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: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Previous evidence of water on mars now identified as grainflows

21.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope completes final cryogenic testing

21.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New catalyst controls activation of a carbon-hydrogen bond

21.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>