DVxplore is the first chip that will allow consumers to capture video from analog or digital camcorders and record it to DVD-RAM disks, according to C-Cube. DVxplore also handles the playback of video and audio.
"This enables you to create video on a PC," said Chris Day, director of product marketing for C-Cube. "This chip will compress it down so you can store it on a CD-R, DVD-RAM, or incorporate it into email."
C-Cube counts PC makers Dell and Gateway among its existing customers, although the chip will also be available at retail stores in third-party add-in boards, priced at approximately $299, according to Day.
DVxplore will store video on a PC hard drive, CD drive, or DVD-RAM drive, and allows real-time editing and dual-stream MPEG-2 decoding, according to C-Cube.
"Not only will it play DVD, but it will record DVD programs," Day said. "It's the convergence of PCs and consumer electronics. There's a trend towards a consumer appliance."
Recordable DVD is expected to become fairly popular in the market as the drives become more widely available and the disks become compatible with existing non-recording DVD drives.
Panasonic, which just recently started shipping one of the first DVD-RAM drives with discs that can be read by DVD-ROM, estimates that over 9 million DVD-RAM drives will ship in 2000, a jump from the 200,000 shipping in 1998.
DVD-RAM drives, which retail for around $599 today, are also expected to drop in price to a more consumer-friendly level. C-Cube will charge $75 for Dvxplore, in volume to OEMS.
"We looked at the more expensive chips, and we simply removed the features that consumers wouldn't want like really high-quality broadcasting that are not applicable in the home," Day said.