streaming, playback, or preview application where not every logged-on user has the system-admin access right.

--    Chipset SDK (Software-Development-ToolKit) is included on the set-up CD with sample codes, crucial for writing customized software. Inventa Australia also has an optional higher-level Application SDK that further facilitates rapid application software development on MPEGIO hardware, details can be found here. Further customization inc. realtime user-data insertion into MPEG streams, DVB-compliance and ASI interface etc. can also be provided.

Many other features and functions, including timed and Scheduled Recording, timer change during recording process, arbitrary video window resizing, GOP structure setting inc. I-frame Only recording, 16:9 and 4:3 aspect ratio video window display, play list support, etc are also readily available. 

Apart from its bundled software, MPEGIO can also be used with many generic video editing software such as Microsoft MovieMaker, Ulead VideoStudio, Adobe Premiere, Cisco WebEx etc to live-preview and capture un-compressed or software Codec compressed video files for various applications.

MPEGIO runs on Microsoft Windows XP operating systems, click to view its full User Manual here.

MPEGIO's impressive hardware-based realtime features make it ideal for wide-range professional video encoding and decoding applications where video quality, absolute A/V synchronization, encoding flexibility etc. cannot be compromised. In heavy-duty 24/7 non-stop unmanned MPEG encoding environment MPEGIO especially shines with its quality and reliability.

MPEGIO is priced at $699, compare it with other hardware MPEG encoders from Inventa.

Interested customers can telephone 61-2-95186100, or e-mail for more details. 

MPEGIO Specifications:

Encode Video Formats: MPEG-1, MPEG-2 MP@ML, MPEG-4 Simple Profile@L1,L2 & L3, with extensions to full-D1,H.263

I, IP, IBP, IBBP Frames

MPEG-1 system stream, MPEG-2 PS or TS data stream, MPEG-4 embedded in MPEG-2 TS output, PES & ES

Constant and Variable Bit Rate Encoding User Selectable

Video 4:2:2 to 4:2:0 conversion

Video Inverse telecine(3:2 pulldown)

Video frame rates  23.976fps, 24fps, 25fps, 29.97fps, 30fps, 50fps, 59.94fps, 60fps

Video bits-rate from 50Kb/s~15Mb/s: for All MPEG1, MPEG2, MPEG4(H.263) Formats

Video resolution in pixels: PAL 176X144, 352X288, 480X576, 704X576, 720X576, NTSC 176X120, 352X240, 480X480, 704X480, 720X480.

Audio formats: MPEG-1 Layer II, AC3
Audio sample rates: 8K, 16k, 22.05K, 24K, 32K, 44.1K, 48KHz.

Audio bit rates: 32Kbps ~ 384Kbps

PCI Bus v2.1 Compliance

Video Input: Composite and SVideo

Video Output: Composite or SVideo (Conversion Cable Supplied)

Audio Input: 3.5mm Phone Jack Stereo

Audio Output:3.5mm Phone Jack Stereo

Physical Dimension: 177mm(Length) X 105mm(Height --- not including PCI Connectors of about 7mm)