Re: What video hardware is availible for Sun

Yozo Toda (yozo@yuri.ipc.chiba-u.ac.jp)
Sat, 11 Feb 1995 01:16:40 -0500


Hi,
I'm subscribing rem-conf ML and recently following articles were posted.
Maybe useful for you...

-- yozo.

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Date: Fri, 10 Feb 1995 16:34:20 +0100 (MET)
From: Hans Otten <H.Otten@et.tudelft.nl>
X-Sender: hans@dutepp9.et.tudelft.nl
To: rem-conf@es.net
Subject: Overview of available videograbbing hardware for Sun SparcStations
Message-Id: <Pine.SUN.3.91.950210155850.1871F-100000@dutepp9.et.tudelft.nl>
Mime-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII

Hi,

a few days ago I posted a message requesting information about using the
SunVideo videograbber on a SparcStation running SunOS 4.1.3.

A couple of people responded, and there where also two requests to mail
or post my findings. So, here it is! Send comments to me so I can improve
the list (make it more complete). Or is this info already in some FAQ?

Videograbber hardware available for Sun SparcStations:

supported by
product company OS NV VIC price
---------------------------------------------------------------------
VigraPix/ Vigra inc. SunOS 4.1.x/ * $995
NetVideo Solaris 2.x
XVideo Parallax SunOS 4.1.x *? $3,295-$10,595
MultiVideo Parallax SunOS 4.1.x *?
PowerVideo Parallax SunOS 4.1.x *?
VideoPix Sun SunOS 4.1.x/ * *
Solaris 2.x
SunVideo Sun Solaris 2.x * * $1,495-$1,895
ParcVideo Xerox(?) SunOS 4.1.x *
??? Vitec/RasterOps ??? ? ?

Notes:
1. NV support for the VigraPix is accomplished by it being compatible with
the ParcVideo card. It seems the VigraPix is the commercial incarnation
of the ParcVideo card(?).
2. Rumour has it that Sun no longer sells the VideoPix card. It is missing
from their product info too.
3. The Parallax cards are accompanied (optionally) by a 24 bits frame
buffer, which can be slow on lower-end SparcStations (SPARC 1).
4. Parallax cards perform badly with nv because card<->memory transfer is
slow.
5. Parallax cards have a problem decimating video frames that results in
wobbling. This confuses motion estimation resulting in low frame rates
on static images. This has been circumvented in 'nv'.
6. SunVideo and Parallax cards have CCube 4000 RISC processors on them to
do hardware compression. This is an option for Parallax cards.
SunVideo does JPEG, MPEG1, CellB. H.261 is promised in the future.
Parallax does JPEG.
7. Prices for and some information on the Parallax cards are from a
SunVideo announcement.

Vigra has a WWW server, http://www.vigra.com/. VigraPix info in
http://www.vigra.com/products/vigrapix.announce.html

Sun has a WWW server, http://www.sun.com/. SunVideo info in
http://www.sun.com/smi/bang/SunVideo.html

An overview of Desktop Videoconferencing products can be found at:
http://www2.ncsu.edu/eos/service/ece/project/succeed_info/dtvc_survey
(these are so-called total solutions, no seperate hardware listed here)

Most of the information above comes from filtering the mail-archive of
the rem-conf mailing-list for 'sun.*video', 'parallax' and 'videopix'. So
some of you must have seen it already. Please correct any mistakes I made.

I've so far recieved three messages saying the same thing, namely that the
SunVideo card isn't supported under SunOS 4.1.3. Which is a pity, seeing
the specs and all ;-(

cheers,
Hans.

Disclaimer: I do not work for/am affiliated with any of the companies
mentioned above.

--
Hans Otten (student)           | EMail: H.Otten@et.tudelft.nl
Dept. of Computer Architecture | Phone: (+31)15-783502/132909 (Work/Home)
Fac. of Electrical Engineering |
Delft University of Technology |

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From: Toerless Eckert <Toerless.Eckert@Informatik.Uni-Erlangen.de> Message-Id: <199502101813.AA15285@faui43.informatik.uni-erlangen.de> Subject: Re: Overview of available videograbbing hardware for Sun SparcStations To: H.Otten@et.tudelft.nl (Hans Otten) Date: Fri, 10 Feb 1995 19:13:46 +0100 (MET) Cc: rem-conf@es.net In-Reply-To: <Pine.SUN.3.91.950210155850.1871F-100000@dutepp9.et.tudelft.nl> from "Hans Otten" at Feb 10, 95 04:34:20 pm Organisation: CSD IMMD IV, University of Erlangen, Germany X-Mailer: ELM [version 2.4 PL24] Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

Hi

I really like the idea of summarising this kind of information and i'd like to help to make it more reliable, so here are my 2cents of comments:

> product company OS NV VIC price > --------------------------------------------------------------------- > VigraPix/ Vigra inc. SunOS 4.1.x/ * $995 > NetVideo Solaris 2.x

> XVideo Parallax SunOS 4.1.x *? $3,295-$10,595 > MultiVideo Parallax SunOS 4.1.x *? > PowerVideo Parallax SunOS 4.1.x *?

All three boards will work with NV's parallax support. They should also work with Solaris (not sure, not tried)

> VideoPix Sun SunOS 4.1.x/ * * > Solaris 2.x

There is an inofficial VideoPix driver for Solaris, but it's not supported. Otherwise it's identical to the SunOS driver.

> SunVideo Sun Solaris 2.x * * $1,495-$1,895 > ParcVideo Xerox(?) SunOS 4.1.x *

The ParcVideo is the name from the development phase of the VigrPix board, so it's no separate board. Ron Frederic should be able to throw more accurate lightening on that story, and there's also a Sun side of it too, though that hasn't yet made it into a product.

> ??? Vitec/RasterOps ??? ? ?

To my knowledge there are at least 2 cards from Rasterops with frame grabbing functions:

a) SPARC Card TV II: Framegrabber card with analog video overlay function, ntsc/pal/secam video input runs into a video buffer memory on the card, where the cpu can read it from. simultaneously the video buffer memory is read out by a chip that combines the video coming in from some frame buffer via analog video input.

b) SPARC Card TC PIP: Basically a 24 bit framebuffer card with the SPARC Card TV II on a special plug in board so that you do not need to combine the frame buffer video with the video input via analog multiplexing. You can also get another add on board containing a tv tuner for this framebuffer.

Framegrabbing on these card is comparable fast to parallax frame grabbing.

> Notes: > 1. NV support for the VigraPix is accomplished by it being compatible with > the ParcVideo card. It seems the VigraPix is the commercial incarnation > of the ParcVideo card(?).

Right said fred.

> 3. The Parallax cards are accompanied (optionally) by a 24 bits frame > buffer, which can be slow on lower-end SparcStations (SPARC 1).

> 4. Parallax cards perform badly with nv because card<->memory transfer is > slow.

No, it's not slow, it's a design limitation. Video has to be accessed 32 bit for a single pixel because it's RGB truecolor, whereas you can get 16 bit/pixel video on most other cards, which you wouldn't want to have on a true color framebuffer.

> 5. Parallax cards have a problem decimating video frames that results in > wobbling. This confuses motion estimation resulting in low frame rates > on static images. This has been circumvented in 'nv'.

It has ben circumvented ? Really ?

> 6. SunVideo and Parallax cards have CCube 4000 RISC processors on them to > do hardware compression. This is an option for Parallax cards. > SunVideo does JPEG, MPEG1, CellB. H.261 is promised in the future. > Parallax does JPEG.

The is CL-4000 VideoRISC and it's only on the SunVideo. It's programmable if you happen to get the required docs and development kit, so that's why there are JPEG/MPEG1 and CellB for it. The Parallax cards have - if they have compression - the CL-550 JPEG compression and decompression chip which is something totally different, i.e.: it's not programmable like the CL-4000, but it can do compression and decompression, which i havn't seen implemented on the CL-4000 (not that it wouldn't work), but basically the problem is that you need a hardware data path from the decompression chip to some framebuffer if you want to do fast decompression (like full rate CCIR601 decompression), and the SunVideo is a pure framegrabber card.

The Multivideo has no JPEG chip, the PowerVideo has got one and for the XVideo the JPEG chip is an initial order option.

> 7. Prices for and some information on the Parallax cards are from a > SunVideo announcement. > > Vigra has a WWW server, http://www.vigra.com/. VigraPix info in > http://www.vigra.com/products/vigrapix.announce.html > > Sun has a WWW server, http://www.sun.com/. SunVideo info in > http://www.sun.com/smi/bang/SunVideo.html > > An overview of Desktop Videoconferencing products can be found at: > http://www2.ncsu.edu/eos/service/ece/project/succeed_info/dtvc_survey > (these are so-called total solutions, no seperate hardware listed here) > > Most of the information above comes from filtering the mail-archive of > the rem-conf mailing-list for 'sun.*video', 'parallax' and 'videopix'. So > some of you must have seen it already. Please correct any mistakes I made. > > I've so far recieved three messages saying the same thing, namely that the > SunVideo card isn't supported under SunOS 4.1.3. Which is a pity, seeing > the specs and all ;-(

Oh well, but then we'd really like to have it been supported by netbsd anyway, because SunOS 4.1.3 isn't much of a supported product anyway anymore.

Toerless

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Date: Fri, 10 Feb 1995 16:25:24 -0500 From: paradise@video.paradise.com (Paradise Software) Message-Id: <9502102125.AA08034@video.paradise.com> To: H.Otten@et.tudelft.nl Subject: Overview of available videograbbing hardware for Sun SparcStations Cc: rem-conf@es.net X-Sun-Charset: US-ASCII

Well, if we want to get it straight, I'll throw in my two cents worth tooo:

>> VideoPix Sun SunOS 4.1.x/ * * >> Solaris 2.x > >There is an inofficial VideoPix driver for Solaris, but it's not >supported. Otherwise it's identical to the SunOS driver.

Its a little known fact that Sun contracted with Paradise Software to port/support the VideoPix software to Solaris 2.X. We actually have a Solaris version of the entire VideoPix release with many bug fixes and some enhancements that we sell. Since Sun went ahead and made available a mostly working version of the software for free, few people ever bothered with us And the Solaris driver is NOT identical to the SUNOS version (at least the one we have), it is actually faster at frame grabbing!

>> 5. Parallax cards have a problem decimating video frames that results in >> wobbling. This confuses motion estimation resulting in low frame rates >> on static images. This has been circumvented in 'nv'. > > It has ben circumvented ? Really ?

Yeah, I like to see how thats done too. The problem occurs when grabbing 1/2 resolution video, the video decimation (sp?) is done by taking the next field and discarding the redundant horizontal data. Unfortunately, the fields are taken at random (i.e. a function of how fast your application makes call to their library) and the even/odd sequence of fields causes the wobbling seen.

> The is CL-4000 VideoRISC and it's only on the SunVideo. It's programmable > if you happen to get the required docs and development kit, so that's > why there are JPEG/MPEG1 and CellB for it. The Parallax cards have - if > they have compression - the CL-550 JPEG compression and decompression > chip which is something totally different, i.e.: it's not programmable > like the CL-4000, but it can do compression and decompression, which > i havn't seen implemented on the CL-4000 (not that it wouldn't work), > but basically the problem is that you need a hardware data path from > the decompression chip to someframebuffer if you want to do fast decompression > (like full rate CCIR601 decompression), and the SunVideo is a pure > framegrabber card.

The CL-4000 has been used in some of the MPEG-1 decoder cards for PCs, so it can be done. The data rate is for 1/2 resolution video and the scaling to 640x480 is done by the hardware video card (most have this now). A VERY important point is that the SunVideo JPEG/MPEG/CELLB is based on 4:1:1 subsampling, while the Parallax JPEG is 4:2:2. This means that the JPEG created on the SunVideo can't be decoded by the Parallax card.

The cheapest Parallax card with compression/decompression is the PowerVideo at $5500 list. The SunVideo card with compression only lists at $1495.

john.

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