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Home > Hardware Reviews > General Computing

Wednesday, November 17, 2004
ADS DVD Xpress Converter

2. The Converter

ADS DVD Xpress Converter - Page 2

The Converter

It is very interesting to see how this device works. The DVD Xpress is capable of encoding audio and video streams in DVD quality. But let's take a closer look at the mainboard. Opening the device's case will void the warranty, so we advise against it. Instead, use the photos in this review for a closer look under the hood. Clicking on the images below will open high resolution images.

click to enlarge!

The general concept with this device is rather simple. There are chipsets are used to receive video and audio signal, convert them to digital signals, and pass them to the audio or video encoder. The encoders take over to produce a single MPEG-2 or MPEG-1 file, stored on the hard disk via the USB2.0 interface. The main advantage of DVD Xpress is that ADS Tech chose to use a class A video encoder, as you will discern from the following chipset images.

Looking at the mainboard a little closer, we can see that it consists of a series of chipsets used for encoding and decoding of the video and audio streams. To be more precise, it consists of the following:

Cypress CY7C68013 USB 2.0 controller

Cirrus Logic CS92199 MPEG Encoder

Microchip 24LC16B 16K EEPROM

Philips 74LVC04A CMOS device

Philips' chipsets are mainly used to receive audio and video signals and send them to the encoder that takes over the "hard work". The DVD Xpress uses an updated version of the CS92288 chipset, the advanced Cirrus Logic CS92199 MPEG Encoder, a chipset that can be found in professional DVD recorders and players. This produces excellent quality results when converting to MPEG-2 format. Strangely enough, while the chipset is able to encode to AC3 audio directly, the device does not seem to support this feature.

The 74LVC04A is a high-performance, low-power, low-voltage, Si-gate CMOS device with low power consumption . The 24LC16B is a 16K bit Electrically Erasable PROM memory organized as eight blocks of 256 x 8-bit memory with an I2C compatible 2-wire serial interface bus.




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