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ATI pulled the upcoming Video Wonder card?

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  • ATI pulled the upcoming Video Wonder card?

    I just noticed that ATI removed the pages
    for the Video Wonder card. Some links are
    there but they're dead.

    Even recently they had updated the info page
    to show some screen samples of the editor
    and various windows (including some with a
    C-Cube logo).

    FYI, the Video Wonder is supposed to use
    C-Cube's DXExplore chip to do hardware MPEG-2
    capture for under $300.

    Anyone know what's up with this card? I was
    considering waiting for it but seeing as
    someone mentioned a Spring release date, I may have to go with the Marvel G400 instead.
    Can anyone give me a good reason why I
    should't get the Marvel?

    (I'm after maximum video quality within this
    price class and don't mind having to transcode MJPEG. What DOES bother me is the
    reported black border at the top and left of Marvel captures. Is there a solution to this?)

  • #2
    Dunno about the "Video Wonder" (apparently it wasn't ;-)), but the Marvel borders are inconsistant. Sometimes they show, sometimes not. In either case my experience is that they are in the overscan area and don't show when the video is played back to TV.

    Dr. Mordrid


    • #3
      The problem with the black borders is not on MJPEG video playback and output to TV/tape, its when you transcode to something else like MPEG to make a videoCD that the problem is apparent.



      • #4
        As to "pulling" the video wonder, perhaps that April 99 Advanced Imaging article by Charles Reis which I've mentioned several times before, that panned the C-cube DVexplore chip was correct about the poor quality of the MPEG encoding.

        How much in common DVexplore and DVexpress have with respect MPEG encoding remains to be seen.

        Perhaps this is the reason Pinnacle opted not to use the MPEG part of the DVexpress.

        Doc seems to have better info about C-cube that I do, but what I have suggests the DVexplore and DVexpress use the same algorithm with the DVexpress doing more in "hardware".


        • #5

          It's a little tough to comment on Mr. Reis's article since it's nowhere to be found. Apparently Advanced Imaging doesn't archive it's articles for later reference.

          I'd sure like to see what the basis of his comparison was because I've seen 25 mbit/s video from the DVxpress and it looks very good. Even the 10 mbit/s clips, the equivalent of the DVxplore's abilities, look quite good.

          For a point of comparison the maximum data rate of the excellent Ligos encoder is 14+ mbits/s.

          Perhaps Mr. Reis examined some devices with pre-release or sample board designs. These often deliver reduced performance vs. released products. It sure doesn't sound like he examined any of those. There is a big difference.

          Dr. Mordrid

          [This message has been edited by DrMordrid (edited 11 December 1999).]


          • #6

            If you really want to see the article I can Xerox a copy of it and snail mail it to you if you give me your mailing address.

            He compared the Phillips encode only chip, DVexplore, and a Matsusita MN85660. Since none of this stuff has been released yet and the article was published in Apr 1999, of course he was looking at early samples.

            This is why I keep mentioning this article, as few of us have had the chance to try any of this stuff, period.

            He was impressed by the C-Cube demos, but less then thrilled when they tried encoding some his own demo tape.

            Its easy to pass off serious problems as glitches at this stage of development, but as the delays mount, IMHO, the credability of the Reis article increases with respect to possible C-Cube encoder quality problems.

            He did like the results of the Matsushita chip but then he could simply be a Canopus shill as they appear to be the only semi-public commitment to using this chip, although for obvious reasons, expect it in Panasonic brand MPEG2 equipment.

            Until some DVexplore, DVexpress, and MN85660 stuff is actually shiped and evaluated by people not on someone's payroll
            (if it win's PC mag "Editor's choice, its off my list :-) there is no way to know how good or bad they might really be.