Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Smoothing the e-media delivery chain

25.11.2005


Today incompatibility and standardisation barriers hamper the easy exchange of digital content between creators, providers and the public. One solution is to create a common open and shared delivery platform of the type recently developed by researchers.



If adopted, this platform could turn today’s proprietary technologies and services into commodities, benefiting everyone from the service provider to the end-user.

“The distribution of digital media and audiovisual content has recently seen many developments,” says Denis Mischler, a researcher at Thomson, which is leading the MediaNet consortium.


The result is a myriad of new online services over shared access and home networks, from interactive TV to multi-channel publishing. But fully deploying all these potential applications creates numerous challenges.

The partners concluded that today’s technologies for video coding and streaming are inadequate, notably the popular MPEG2 used in traditional broadcasting. “We need more efficient coding and technologies to handle multiple media formats – including the ability to stream high-definition TV to small devices such as PDAs,” says Mischler.

Shortcomings were also found in the areas of content security and copyright protection, seen as vital components in the e-media value chain.

“Future networks will convey a huge mass of content, but only if digital content owners feel their rights are adequately protected,” says Mischler.

Home networking also throws up a number of challenges. These include managing bandwidth and QoS (Quality of Service). For example, a network carrying a variety of services – such as films, TV programmes, games and music – will result in a mix of QoS requirements. Yet the end-user’s sole concern is to get reliable services without breaks.

Ideally, there should be a smooth exchange of digital content throughout the e-media chain. The project’s solution is to improve the interfaces between or within each of segment in this chain.

“At the top level is the reference architecture,” says Mischler. “We identified some key interfaces for different e-media stakeholders to work together and provide their services, without handling everything from service provisioning to the end-user,” he adds.

“Service providers can deploy services in an open environment. Network access providers can add value and generate extra business. And end-users benefit from this openness – they don’t need to buy everything from a single provider.”

There will be indirect and direct benefits, believes Mischler. First, by opening the value chain, this solution would offer end-users more choice and at lower cost. It would also let them access more service providers. Second, it would help the audiovisual sector – which today offers no guaranteed QoS – by completing technologies such as content compression. This would, for example, enable quality guarantees in analogue TV broadcasts for use on IP TV.

The partners assessed QoS in the home, where guaranteeing bandwidth is not under the service provider’s control. “With service providers, we implemented home-network capability protocols. These allow different devices to access the network, including personal computers and consumer devices,” adds Mischler.

Research work looked at areas such as QoS, architecture, compression and telephony. The most notable result came with H.264, a high-compression video standard which can encode video with three times fewer bits than current MPEG2 encoders used in TV broadcasting. MediaNet’s H.264 standard has been adopted by the Joint Video Team of the International Multimedia Telecommunications Consortium (IMTC), responsible for the MPEG4 Advanced Video Coding/H.264 specifications. This standard is being rolled out across Europe for digital video broadcasting and broadband Internet video-on-demand services.

MediaNet also contributed to develop audiovisual evolutions of standards for the next generation network derived from the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP). The mobile telephony services initiative has also approved the inclusion of AVC/H.264 as an optional feature in its latest mobile multimedia telephony services specifications.

To verify whether real applications could work over the project architecture, they demonstrated several ‘use cases’. Among them were integration of advance telephony services with TV over IP services, automation of content publishing for many devices –from a phone screen to a wide-screen TV, and content protection for a digital home network.

While there is no guarantee this open architecture will be taken up commercially, some of the partners are already exploiting various project results. In terms of compression, for example, Thomson plans to use H.264 and pursue its development in the IP world. Others may build on the project’s prototype security framework for end-to-end content distribution.

Tara Morris | alfa
Further information:
http://istresults.cordis.lu/

More articles from Communications Media:

nachricht New Technologies for A/V Analysis and Search
13.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Digitale Medientechnologie IDMT

nachricht On patrol in social networks
25.01.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO

All articles from Communications Media >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

Im Focus: Fast, convenient & standardized: New lab innovation for automated tissue engineering & drug

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Comet or asteroid? Hubble discovers that a unique object is a binary

21.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Cnidarians remotely control bacteria

21.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Monitoring the heart's mitochondria to predict cardiac arrest?

21.09.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>