Iyonix DVD video playback is hereBy Chris Williams. Published: 17th Oct 2003, 02:08:00 | Permalink | Printable
Cino is the keyThe team that brought RISC OS Aemulor has another killer app this Autumn - Cino: The Iyonix DVD player. After much guesswork and speculation, anyone who guessed that Cino is a software DVD video player for the Castle XScale Iyonix wins the right to wear a smug grin.
"The project is still very much in the early stages, however we hope to have some prototype code playing video from DVD running at the Guildford show on Saturday on the Aemulor stand", Neil Spellings of Spellings Computer Services Ltd. explained in this morning's announcement. They already have a logo sorted, though. Pricing is also yet to be decided.
"We are very excited about bringing the ability to play this exciting format to RISC OS. The Iyonix PC has given us the hardware capable of performing all the advanced decryption and decoding required for high quality audio and video", Neil continues in the announcement.
"The DVD format is now mainstream, and Cino will allow Iyonix owners access to the many hundreds of thousands of movie releases in this format, along with al the extras only found on the DVD-Video format such as making-off documentaries theatrical trailers and directors' commentaries".
Jack Lillingston, managing director of Castle, is said to be "excited" that DVD video playback has finally landed.
What's the goods?
Cino comprises the DVD video playback software, a DVD filing system and digital audio support. The DVD video player section reportedly uses "some of the advanced hardware features only present in the Iyonix PC" and is capable of playing back high resolution video and digital sound within the desktop, or in full screen mode. Cino can incidentally handle all DVD regions.
The DVD file system (DVDFS) reads the DVD-ROM discs and has a number of features over the standard CDFS. The digital sound support consists of a PCI sound card and drivers. The sound drivers enable the Iyonix to provide cinema style surround sound, that's five speakers and one sub-woofer.
We asked the Cino team what video clips they've had playing. Neil responded with: "Any! Been testing on Titanic, Matrix Reloaded, LOTR etc. At present, it's 'hardwired' to play from specific sectors from 'known' DVDs, as there is no UDF filesystem support yet, so we're just streaming the data straight off the disc as opposed to reading the VOBs directly. We can also throw file-based VOBs at it of the hard disc, ripped using a PC, and it will play those too."
Pushing to the limit
"Using advanced features in the IOP321 (which even RISC OS 5 doesn't appear to use yet) such as DMA burst transfers to screen memory, our image plotting is 9 times faster than RISC OS 5 manages natively", Neil also told us. "This is all without using any hardware acceleration from the GeForce2 card, as NVidia wont release details of their MPEG decoding APIs so we're really pushing the Iyonix to the limit (DMA transfers from DVD, decryption of the data, splitting and decoding the MPEG2 streams, ICT, plotting to screen memory, decoding and playing AC/3 sound etc etc)."
DVDFS will be Iyonix only initially, however there are plans to do a version for legacy machines.
Cino Press Release
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