Duo Reference Design" Provides Rapid Development Path for Breakaway Consumer Products
SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 10, 2001-- Stream Machine announced today the Duo(TM) Reference Design, a complete full-duplex audio and video platform that combines the MPEG2 video and audio recording technology of Stream Machine with the DVD decoding of National Semiconductor's Mediamatics(TM) DVD-on-a-chip technology.
Stream Machine and National Semiconductor have teamed up to provide a platform for consumer recording that is dramatically more affordable than today's recordable DVD designs, which carry price tags up to $4000. The Duo platform is targeted to reach consumers at around $400 -- at one-tenth the expense of competing models -- and will therefore be attractive to a broad market.
"National Semiconductor and Stream Machine share a common vision of where the consumer electronics trends are headed," said Kent Goodin, VP of National Semiconductor's Mediamatics Hardware Division. "National is known for its innovations in DVD playback, including the convergence of Internet material with DVD content. Networked entertainment will be where the action is, and the combined strengths of Stream Machine and National in this area will generate breakaway products."
"Stream Machine is known for the completeness, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness of its reference designs," states Brian Heuckroth, VP of Marketing for Stream Machine. "We were the first to penetrate the consumer market in China with affordable, high-quality recordable video technology, and are now in full production with SVCD-Recorders and Personal Video Recorders in the booming Asian marketplace. This partnership with National Semiconductor extends our technological reach further into the global consumer electronics market by establishing a solid foundation for combinations of MPEG recording and DVD playback. We anticipate tremendous growth in this area, and believe that, together with National Semiconductor, we can hit the market sweet spots with compelling features and affordability."
Duo Reference Design Provides Maximum Flexibility
The Duo platform includes Stream Machine's new SM2288 audio/video MPEG codec chip with the National® Mediamatics NDV8601 processor, which provides DVD playback and system control.
The Duo platform includes two optical drives for maximum flexibility; one is a loader which supports the playback of DVD content, and the other is a CD-RW drive for recording MPEG2 audio and video onto inexpensive compact disks. Because the Duo design uses an industry-standard IDE interface for the CD-RW drive, this design can be easily modified to use other storage devices, such as hard drives, DVD-RAM drive, or double-density CD-RW drives to add capacity, additional media formats, and additional recording capacity.
Recording is supported in SVCD, VCD, and CD-DA formats. Recorded material can be played back on either of the two drives in the Duo platform, or on any DVD player or PC that supports the Video CD format, which includes most designs on the market today. This means that all the shiny plastic disks that a consumer is likely to have can be played on this platform, including DVD Video and Audio, CD Audio, and MP3s. In addition, the Duo platform can be used as a "dubbing" deck to make custom audio CDs without the need for a PC. The CD-RW medium can record up to 40 minutes of SVCD-format video at a near-DVD quality, making it ideal for preserving and sharing special occasions from camcorder content. Up to 70 minutes of material can be recorded using the Video CD format, which uses a lower picture resolution to conserve space, in a similar manner to the "EP" setting on a VCR.
The Duo platform also includes a real-time clock to support scheduled recordings, as well as a cable-ready TV Tuner with pass-through for independent recording of broadcast material while the consumer watches something else on the television.
The Duo platform supports CSS and Macrovision copy protection schemes, so manufacturers can be assured that content owners should feel comfortable that this design does not compromise their rights.
Pricing and Availability
Duo Reference Design will be available in the second quarter of 2001. The price of the Duo Reference Platform is $25,000 and will be available from both Stream Machine and National Semiconductor. This price includes everything a consumer electronics manufacturer would need to build their product, including schematics, Gerber files, a bill of materials, and a software development kit for customizing the look and feel of the end product.
About Stream Machine Company
Stream Machine is at the heart of digital home entertainment providing cost-effective semiconductor solutions that enable industry-leading video and audio compression. Stream Machine's proprietary compression technology offers the highest quality video at the lowest possible bit-rates and is compatible with all the important consumer standards, including MPEG-2, MP3 and Dolby-Digital. Stream Machine's high level of integration provides the low system cost necessary to bring DVD-quality entertainment to consumers at a price they can't resist. Please visit www.streammachine.com for more information.
About National Semiconductor
National Semiconductor provides system-on-a-chip solutions for the information age technologies. Combining real-world analog and state-of-the-art digital technology, the company's chips lead many sectors of the personal computer, communications and consumer markets. With headquarters in Santa Clara, California, National reported sales of $2.1 billion for its last fiscal year and has about 10,500 employees worldwide. Additional company and product information is available on the World Wide Web at www.national.com.