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

nachricht Tile Based DASH Streaming for Virtual Reality with HEVC from Fraunhofer HHI
03.01.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Nachrichtentechnik Heinrich-Hertz-Institut

All articles from Communications Media >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Microhotplates for a smart gas sensor

22.02.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Scientists unlock ability to generate new sensory hair cells

22.02.2017 | Life Sciences

Prediction: More gas-giants will be found orbiting Sun-like stars

22.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>