Parallax Graphics builds powerful, flexible video cards and software for high quality video on the desktop. Since many applications depend on networks to support communication across local and wide areas, Parallax Graphics products are crafted to take advantage of current and evolving network technologies. In addition, optional on-board processing for motion-JPEG compression enables efficient network and CPU use for networked video and video capture/playback, and offers compact storage of compressed video.
Parallax Graphics relies on partners to bring end-user applications to market. This strategy allows Parallax Graphics to focus on creating the foundations of successful applications: excellent, innovative hardware and comprehensive software tools. Parallax software partners, the PowerPartners, use these building blocks to create varied solutions that dramatically increase the ways that video is being used today.
Parallax Graphics considers three attributes critical to high quality video: excellent image resolution, fast frame rates, and lifelike color. To quantify these characteristics, we refer to 640 x 480 pixel resolution images (for NTSC, or 768 x 576 pixels for PAL and SECAM), full 60 fields=30 frames per second motion (for NTSC, or 50 fields=25 frames for PAL and SECAM), and 24-bit true-color (16.8 million colors in the palette). We have found that a generation "raised on television" expects this level of quality for serious use.
Parallax Graphics has two distinct market advantages:
VideoStream is a unique architecture for high quality video. VideoStream is a set of custom ASICs designed to support fast processing, capture, and distribution of very high quality video. Parallax uses the VideoStream technology to build powerful hardware products and software development tools that deliver TV-quality video for a variety of applications.
Parallax Graphics has been working with video developers for over 12 years to identify the most important and useful features for video applications. Parallax Graphics' API, the Video Development Environment, provides a toolkit for incorporating these features in new and existing applications. No other video provider has this capability.
Yes. Products built with our Video Development Environment are interoperable across Parallax Graphics-equipped systems.
Parallax Graphics video works independently of network type and can run across ethernet, ATM, T1, FDDI, ISDN, etc.
Parallax Graphics also supports interoperability back and forth between analog and digital video. With our analog video input and output, you can connect a TV-cable or video camera input to your workstation, and send video out from your workstation to a VCR, to a standard video projector, or to a H.320 "Room-based" videoconferencing CODEC.
Hardware-based compression and decompression keep the computer's CPU free to run other tasks, such as shared applications, trading programs, and analyses. If compression and decompression are handled in software, the processor is monopolized, and other work is interrupted and slowed down.
Customers interested in using other compression standards can capture and edit content in 4:2:2 M-JPEG for optimal quality, then translate in software to MPEG (Motion Pictures Experts Group) or H.261 using third-party tools. Parallax Graphics publishes its JPEG file format for easy integration and to contribute to the development of standards.
Parallax software partners have built applications that convert Parallax high-quality 4:2:2 motion-JPEG movies to other standard formats such as AVI, QuickTime, and 4:1:1 M-JPEG (MAEstro Software), MPEG-1 (North Valley Research), and that connect high-quality Parallax LAN videoconferences to standard lower-quality H.320 WAN videoconferences (Paradise Software).
Parallax Graphics builds video cards and software for workstations from Sun Microsystems and Hewlett-Packard. These video products have a range of features configured for different uses, and customers can mix and match between products for maximum flexibility.
This development toolkit for building and extending applications includes an API, libraries, sample applications, and sample source code for integrating video features into your own custom applications.
Software drivers and easy-to-use applications -- VideoTool and MovieTool -- display, control, and capture still and motion video images.
SBus and PCI Bus products for Sun Microsystems workstations:
The developer's package for Sun users, XVideo Xtra is a single-slot 24-bit video overlay card supporting two live displays, analog output, and 4:2:2 motion-JPEG compression. XVideo Xtra includes the Video Development Environment and Software Essentials. Available in both SBus and PCI Bus versions.
XVideo is similar to XVideo Xtra except it is a two-slot 24-bit framebuffer card instead of an overlay card. XVideo supports two live displays, analog output, and motion-JPEG compression. It includes the Video Development Environment and Software Essentials.
PowerVideo is a single-slot 24-bit framebuffer with motion JPEG compression suited for end-users. This package supports one live display and includes Software Essentials. It is ideal for video conferencing, training, video capture, and video distribution across networks.
MultiVideo is a single-slot 24-bit framebuffer bundled with the Software Essentials. It supports TV-in-a-window, remote monitoring and inspection, and still image capture (without compression).
EISA Bus products for Hewlett-Packard workstations:
The developer's package for Hewlett-Packard users, XVideo700 is a 24-bit video overlay card supporting two live displays, analog output, and 4:2:2 motion-JPEG compression. It includes the Video Development Environment and Software Essentials.
PowerVideo700 is a 24-bit video overlay card with motion JPEG compression suited for end-users. This package supports one live display and includes Software Essentials. It is ideal for video conferencing, training, content capture, and distribution across networks.
MultiVideo700 is a 24-bit video overlay card bundled with Software Essentials. It supports TV-in-a-window, remote monitoring and inspection, and still image capture (without compression).
Enhanced features, networking, and interoperability between platforms are key to Parallax Graphics' product expansion plans. Parallax Graphics is developing products for new, high-performance architectures and systems to complement the Sun and Hewlett-Packard workstations that Parallax Graphics currently serves. Feature sets will continue to be tuned to suit specific market opportunities. Platforms under development include other Unix workstations, as well as systems supporting the PCI bus, including Windows NT. Pricing and availability will be announced in 1998.
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