Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Turning Conventional Video Coding Wisdom On Its Head

Date:
May 22, 2008
Source:
ICT Results
Summary:
A major drawback of the latest generation video products and applications has been the complex requirements for coding and decoding signals. An alternative put forward by European researchers turns the traditional video coding paradigm on its head.

A major drawback of the latest generation video products and applications has been the complex requirements for coding and decoding signals.

An alternative put forward by European researchers turns the traditional video coding paradigm on its head.

Since digital television services began, there has been an accepted way of encoding and decoding video signals. The encoding process is more complex, and requires a great deal more processing power compared to the decoding process.

A television station transmits its signal from a single location, and highly complex equipment encodes the video content for transmission. At the receiving end are large numbers of viewers with simple aerials and television sets allowing them to decode and watch the broadcast.

Any other way of encoding and decoding would be less practical because the viewers would not be able to afford the expensive equipment needed to decode the signal if the complexity were built into the receiving end.

Video services, such as video on demand and streaming, have followed this paradigm of complex encoders operating with simple decoders. With the switch from analogue to digital broadcasting, new standards and video coding technologies have emerged, but again, these follow the same basic principal.

Something happened in 1970 that set the scene for a rethink. US researchers posited a new mathematical theory requiring a total overhaul of codecs – the device or programs that perform encoding and decoding on a digital data stream or signal.

For years, little was done about these predictions, until around the new millennium when a raft of new video devices started appearing in research laboratories and even on the market. Because they had less memory and battery capacity, these real-life applications, such as wireless video cameras, needed simple encoders and complex decoders.

Entering the picture

Since the year 2000, researchers around the world have been looking into this ‘reversal’, and trying to develop new codecs under the banner of Distributed Video Coding (DVC).

But it was only in 2004 that the first serious DVC research project in Europe, called Discover, was set up by six European universities to look at the problem from a European perspective.

“Getting applications to work was not the problem,” says project coordinator Luis Torres. “For example I can already use my mobile phone for videoconferencing, but the complexity of equipment for encoding to the same quality as a conventional digital television picture was the challenge.”

Despite entering the picture later than the Americans, Discover’s scientists looked at what was state of the art and set about improving on it. Within a few months, they had developed a new codec, a sophisticated software algorithm, which Torres says was already “very competitive” with those developed in the USA.

Improvements were made to the software during the two-year project, and it has been made available on the project website free of charge to the recording community and other interested parties.

Quickly seizing the lead

During the EU-funded project, the partners delved into the performance of DVC theory, and produced a series of technical documents detailing the latest advances and a publicly available benchmark for the international research community to evaluate.

By the end of 2007, Discover was able to exhibit the best rate distortion performance – a measure comparing compression rate with quality – of any DVC codec in the world.

Torres is at pains to point out this advantage still does not make the codex very competitive when compared to the compression performance of current video standards. There is a long way to go before picture quality will be anything like that of television. But the groundwork has been laid for other researchers to develop the codec for commercial use.

“I am quite sure, in the future, new projects will see DVC quality catch up with current mainstream broadcast technology and become indistinguishable from it,” he says.

When this does happen, there are large numbers of existing and planned applications that could benefit from such an advance. The applications are available, but are far from properly optimised.

“With our new techniques, they could become optimal,” Torres says.

These applications include wireless video transmission and wireless surveillance networks providing a high-quality video feed in real time. Medical applications, including tiny cameras transmitting video from inside patients, are also envisaged.

Also in the works is a new multi-view image acquisition standard involving the creation of a 3D effect using several unlinked cameras videoing the same scene from different angles and positions.

Although such advances are still only future concepts, Discover has brought them a lot closer to reality.

Discover received funding from the EU's Sixth Framework Programme for research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by ICT Results. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

ICT Results. "Turning Conventional Video Coding Wisdom On Its Head." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 May 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080520214357.htm>.
ICT Results. (2008, May 22). Turning Conventional Video Coding Wisdom On Its Head. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080520214357.htm
ICT Results. "Turning Conventional Video Coding Wisdom On Its Head." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080520214357.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) German researchers have used a fake fingerprint made from glue to bypass the fingerprint security system on Samsung's new Galaxy S5 smartphone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Twitter, Apple Social Data Purchases Likely to Spur More Mergers and Acquisitions

Twitter, Apple Social Data Purchases Likely to Spur More Mergers and Acquisitions

TheStreet (Apr. 16, 2014) The social media data space is likely to see more mergers and acquisitions following Twitter Inc.'s acquisition of tweet analyzer Gnip Inc. on Tuesday and Apples Inc.'s purchase of Topsy Labs Inc. back in December. One firm in particular, the U.K.'s DataSift Inc., could be on the list of potential buyers. Among other social media startups that could be ripe for picking is Banjo, whose mobile app provides aggregated content by topic and location. Banjo could also be a good fit for Twitter. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bitcoin Exchange Mt. Gox to Liquidate After Rebuilding Rejected

Bitcoin Exchange Mt. Gox to Liquidate After Rebuilding Rejected

TheStreet (Apr. 16, 2014) Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox has agreed to liquidate after a Japanese court rejected its plans to rebuild, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. Mt. Gox filed for bankruptcy protection in February after announcing about 850,000 bitcoins, worth around $454 million at today's rates, may have been stolen by hackers. It has since recovered 200,000 of the missing bitcoins. The court put Mt. Gox's assets under a provisional administrator's control until bankruptcy proceedings begin. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
BlackBerry: The Crash That Launched 1,000 Startups

BlackBerry: The Crash That Launched 1,000 Startups

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 16, 2014) Tech startups in BlackBerry's hometown of Waterloo, Ontario, are tapping talent from the struggling smartphone company and filling the void left in the region by its meltdown. Reuters correspondent Euan Rocha visits the region that could become Canada's Silicon Valley. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins