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Video Guide Part 1: Market Situation and Applications

Applications For Digital Video

The following sections take a global look at application fields for digital video. This includes the reception of TV programs via the Internet, digital television on the TV at home using a set top box, video processing on the PC and video conferencing via the Internet or a dial-up network.

Video Processing For Home Users - Part 1

Video processing on the PC at home is a relatively new development and has only become realistic in the past two years. A significant requirement for successful video processing on the PC is high-performance hardware. This includes a hard disk drive with sufficient space (not under 10 GB) as well as enough system memory (at least 128 MB RAM). The analog or digital video signal is input to the PC via an interface board. In this way, video with differing qualities can be digitized and then processed on the PC. A standard video recorder with S-VHS or VHS recording capability can be used for video output. However, a more elegant solution is the conversion of the video clip to MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 format. One the one hand, the lossy conversion of an analog video signal is eliminated, and on the other, MPEG compressed videos can be saved on a CD-ROM or DVD-ROM.

The spectrum of products in the important sub $400 segment is fairly thin and is concentrated on vendors such as Fast , Iomega and Pinnacle for interface boards. For those who don't require extensive editing functionality or post-video audio processing, the purchase of a hardware MPEG encoder is the best solution. An MPEG encoder is used to create compressed MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 format video files in real-time. This makes it possible to record video signals from any source onto the hard disk drive of a PC and then to banish them onto a CD-R or CD-RW using any inexpensive CD writer. A standard CD-R (650 MB) can hold up to approximately 65 minutes of MPEG-1 video. CD-R's aren't suitable for MPEG-2 files; roughly 15 minutes would fit onto them. Unfortunately, this means that you'll have to wait until a standard-compliant DVD writer is available for these.