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Digigami Ships MegaPEG HDTVHigh-definition MPEG-2 encoder for ATSC, IDSB-T and EBU digital TV (September 28, 2005)
Digigami today announced it is now shipping MegaPEG HDTV for Macintosh OS X based laptops and workstations, its flagship MPEG-2 Encoder for compressing High-Definition video into standards-compliant MPEG-2 (ISO/IEC 13818) bitstreams. The product creates streams compatible with ATSC (North American), ISDB-T (Japan) and European (EBU) standards for HD, and can perform format conversion on the fly, including SD upconversion and HD downconversion and conversion from ATSC to EBU and vice-versa.
The product, in it's third major revision since 1996, is unique in the world of HD encoding tools by integrating compression with built-in picture quality analysis tools (PQA) which provides the encoding operator with unparalleled feedback, diagnostics and control over the encoding procedure. MegaPEG HDTV includes an integrated PQA tool with the same features as Digigami MPressionist Pro HD. Any HD encoding job can be paused and the intermediate compression results analyzed to ensure that the stream meets quality expectations. The built-in analysis tools come in handy in production environments where MPEG-2 bitstreams must adhere to specific bitrate or profile constraints imposed by MPEG-2 ad-insertion and hardware playback systems.
MegaPEG HDTV shines in HD production scenarios where files are encoded once and then played repeatedly. Such applications typically require the highest quality, differing from real-time encoding scenarios where the source material passes through the encoder for a single broadcast. This includes DTV ad-insertion systems, HD kiosk applications, and closed-circuit HD TV networks such as those increasingly found in museums, theme parks, airports and five star luxury hotels.
MegaPEG HDTV is a single pass MPEG encoder featuring a floating point video pre-processing pipeline which supports both constant (CBR) and variable bitrate (VBR) operation. Tradeoffs between compression time and picture quality (encoding accuracy) are available in an easy to understand Graphical User Interface which utilizes a simple eleven position slider which configures the encoder. For advanced operators, all aspects of the encoding are available for configuration, including the specification of MPEG-2 features such as Intra-DC precision, custom GOP patterns and custom DCT quantization matrices. One HD Encoder for all your MPEG HD Delivery Needs
"Now you can compress to all major HD applications with an easy-to-use Macintosh compression tool," said Digigami CTO, Gen Kiyooka. "The high-quality MPEG-1 HD encoding delivers HD as streaming video over standard Internet connections. The built-in HD MPEG-2 encoder compresses HD for all proposed HD-DVD standards and all HD Digital Broadcast systems which employ MPEG-2 video and MPEG-2 systems."
"MPEG-2 (ISO 13818) is not simply the most popular HD codec, it's ubiquitous. Regardless as to the HD application, MPEG-2 is already deployed and in use worldwide. It's not a future promise, it's tried and tested. We expect that the popularity of MPEG-2 is only going to increase over the next 10 years. Advances in fundamental research regarding video compression can just as easily be applied to MPEG-2 encoders as they are to other codecs. Yet no changes to the playback system are required - only improved encoding technologies."
Often overlooked but an important feature is the built-in standards conversion provided by the video pre-processing pipeline of MegaPEG HDTV. No matter what your source format or codec, you can compress to any target format supported by the encoder, which currently supports all the major applications of MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 from the lowly Whitebook VideoCD to ATSC HDTV at 1920x1080i. Even if your primary delivery format is 1080i, you can easily create web versions or support foreign formats from the same master/source, vastly simplifying the process of delivering to multiple formats. The format conversion features have been included in MegaPEG.X since version 2.0, which means they are tried and tested and add no significant time to the encoding/compression. Having the format conversion integrated with the compression simplifies production workflow and eliminates the need for intermediate and temporary versions of your "Final Cut".
The ideal desktop companion for HD production with Apple Final Cut HD
"This product is ideal for desktop video professionals working with Final Cut Studio." continued Kiyooka, "Production personnel are increasingly called upon to understand technical aspects of compressed video delivery, including frame sizes, frame rates, profiles, chroma format and compression bitrates.
Not only can MegaPEG HDTV create compressed MPEG video for all major MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 applications, it also provides the analysis tools for demystifying the wide variety of compression parameters which come into play across HDTV, HD-DVD, DVD and MPEG-1 encoding.
Professional audio engineers would not work effectively without non-linear editing systems which provide metering, monitoring and waveform displays. Yet many video production professionals still struggle along without similar tools for compressed MPEG video. Not so for Digigami customers. Our customers are generally better informed and more capable when it comes to dealing with MPEG video. This means they can bid on a wider variety of jobs and solve crucial problems for their customers, whether they are commercial clients or serving other departments in a corporate video production environment."
Built on top of the industrial-strength BSD unix platform of Macintosh OS X, and Apple QuickTime, the product works well in conjunction with other tools and products, including Apple's own video products. The ability to run on Macintosh hardware also means HD engineers can connect one or more 30" Apple Cinema displays and work with multiple 1920x1080i MPEG-2 HD bitstreams simultaneously.
Pricing and Availability
The new 3.0 version of Digigami "MegaPEG HDTV" is available now for the introductory price of $795.00 USD. Registered users of previous versions of MegaPEG are eligible for substantial upgrade discounts.
Site licenses, educational and volume discounts are available.
Digigami is a privately held company headquartered in the greater Los Angeles area. Digigami was founded in 1994 and released its first MPEG-1/MPEG-2 encoder, MegaPEG, in 1996 along with an early Netscape plug-in that provided streaming video in AVI, QuickTime and MPEG formats. For the past 10 years, Digigami has been continuously improving its MPEG compression technology; MPressionist HDTV and MegaPEG HDTV are the most recent additions to the Digigami line.
For details and pricing information on all Digigami products, please visit our Web site at http://www.digigami.com/.
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