January 14, 2008

Hardware encoders for h.264 and MPEG-2

The Elgato h.264 USB thumb drive encoder was mentioned here a few months ago and has competition from a $3,495 PCI-E card and from a similar device also priced around $100. Actually, I kinda wonder if the Elgato is the same product under a different label as Instant Video To-Go by ADS Tech (from April 2007), who claims "With software conversion often taking 4 -10 times longer than real time, Instant Video To-Go video transfer accelerator converts up to 5 times faster than real time..." The Editblog's result with the Elgato device weren't that good. [update from MacWorld: same USB device but branded for different OSes, Elgato takes the Mac side while ADS retains Windows]

ADS Tech has another product that accelerates Adobe CS3 Production Premium applications. Pyro Kompressor HD is a $3,495 PCI Express "solution that accelerates HD MPEG-2 and HD H.264/AVC encoding up to eight times faster than software-only video compression." According to Macworld, the $3,495 package "supports watch folders for job automation, upscaling and downscaling, frame rate conversion, custom settings, chapter support, batch encoding to handle multiple tasks, drag and drop, control over target output file size, and muxing, or combining, streams from different input files ...and includes decoders for DV, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, H.264, AVCHD, AVC-Intra, VC1, DVCPRO 25/50/100, DVCPRO-HD, JPEG2000 and YUV files, along with import support for DirectShow and QuickTime files."

The technology behind this product by Ambric is the world's first teraOPS-class processor.

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