Wired has been making MPEG decoders since 1992. No, that’s not a mistake. 1992. Wired was one of the very first companies to ship a MPEG decoder for the computer marketplace. We called our line of decoders Mason. We started off with MasonI, then a NuBus MPEG1 hardware decoder. We then followed it up with a whole bunch of modified versions of the decoder. Some for general sale to the public, and some specifically for certain customers. MasonIII and MasonV were the next widely available decoder boards. Then came our most popular decoder, the MasonX board. The picture above is of a still running MasonX board. Nine years after it was manufactured!!
Mason decoder boards were used in a variety of ways: 24/7 kiosks, ad preview within marketing agencies, VideoCD and CD-I preview, cable ad insertion equipment. Mason decoders were designed for robust continuous use, and it shows. The fact that we have Mason boards here running 10 years after they were made is a testament to their longevity. Wired continues the Mason decoder line with the new MasonIP MPEG decoder. It’s a standalone HD/SD MPEG decoder that offers broadcast quality inside and out. Click on the products link to find out more info on the MasonIP decoder.
In the Mid-90′s, Wired created the first DVD hardware decoder for a portable computer. The DVD-To-Go was a hardware MPEG2 decoder for the PowerBook 3400. It allowed easy MPEG2 playback within the computer by off-loading the task intesive decoding to a specially made IBM decoder chip. This started our second line of decoder products targeting the up-and-coming DVD market.
Around 1998, Wired released two DVD hardware player boards, Wired-4-DVD and WiredStream. Wired-4-DVD was targeting the consumer space with an inexpensive DVD player. This board was sold through worldwide dealers in a variety of consumer bundles. WiredStream was specifically for the DVD authoring market. It was bundled with the first consumer targeted DVD authoring package DVDirector. Soon after that, other DVD authoring software houses started to bundle WiredStream with their software packages.
With the MasonIP, we are folding in the DVD capabilities of the WiredStream line into the Mason decoder line. The MasonIP has full DVD navigation and playback capabilities, along with the robustness of the Mason design. This gives our customers a broadcast professional MPEG SD/HD decoder and DVD player all wrapped up into one unit.