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Number Plate Recognition Products

Fxvd4/PCI video capture card


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FXVD4/PCI (i.e. FxVd4mc_s PCI) is a high quality 4-channel video capture card (or frame grabber card) specially developed for number plate recognition applications.
It has a native driver with its last bit kept in our hand. It is designed and developed to provide outstanding capabilities with highest stability and reliability.

FXVD4/PCI is provided in three subcategories:

· FXVD4/PCI L: for general installations where a high performance 4 video channel input industrial video capture card is needed.
· FXVD4F/PCI F: the FreeFlow version of the device, with CARMEN FreeFlow ANPR enabled.
· FXVD4P/PCI P: the Parking version of the device, with CARMEN Parking ANPR enabled.

The card is based on the Bt878 video capture chip whose state-of-the-art architecture is capable of receiving analogue video signal inputs. The services of the chip are supported by additional on-card hardware modules allowing the card to achieve outstandingly high performance. Video processing is facilitated by a clamper and sync-separator unit. The switching time between the input channels of the card is 30 milliseconds, enabling the user to build high-speed sequential systems handling the signals of four video channels simultaneously.

The card is connected to the PC through a standard PCI slot, its interface complies with PCI 2.1 standards. The 32 bit PCI bus allows high bandwidth data path, the supply voltage is 5 Volts. The high data transfer rate of the bus and the multiple PCI expansion slots of PC motherboards makes it possible to install more than one CARMEN FXVD4/PCI on the same machine, depending on the number of empty slots available.

The installed capture cards are managed by the native carmen.sys device driver, which is capable of handling up to four cards at the same time. The analogue composite PAL or NTSC video signal is received through any one of the four 75 Ohm impedance BNC input connectors. The signal is clamped first (required for the high channel switching speed). The next step of analogue processing phase is the sync separator unit (one for each channel), which supports the operation of the Bt878 chip. From this point the analogue video signal is transmitted to the input connector of the capture chip. The actual process of digitising and the transmission of the already digitised image is performed by the chip. The chip operates as a DMA bus mastering device, supports RGB and YcrCb pixel formats and is capable of digitising full PAL frames without loss of information. That is 768x576 pixels resolution with an odd/even field frequency of 50 Hz for PAL signal (60 Hz for NTSC).

Apart from digitising the video signal, as primary function, the chip communicates with the on-card co-processor through a 16 bit data bus. The calculations of PC independent arithmetic algorithms are outsourced to this RISC co-processor, functioning as an integrated hardware key protection. These algorithms include the WATCHDOG counter, through which a ground-independent delayed contact can be controlled. A typical example for its utilisation is the PC reset to handle system crashes.

The WATCHDOG module, which is the last separate on-card hardware unit, is made up of an opto-coupler connected to one of the I/O ports of the co-processor. The function of the opto-coupler is to close the connection to the PC when the WATCHDOG timer expires. Using this connection as a hardware reset input signal, the co-processor can reboot the computer in case of possible system crashes, thus considerably improving the stability and reliability of stand-alone systems without continuous human supervision.

In compliance with the relating international quality assurance norms and standard specifications, CARMEN FXVD4/PCI is manufactured on 4-layer printed circuit boards.

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Technical Specification

Interface PCI 2.1
AD conversion Bt878
Input 4 x BNC video, 75 Ohm
Watchdog Programmable with 1-250 sec. delays
Supported Operating System WinNT, Win2K, Linux
Programming Languages Visual C/C++ 6.0
Visual Basic 6.0
Borland Delphi 5.0
C/C++ under Linux
Additional Tools SDK for easy integration
ActiveX, Delphi components
JPEG Codec
Video Formats PAL or NTSC (75 W, 1 Vp-p)
Video Framing Full, Field, Half @ any / odd / even
Image Output Memory, file
File Types BMP, JPEG
File Formats Grayscale, RGB15, RGB16, RGB24, RGB32, YUV422
Documentation Reference Manual in printed form
Reference Manual in electronic format
System Requirement Free PCI slot with Bust Mastering support
Power consumption approx. 450mA
Size 97 x 120 mm
Power consumption approx. 450mA

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FXVD4/PCI video capture board

·BT878 video capture (digitiser) chip

The Bt878 is a complete, single-chip solution for analogue broadcast signal capture on the PCI bus. It is designed to be interoperable with any other PCI multimedia devices at the component or board level.
· Synchron separators
The input video signal is fed to a synchron separator circuits. This technology allows to change video input channel within 30ms in worst case, even for non synchronised cameras.
· Programmable Watchdog
The Programmable Watchdog can automatically reset the computer in case a critical program stops responding, or "hangs us". This functionality increases system's reliability, which can be essential for 24h working systems.
· SX28 AC coprocessor
  The SX28 AC coprocessor is an integrated licensing device which helps to control the different ANPR licenses without the use of a traditional dongle or hardware key.

CD-ROM with the FXVD4 video capture board's native drivers

The CD-ROM contains the native drivers for Windows and Linux, the reference manual, and several sample and tutorial applications for easy and straight forward integration.




The FXVD4/PCI is a high performance video capture card. It has been specially designed for number plate recognition applications, while it is also ideal for several other applications.

The FXVD4/PCI is an ideal solution for

· Industrial and Machine Vision
· Security and Industrial Control
· Digital Video Surveillance
· Video Streaming
· Robotics
· Microscopy and Medical
· Internet and Multimedia


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