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Saturday, March 2, 2024

Chen Liang Brings the Multimedia PC to Fashionable Microcontrollers with an FMV MPEG-1 Decoder

Maker Chen Liang (陳亮) is bringing the multimedia revolution to a microcontroller close to you with an MPEG-1 decoder for the LILYGO T-Keyboard handheld growth board — providing full-screen, full-color, full-motion video playback.

Readers of a sure classic will recall the multimedia hype of the Nineteen Nineties, which noticed the Multimedia PC commonplace launched: a 386 processor working at 16MHz with 2MB of RAM, a 30MB exhausting disk, VGA graphics, and a single-speed CD-ROM drive — which, it was required, would take up not more than 40 per cent of the CPU’s capabilities throughout studying. This was thought of the naked minimal to participate within the multimedia revolution — which, on the time, largely meant software program that may sometimes play again a postage-stamp-sized video clip laughingly known as “Full Movement Video (FMV).”

These movies had been sometimes encoded utilizing MPEG-1, the Transferring Image Consultants Group Section 1 (MPEG-1) codec — maybe greatest identified for giving rise to the MP3 audio format. Whereas at present media playback on PCs — and tablets, and smartphones, and even watches — makes use of newer and extra environment friendly codecs, MPEG-1 continues to be essentially the most broadly appropriate. To show it, Liang has written a decoder that may run on a microcontroller.

The mission, delivered to our consideration by Adafruit, focuses on the LILYGO T-Keyboard, a compact all-in-one growth board with an Espressif ESP32-C3 or ESP32-S3 at its coronary heart relying on mannequin. Regardless of its compact measurement and low energy draw, the board simply exceeds the efficiency necessities of the Multimedia PC commonplace — as long as you ignore the actual fact it is not a PC, in fact. The end result: a software program decoder that may play again MPEG-1 video with synchronized audio at as much as 320×240 decision.

The supply code for the mission, together with directions on changing present movies to MPEG-1 format, has been printed to GitHub underneath an unspecified license.

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