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SENSORAY Model 953-ET 4-channel A/V H.264 encoder/decoder

SENSORAY Model 953-ET 4-channel A/V H.264 encoder/decoder


  • 4 NTSC/PAL composite + 4 stereo audio inputs
  • H.264, MPEG-4, MJPEG, elementary, raw video
  • AAC, G.711, PCM audio
  • Low latency video preview
  • Full duplex encode/decode
  • Text/graphics overlay
  • 8 optically isolated GPIOs
  • -40 to +85°C extended temperature range

Model 953-ET is a PCIe/104 full duplex audio/video codec that can simultaneously capture four analog video and four stereo audio inputs. Each of its four identical channels captures NTSC/PAL video at up to full frame rate and encodes it to H.264, MJPEG, or MPEG-4, while capturing and encoding audio to G.711 or AAC. In addition, a low-latency uncompressed video stream is available for high performance previewing on the host computer. Several stream formats are supported: MPEG-TS, MP4, AVI, and elementary. Each channel can also receive streams from the host, decode compressed streams and output the resulting analog audio/video.

SENSORAY Model 953 blockdiagram

The board fully conforms to the PCIe/104 specification and supports both stack-up and stack-down, allowing it to be positioned anywhere in the board stack. For added convenience, Model 953-ET-PC104 includes a PCI pass-through connector that further enhances stack-ordering options in mixed PCI/104-Express systems. All operating power is obtained from the PCIe/104 bus; no external power supply is needed.

Video capture

Each channel can simultaneously produce two different video streams from the video input and send the streams out over PCIe/104. One of the streams can be a low-latency uncompressed stream (useful for real time previewing) and the other compressed, or both streams may be compressed. Image resolution, compression type, bit rate and other attributes can be independently configured for each stream.

Up to 1024 bytes of application-supplied data may be inserted in the H.264 or MPEG stream, at a specified frame interval or single shot.

Audio sync

Hardware-generated timestamps are employed to keep audio synchronized to the video, thus eliminating "lip sync" problems. MP4 files can be edited in Adobe Premiere Pro with A/V sync preserved.

Digital I/O

Two opticallly isolated, general purpose digital I/Os are available on each channel (one input, one output). The input is sampled every millisecond and, when a state change is detected, a notification can be sent to the host computer. The input can also be configured to control stream flow without host intervention.

Real-time text overlay

The overlay generators can position up to 160 characters of text anywhere in the video frame. A unique text string, consisting of mixed constant and variable text, may be defined for each overlay generator. Text variables are automatically updated every video frame. Supported variables include time, date, and frame count.

Graphics overlay with unicode text

Overlay images and high quality, styled unicode text (bold, italic, underline, outline and shadow) can be displayed on top of the composite video output, compressed streams, or preview stream (but not low latency preview stream).

Example overlay captured from composite output (up to 256 full-color overlay regions)

Example overlay captured from compressed stream (up to eight transparency levels, monochrome only)

Please note that preview/compressed stream overlays (text or graphics) modify luminance only and consequently may be tinted by background colors. Also, unlike composite output overlays, these overlays are limited in number, size and complexity; see the above right image for an example what is possible.

Stream decoder

Each channel can also perform as a stream decoder, converting a compressed A/V stream into standard analog audio and video signals. Decoding is guaranteed only for streams captured with the 953-ET.

Low latency preview

Model 953-ET supports a low latency preview mode for real-time applications. When capturing in native resolution (704x480 for NTSC or 704x576 for PAL) the overall latency is reduced to approximately 35 ms.


Software Development Kits (SDKs) are available for Linux and Windows. The SDKs include drivers, programming examples and comprehensive documentation to enable programmers to quickly develop custom application software for the 953-ET.

System requirements

Due to the extremely high data rates involved, a computer with sufficient bandwidth and processing power is required to ensure error-free processing of 953-ET video streams. In general, lower-performance computers are suitable for applications that transfer only compressed streams, whereas high performance is required for uncompressed streams, particularly if multiple uncompressed streams will be transferred simultaneously.

To help you determine whether your computer has adequate performance, we recommend that you contact us to obtain a 953-ET evaluation unit.

Qualified computers

Single-board computers (SBCs) are a great way to take advantage of the 953-ET's compact size and advanced capabilities. SENSORAY is continually testing new SBCs and listing qualified units at 953-ET Verified Computers.

953-ET Verified Computers
ManufacturerSBC ModelSpecification and Notes
ADL Embedded Solutions, Inc. ADLQM87PC Intel® Core™ Dual & Quad Core, up to 8GB DDR3L-1333/1600 DRAM
ADL Embedded Solutions, Inc. ADLQM67PC-2655LE Intel® Core™ i7, 2.2 GHz , up to 8GB DDR3-1066/1333 DRAM
ADL Embedded Solutions, Inc. ADLQM67PC-2715QE Intel® Core™ i7, 2.1GHz-3GHz , up to 8GB DDR3-1333 DRAM
ADL Embedded Solutions, Inc. ADLGS45PC Intel Celeron M/Core 2 Duo, 1.2GHz-2.26GHz, up to 4GB DDR3-DRAM
ADL Embedded Solutions, Inc. ADLD25PC Intel Atom D525, 1.8GHz, up to 4GB DDR3-DRAM
ADL Embedded Solutions, Inc. ADLQM67PC Intel® Core™ i7, 2.2 GHz , up to 4GB DDR3-1333 DRAM
LiPPERT/ADLINK Cool XpressRunner-GS45 Intel Core2 Duo P9300, 2.26GHz, 1GB DDR3 (High performance SBC)
VersaLogic Copperhead
Intel 3rd-Gen Core i7/i3 CPU, up to 4 x 2.3 GHz QM77 chiset, up to 16GB DDR3L-1600 SO-DIMMs
ADLINK CoreModule 920 Extreme Rugged™ PCI/104-Express Single Board Computer with 3rd Generation Intel® Core™ Processor

SENSORAY Model 953 application example


SENSORAY offers breakout boards that route the 953-ET video, audio signals to standard connectors.

Model 953TA-Input (left) provides connectors for four 3.5mm stereo audio inputs and four BNC composite video inputs.

Model 953TA-Output (right) provides connectors for four 3.5mm stereo audio outputs and four BNC composite video outputs.


Model 953TAC1 cable connects a Model 953-ET board to the 953TA-Output breakout board. One of its three 16-pin connectors plugs into the 953-ET board, while one or both of the other connectors can be plugged into breakout boards.


Model 911TAC1 cable connects a Model 953-ET board to the 953TA-Input. One of its three 24-pin connectors plugs into the 953-ET board, while one or both of the other connectors can be plugged into breakout boards. (Available as replacement cable.)

Inputs Channels 4
Formats NTSC, PAL
Impedance 75 Ω
Outputs Channels 4
Formats NTSC, PAL
Impedance 75 Ω
Capture Frame Rate 30/25 (NTSC/PAL) fps per channel (maximum)
Resolution Up to D1 (NTSC: 720x480 / PAL: 720x576)
Streams Compression H.264 HP@L3, MPEG-4 ASP, MJPEG
Output Formats Elementary A/V, MPEG-4 program, MJPEG, transport stream
Video Preview YUV4:2:2, GRAY8, JPEG
Inputs Channels 4
Type Stereo or mono
Signal Line level
Outputs Channels 4
Type Stereo or mono
Signal Line level
Streams Sample Rate 48 kHz
Compression G.711 or AAC
Digital I/O
Inputs Channels 4, optically isolated
Line Receiver LED, 1 V @ 5 mA (nominal)
Outputs Channels 4, optically isolated
Line Driver Open drain, 20V maximum
System Bus Compliance PCIe/104 Specification (Version 1.1)
PCI-Express Base Specification (Revision 1.1)
I/O Connectors A/V Inputs 24-pin header
A/V Outputs 16-pin header
Digital I/Os 18-pin header
Environmental Input Power < 7.5 W (1.5 A @ 5 V)
Operating Temperature -40 to 85 °C
Mechanical Dimensions 96 x 90 mm (3.775 x 3.55 in.);
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