In 1992, Wired started shipping MPEG decoders. It was only natural then that we started to create a realtime MPEG encoder. And in 1994 Wired introduced our first realtime MPEG encoder, called Butane. It offered realtime MPEG1 encoding at various user-selectable datarates. It also had realtime MPEG audio encoding and realtime multiplexing into MPEG system streams! I know it doesn’t sound like much compared to today’s technology, but you must remember that back in 1994, cpu’s were not very fast. And to encode MPEG1 took hours and hours of processing. Wired circumvented all that with the Butane encoder.
Previous to Butane, MPEG1 realtime encoders cost over $15K. Butane came out at a price of $4999. This really set the market on fire! But there was a secret weapon in Butane………….to come later on.
After a couple years on the market, we were ready to unleash our secret weapon. With a FREE software upgrade, we turned the Butane board into a realtime MPEG2 encoder! That’s right, with the existing hardware already sold, you could do realtime MPEG2 encoding. And it was a FREE software upgrade. This caused a real panic in the MPEG encoder market. At the time of our MPEG2 encoder release, realtime MPEG encoders were >$50K !!! Not from Wired. We kept the $4999 price and offered realtime MPEG1 and MPEG2 encoding with the Butane board.
After Butane, we introduced the MediaPress realtime encoder with SDI & AES inputs. MediaPress was timed perfectly for the DVD authoring market and it was bundled with many different DVD authoring packages. Over the past 8 years of MediaPress sales, it has become the most popular professional broadcast grade MPEG encoder sold.
Another encoder which Wired created was the Digial Mediapress board, or DMP. DMP was a faster-than-realtime MPEG2 transcoder/encoder board. Simple and focused in it’s function, DMP allowed you to take any DV file and convert it into MPEG2 for DVD authoring faster than realtime. And it’s <$1000 price point helped make it a fast seller as well.
Currently we only sell the MediaPress encoder, both in YUV and SDI/AES input versions. If you need an encoder, click on the products link to read more about the MediaPress encoder.