Do not use for new design

Picolo U4 H.264

4-channel audio/video capture and compression card

At a glance
  • Four PAL/NTSC video inputs and four audio inputs
  • PCIe x1 bus
  • Four video decoders, 100/120 images per second (200/240 fields per second)
  • On-board hardware H.264 compression
  • Two independently configurable H.264 compressed streams and one raw (uncompressed) stream for each of the 4 cameras

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Three simultaneous and independently configurable output streams for each video channel

  • Two H.264 compressed streams: 4CIF, 2CIF, CIF or QCIF / Configurable frame rate / Configurable bit rate control
  • Typical configuration:
    • One high-fidelity, 4CIF format, full frame rate H.264 encoded stream
    • One CIF-format half-frame-rate H.264 encoded stream
  • One raw (uncompressed) stream (subject to PCI bus available bandwidth): 4CIF, 2CIF, CIF or QCIF / Monochrome: Y8 or Color planar: YUV420PL

Windows (DirectShow) and Linux drivers available
Windows (DirectShow) and Linux drivers available

Four high-quality audio inputs

  • Line-level audio signals
  • Selectable sampling rate: 8 kHz, 16 kHz, 22.05 kHz, 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz
  • Audio encoding: Linear PCM 16-bit or G.711 64-kbps µ-law/A-law
  • Audio-video synchronization supported by accurate time stamping of audio and video data

General purpose I/O lines

  • Four contact closure inputs
  • Four solid-state relay outputs
  • Watchdog

Format Standard profile, half length, 1-lane PCI Express card
Dimensions L 167.65 mm x H 111.15 mm L 6.6 in x H 4.38 in
Weight 185 g, 6.53 oz
Host bus
Standard PCI Express 1.0
Link width 1 lane
Link speed 2.5 GT/s (PCIe 1.0)
Peak delivery bandwidth 256 MB/s
Effective (sustained) delivery bandwidth 180 MB/s (Host PC motherboard dependent)
Camera / video inputs
Interface standard(s) NTSC-M, PAL-M/B/D/G/H/I/N
  • VIDEO: high density 44-pin female Sub-D connector on the bracket
  • VIDEO IN: dual-row 34-pin .050" (1.27mm) micro header with end shroud on the PCB
Termination resistor Selectable using switches on the PCB
Frame rate
  • 25/30 images per second per input
  • Total 100/120 images per second
Number of cameras 4
Number of cameras (at full frame rate) 4
Video delivery
Raw video format(s) YUV420PL, Y8
Deliverable video resolution (SD) 4CIF, 2CIF, CIF, QCIF
Audio / Video Outputs
Loop-through One, selected, with cascade capability
  • VIDEO CASCADE: dual-row 6-pin .100" (2.54mm) header without shroud on the PCB
Audio inputs
Number of inputs 4
Type Line-level analog
Audio format
  • 8 kHz G.711 µ-law/A-law
  • 8 kHz 16-bit LPCM
  • 16/22.05/44.1/48 kHz 16-bit LPCM
  • AUDIO: dual-row 34-pin .050" (1.27mm) micro header with end shroud on the PCB
On-board video codec
Video encoders
  • H.264 (MPEG-4 Part 10)
  • Baseline profile (Level 3)
  • 8 encoders per card
Number of streams
  • Two compressed output streams
  • One raw (uncompressed) stream
  • VBR (Variable Bit Rate), CPQ (Constant Picture Quality) and CBR (Constant Bit Rate)
  • Target bitrate adjustable up to 2 Mbps
Video streams resolution
  • One high-fidelity 4CIF full frame rate H.264 stream
  • One additional CIF half frame rate H.264 stream
  • One raw (uncompressed) stream (subject to PCI bus available bandwidth)
General Purpose Inputs and Outputs
Number of lines 8 I/O lines:
  • IN: 4 inputs
  • OUT: 4 outputs
  • PROFESSIONAL I/O 1-4: 34-pin dual-row 0.05" (1.27mm) micro header with end shroud on the PCB
  • WATCHDOG: 4-pin dual-row 0.1" (2.54mm) header without shroud on the PCB for the watchdog
Usage General purpose IO
Electrical specifications
  • IN: Non-isolated differential polarity-insensitive inputs, compatible with
    • Digital totem-pole drivers (TTL, 5V CMOS or 12V levels)
    • Potential-free contacts (dry contacts)
    • Fixed potential contacts
  • OUT: Potential-free and polarity-insensitive solid-state relay outputs
Watchdog Yes
Host PC Operating System
  • Microsoft Windows 8, 7, Vista, XP
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2012, 2008 R2, 2008
  • Linux kernel version 2.6.16 to 3.8, compatible with a wide range of distributions
  • 32- and 64-bit versions
  • Microsoft DirectShow under Windows: Kernel streaming mini driver providing the following filters: Board, Audio Source, Input Line, Watchdog, Visual Source, Output Line, Pass-Through Selector
  • Virtual File System under Linux: Memory-based file system driver where each board appears as a file system populated with files organized as a directory tree and managed using standard file management functions of the operating system.
Environmental conditions
Operating ambient air temperature 0 to +50 °C / +32 to +122 °F
Operating ambient air humidity 10 to 90% RH non-condensing
Storage ambient air temperature -20 to +70 °C/ -4 to +158 °F
Storage ambient air humidity 10% to 90% RH non-condensing
Electromagnetic - EMC standards
  • European Council EMC Directive 2004/108/EC
EMC - Emission
  • EN 55022:2010 Class B
EMC - Immunity
  • EN 55024:2010 Class B
Flammability PCB compliant with UL 94 V-0
RoHS European Union Directive 2011/65/EU (ROHS2)
REACH European Union Regulation 1907/2006
WEEE Must be disposed of separately from normal household waste and must be recycled according to local regulations
Ordering Information
Product code - Description