PARISLSI Logic Corp. announced two design wins for its Domino media processor at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) convention Monday (April 8), marking the product's migration into the broadcast and professional video markets. Tandberg Television, based in Norway, and Victor Co. of Japan (JVC) said they will use the Domino processor in next-generation systems.
Tandberg (Oslo, Norway), a leading supplier of professional content video encoders in Europe, will use Domino as an engine for video distribution products found in portable cameras and broadcast head-end equipment.
JVC (Yokohama, Japan) said it will use Domino in HDTV equipment for content creation and distribution. The Domino architecture was originally developed by C-Cube Microsystems Inc., which LSI Logic acquired last year.
Bob Saffari, senior director of marketing at LSI Logic (Milpitas, Calif.), said, "The use of Domino allows OEMs to signific antly simplify system designs and reduce the cost, while increasing video quality." Further, Domino's scalability can "save time for hardware development," he said.
Code formats altered
"The claim-to-fame feature for our Domino technology is its ability to do transrating and transcoding," Saffari said. The transrating feature is key for a broadcast industry constantly looking for ways to save bandwidth while maintaining broadcast quality, he said. Under the transrating scheme, broadcasters can re-encode signals within a format from one data bit rate to another. For example, an MPEG-2 video stream running at 8 megabits/second can be re-encoded into a 4-Mbit/s stream; or a 320-kbit/s MP3 audio file can be transrated into a 56-kbit/s MP3 file, said Saffari.
Cable operators looking to use MPEG-4 streams on top of their current MPEG-2 infrastructure can also utilize the transcoding feature, Saffari said. For example, the feature makes it possible to re-encode HDTV from an MPEG-2 Main Profile @ High Level format to SDTV in an MPEG-2 Main Profile @ Main Level format, or convert an MPEG-2 video format to an MPEG-4 video format.
Unlike LSI Logic's Dvxpert video encoding processor, Domino is capable of encoding both audio and video. "Domino can easily transcode Dolby AC3 stream to MPEG audio at Layer 2," Saffari said.
Expanding the comparison of Domino and Dvxpert, Saffari said that system OEMs can now build a 720 progressive/1,080 interlaced HD encoder using only three Domino chips, while nine Dvxpert chips were need to perform 1,080i HD encoding. That translates into a huge difference in power consumption, with Domino-HD requiring less than 8.1 watts, while the Dvxpert-HD solution required as much as 18 watts, he said.
Tandberg will rely on Domino's encoding capabilities as it develops so-called "wireless" cameras, Saffari said. The professional cameras will be able to transmit images shot in the field to broadcast stations, he said.