[AG-TECH] Have we looked at vBrick?

Robert Olson olson at mcs.anl.gov
Wed May 23 06:54:45 CDT 2001

At 11:20 AM 5/23/2001 +1000, Markus Buchhorn wrote:
>I have some new cards here that I'm just starting to play with. "Realtime" 
>(we'll see) MPEG2 encoder for under $US1k, decoder for under $US100. 
>Neither card does RTP streaming/receiving, but I'm working on that... 
>Still, there is a rapidly growing market now that you can get MPEG2 on 
>(almost?) one chip.

Are these the kfir-based cards? The linuxtv folks


have linux drivers for this mpeg2 encoder. Unfortunately, it has some 
issues on some motherboards, including the one on the machine I was testing 

>MPEG1 would be a nice intermediate option, since you can go to decent 
>PAL/NTSC resolution at 30fps within 1.5Mb/s. The h.261 codecs are CIF 
>(320x240?), right?

352x288 actually.

>and (are designed to) run well under 1.5Mb/s. (it's N*64kb/s to support 
>the ISDN world)

There's a realtime MPEG1 software encoder available for Linux. The issue 
there is integration with vic (the simple solution of breaking up the 
bytestream into packets and sending dumbly over the net breaks badly) and 
the MPEG over RTP profiles.

>At the lower end, is anybody doing something with H.263 (very low 
>bandwidth)? It's a big area of interest now, as MPEG-4 uses it, and the 
>PDA/cell-phone companies are very keen on it.

There's an h263 encoder in vic, but it is very slow. We have interested in 
H263 since it supports higher resolutions, something we'd like for doing 
some sci vis stuff.

>Conversely, some UWash/Stanford guys are playing with realtime HDTV 
>(40Mb/s at tolerable latency, 270Mb/s for pure I-frame low-latency :-) ). 
>Point-to-point only so far that I am aware of. There's also an 
>internet-draft for raw HDTV over RTP(modified) - 1.48Gb/s :-) Plus I know 
>NEC make some big (3 gun) projectors that have 2500x2000 display space 
>(around $US10k).

Woo, cool. SC fodder :-). Is the HDTV gear all still way expensive, or is 
the market starting to bring the prices down?

>How flexible is the AG setup to putting in other codecs or indeed other 
>video tools?

Fairly flexible now, will become much more so in the next major turn of the 
crank. If someone had a new codec and RTP framing code it would be fairly 
straightfoward to add to vic.

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