Image Processing Reference
At these prices, you can deploy as many channels as you need and have some cash left
over to put backup machines into storage or alongside the live system as hot spares.
BMD has made a truly incredible contribution to the embedded-video-card customer
base. This will ultimately lead to some very innovative product solutions when combined
with creative software.
Optibase has been making video hardware and software for a long time and has some use-
ful products. Most of its offerings have been for the Windows platform, but the MPEG
Movie Maker 2000 now provides an MPEG-2 hardware encoding solution for the Power
Macintosh user. This is particularly useful if you are creating content for eventual deploy-
ment on a DVD. This board is quite expensive for the non-pro user but is still cheaper than
previous solutions, which were priced at $20,000 or more.
Deploying a hardware encoder like this can save you a lot of time because you
can process the content far more quickly this way. The alternative is to use a software com-
Hardware Encoder Solutions
This is likely to be of interest to you if you are a broadcaster or large organization with a lot
of money to spend. Hardware solutions are appropriate when the quality and reliability of
the outgoing video are more important than the cost.
Appendix B summarizes some example hardware encoder manufacturers for you
to investigate and speak to about your requirements.
Analog-to-Digital Conversion Alternatives
Depending on the equipment you have available, there are various ways to convert your
analog footage into a digital format.
If you have a DV handycam, you may be tempted to ingest your VHS video into that
via the analog input connector. However, the quality of the analog-to-digital conversion
is less than ideal. If it is the only ingest method you have available, that may not matter.
A better solution is the BMD DeckLink video card. This will provide the highest-quality
ingest at the best price. AJA I/O boxes are also good, and they come in a variety of con-
figurations and prices to suit all pocketbooks.
Although a DV deck may not provide very good conversion of analog to digital,
a DVCAM deck might. Sony DSR 11, DSR 45, and DSR DR 1000 units are all good options
Blackmagic Design: http://www.blackmagic-design.com/