Monday, September 29, 2014

PXL 2000 Decoder

Special thanks to Mike Leslie for helping with the project.  :-)

Previous I posted some old notes about the PXL 2000 video signal here.   Writing a decoder seemed like an interesting project, and it came together a bit faster than I expected.  Now it's functional (though could use a few tweaks).

This decoder can convert a PXL 2000 video signal from either a wav file or line-in to digital video.   In theory, you may be able to recover signal from tapes that no longer play in a PXL 2000 camcorder (with proper boost/compression).



  • can decode from line-in or wav file
  • shows preview of decoded video
  • brightness/contrast control
  • speed control
  • sync controls
  • converts video signal to png frames
  • resamples audio to normal speed
  • creates a sample avconv script (with calculated fps) that will create a video file
  • saves time code of each frame
  • offers both GUI and command line modes


  • Java JDK 6+ to compile, and 
  • You'll need something like avconv or ffmpeg to merge the decoded png's and audio to a video format. 
  • If you use a wav file, the decoder is currently tuned for  stereo 16-bit audio sampled at 192khtz.

Source code and documentation is at:


T.Ishimuni said...

Magical. The finest retro-tech.
1987 would be proud ;-)

Onnie Koski said...

could you hook a digital audio recorder directly to a pxl-2000?

Kevin Seifert said...

If you record from the rca video output it would be ntsc signal.

OTOH, if you wanted to record the native pxl signal to an external recorder, I think it might need to pull the signal off the play/record head. There used to to be cassette adapters but I'm not sure they'll work work with the high frequencies used by the pxl.

polycube said...

OMG. I am so happy to live in a future where people do this... and I was looking for this exact tool for a couple of PXL cassettes I discovered in my stuff. So. Ok. Here goes.