Grass Valley’s New Canopus FireCoder Cuts MPEG-2,MPEG-4 Encoding Times Dramatically

(PresseBox) ( Paris/San Jose, Calif., )
The Grass Valley™ business within Thomson, today announced the new Canopus FireCoder, a PCI Express-based hardware encoder that converts video files to MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 formats for use in DVD, iPod and PSP-compatible applications. Using the latest high-speed MPEG encoding hardware, the FireCoder hardware encoder delivers MPEG encoding at impressive speeds while retaining the video quality required for DVD authoring and streaming.

The Canopus FireCoder features a built-in 6-pin OHCI IEEE1394 interface for capture, editing and exporting of DV and HDV footage. FireCoder incorporates a host of productivity enhancements, including Ultracoder, MPEGcraft 3 DVD and an EDIUS plug-in, that give users the ability to convert video files to MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 formats using hardware acceleration to encode faster than realtime, trim MPEG clips quickly, combine multiple files, batch convert files, as well as automate conversion using watch folders.

In addition, since MPEG encoding is processed by dedicated hardware and not the system’s CPU, users can continue working even while they encode.

“FireCoder cuts encoding times and delivers exceptional quality video quality,” said Hiro Yamada, Founder of Canopus, part of the Grass Valley business within Thomson. “FireCoder’s hardware-accelerated, multi-format design, as well as its batch encoding and watch folders capabilities make it a remarkably versatile and productive tool for high-volume video production facilities delivering content for DVD, iPod and PSP.”

In addition to MPEG-2 and MPEG-4, FireCoder supports encoding of MPEG-1, DivX and WMV.

Pricing and Availability
FireCoder hardware encoder is currently available from Canopus and its authorized dealers and system integrators for a suggested retail price of $399 (€324).

About Thomson - Partner to the Media & Entertainment Industries
Thomson (Euronext Paris: 18453; NYSE: TMS) provides services, systems and technology to help its Media & Entertainment clients – content creators, content distributors and users of its technology – realize their business goals and optimize their performance in a rapidly changing technology environment. The Group is the preferred partner to the Media & Entertainment Industries through its Technicolor, Grass Valley, RCA and Thomson brands. For more information: www.thomson.net.

Thomson's Systems and Equipment division develops video and film technologies, products and services sold to all major Hollywood studios, all major television, satellite, and cable broadcasters under the Grass Valley brand-name for the delivery of analog and digital entertainment. The division also includes Thomson's Access Platforms and Gateways Business, which develops technologies and products for broadband and telecommunication networks to deliver digital entertainment and data to consumers and businesses.
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