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  • Matsushita Develops Composite Software Tech for MPEG Videos
  • December 16, 1998 (TOKYO) -- Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. said that it developed software technology for composing and displaying multiple numbers of MPEG videos on a single PC screen.
    The technology provides animation pictures without picture degradation and does not require special hardware.

    With Matsushita's new technology, a PC screen is divided into 16 sub-screens or 64 sub-screens, each of which can display MPEG videos.

    Its compression method corresponds to both MPEG1 and MPEG2. No picture degradation is experienced, because a plural number of videos undergo a composite process keeping the MPEG digital video compression system, without compressing or decompressing them.

    Matsushita plans to implement various systems based on the technology. Among them are a system to search and select images in a picture archive of MPEG videos, to display all of them on the screen.

    The electronics company is reportedly making proposals and discussing business with two or more broadcasting stations for picture archive systems based on the new software technology. The search system will be delivered within fiscal 1999, which starts in April.

    For the purpose of composing a multiple number of MPEG-formatted images on a screen, a few conventional technologies exist. They include the composing of screens using special hardware, a method of extending MPEG videos to an ordinary format and then composing them in the MPEG system again, and others.

    However, such conventional methods require specific hardware tailored to the number of pictures to be composed and cause picture degradation due to compression and decompression of MPEG videos.

    Matsushita's new method uses "software overwriting" of location information about picture data compressed in the MPEG format. One sheet of an MPEG video is compressed into a unit that contains information on the location where each video should be displayed.

    The software was designed to have a function of overwriting the location information of those compressed units so as to match them with the coordinates of MPEG videos on divided screens. Thus, this function retains the MPEG system in both pictures before and after the screen composition, and it also enables composing of pictures through software processes without the need for specific hardware.

    Additionally, a screen can be divided into more than 64 sub-screens. For example, a PC with a 400MHz Pentium II microprocessor running Matsushita's software can compose 8,000 frames per second, the company said.

    (BizTech News Dept.)

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    Updated: Tue Dec 15 14:32:32 1998 PDT