News Releases


Hitachi Home Electronics (America), Inc. Announces Compatibility of Mpeg Digital Video Camera with Microsoft Directshow

Users of Hitachi's MPEG digital video camera can now stream video over the Internet


Oct 6, 1997 00:00 AM

Hitachi Home Electronics (America), Inc., a subsidiary of Hitachi America, Ltd., today announced the compatibility of its MPEG1A digital video camera with DirectShow, the video streaming application software Microsoft Corp. released Sept. 30 in the new Microsoft Internet Explorer version 4.0.

With DirectShow, users of the acclaimed Hitachi MPEG1A camera can easily stream MPEG digital video over the Internet and intranets without downloading the entire file, and without requiring additional server software. Streaming is the process of showing video in real time on the Internet without having to download special software in advance. DirectShow-supported media types, such as MPEG, can be accessed quickly and easily by using the ActiveMovie Control, giving Windows users high-performance media capabilities.

The Hitachi MPEG1A, the world's only MPEG digital video camera, is capable of recording 20 minutes of real-time MPEG-1 video, 3,000 JPEG still images, or 1,000 still images with 10 seconds of audio for each still. It permits PC and Mac users to add video and still images to Web pages, in-house training videos, presentations and other Internet and intranet applications.

"Compatibility with DirectShow makes the Hitachi MPEG camera an even more powerful digital peripheral for users of Windows," said Kevin Dallas, group product manager for the Direct X set of APIs at Microsoft. "The combination of the two lets consumers and business users incorporate video into Windows-based PC applications."

"DirectShow permits true MPEG video streaming," said Kunihide Kaneko, president of Hitachi Home Electronics (America). "Thus, it is now even easier and more cost effective to use the Hitachi MPEG video camera to produce and view video and still images, and utilize them without first having to download the entire file."

DirectShow is an extensible media architecture that delivers high-quality audio and video playback from the Internet or an intranet. It supports quick and easy access to the most popular media types, including MPEG audio and video, AVI video, WAV audio, MIDI audio, and Apple QuickTime video. DirectShow can be downloaded at no charge as part of the new Internet Explorer 4.0. The software will also be integrated into the Windows 98 and Windows NT 5.0 operating systems, set to debut in coming months.

The Hitachi MPEG1A camera records video and audio in MPEG-1 format and stores the data on a 260 MB PCMCIA card. ISA and SCSI adapter kits allow recorded video to be transferred to a PC or Mac. At 19.3 ounces, the camera is smaller than a conventional camcorder. All of its functions, such as real-time compression, full motion video and playback, are handled by a single chip -- the MPEG1 encoder/decoder (CODEC) LSI, developed by Hitachi, Ltd. Suggested retail, including the PCMCIA card, is $2,399.95.

Hitachi Home Electronics (America), Inc., a subsidiary of Hitachi America, Ltd., develops and markets a variety of consumer electronics and commercial multimedia products, including handheld computers and products for image capture and information access/multimedia.

Hitachi America, Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., Japan, markets and manufactures a broad range of electronics, computer systems and products, and semiconductors, and provides industrial equipment and services throughout North America.

Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE:HIT), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is one of the world's leading global electronics companies, with fiscal 1996 consolidated sales (ending March 31, 1997) of $68.7 billion. The company manufactures and markets a wide range of products, including computers, semiconductors, consumer products, and power and industrial equipment.