SoftDVD is a software-only DVD (Digital Versatile Disc) player. DVD discs use MPEG-2 video and either Dolby Digital Surround Sound (AC-3) audio or MPEG-1 (MUSICAM) audio for playback of movies. SoftDVD can playback movies with MPEG-1 or AC-3 audio wrapped in MPEG-1 audio packes or AC-3 audio wrapped in private_stream_1 packets as specified in the DVD specification.
SoftDVD can decode and playback both Frame-Only Encoded MPEG-2 Video and Adaptive Field/Frame Encoded MPEG-2 Video. Most MPEG-2 content is encoded using Adaptive Field/Frame Encoding. SoftDVD also supports Variable Bitrate Encoded (VBR) MPEG-2 Video.
CompCore Multimedia has demonstrated the SoftDVD software only MPEG-2 decoder at the Intermedia and WinHEC trade shows in San Francisco. The player was demonstrated running under Microsoft's ActiveMovie (formerly Quartz) system at Intermedia and using Intel's new MMX (Multimedia Extensions) instructions on prototype P55C systems at WinHEC. The player plays 352x480 (half-D1) MPEG-2 content encoded by Optivision and 704x480 content encoded by IBM in Atlanta.
Mike Aymar, Vice President and General Manager, Desktop Products Group, Intel, demonstrated the CompCore SoftDVD MPEG-2 Software Player playing a movie trailer for Waterworld with six-channel Dolby Digital (AC-3) surround sound at the Intel Internet Media Symposium on July 24, 1996 at the Hyatt Regency in Burlingame, CA. Aymar demonstrated the software on an Intel 200 Mhz P55C with MMX based personal computer. Fifteen-hundred people from industry and the press attended the symposium.
The MPEG-2 video was decoded entirely in software using the Intel MMX instructions to accelerate the MPEG decode. The Dolby Digital (AC-3) surround sound was decoded in hardware using a chip and board from Zoran. The video was a 704x480 (full D1) version of the movie trailer encoded at 3.6 Megabits per second.
Intel and CompCore also demonstrated the SoftDVD MPEG-2 software technology at the Reception and Demonstration Showcase from 4:30 to 7:00pm at the Symposium. They showed an MPEG-2 video and AC-3 audio version of some clips from the Electronic Arts Wing Commander multimedia game.
More information on the Intel Internet Media Symposium is available at the Intel Home Page.
Go Directly to Intel Web Page on Intel Internet Media Symposium
CompCore Multimedia also sponsors The OpenDVD Consortium to encourage development and use of DVD technology.
Please Note: John McGowan was employed by CompCore Multimedia from January, 1995 to October, 1996. He is no longer affiliated with CompCore nor is this Web Page. For official information on CompCore or CompCore products, please contact CompCore Multimedia directly. For more information on CompCore:
John McGowan was Software Project Manager for the SoftDVD project. John McGowan implemented support for the new MPEG-2 syntax including the new variable length codes, support for field encoded macroblocks in MPEG-2 frame pictures (Adaptive Field/Frame encoded MPEG-2), and many other features.