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: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers shoot for success with simulations of laser pulse-material interactions

29.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Igniting a solar flare in the corona with lower-atmosphere kindling

29.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

As sea level rises, much of Honolulu and Waikiki vulnerable to groundwater inundation

29.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>