Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Faster video streaming in a mobile era

Date:
February 5, 2013
Source:
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Summary:
In the smartphones and tablet era, more and more users are watching videos on the move -- with a resulting strain on mobile networks. The combination of the HEVC video compression standard with LTE brings networks welcome relief.

Combined with LTE functionalities HEVC enables faster video streaming.
Credit: © Fraunhofer HHI

In the smartphones and tablet era, more and more users are watching videos on the move – with a resulting strain on mobile networks. The combination of the HEVC video compression standard with LTE brings networks welcome relief.

Whether on a long train journey, sitting in a café or lounging at home on the sofa, smartphones and tablet computers allow us to watch videos anywhere and at any time. As convenient as this development is for users, it also throws up some problems. Because the downloaded video files are usually very large, they are increasingly putting too much strain on mobile phone networks. There is a reduction in image quality and videos take a long time to load. Sometimes users are even forced to take breaks while watching videos, because data cannot be downloaded fast enough.

New types of data transfer are needed if networks are going to be able to cope with this onslaught. And this is exactly what researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications, Heinrich Hertz Institute, HHI in Berlin are working on. “We are combining the new LTE mobile communication standard with the HEVC video compression standard, taking the best parts from both technologies,” says Dr. Thomas Schierl, group manager at the HHI. But what exactly lies behind these shiny new acronyms?

LTE mobile communication standard

Cell phone calls, websites, and videos are currently transmitted using the UMTS standard. However, LTE, which stands for long-term evolution, is now replacing UMTS. If for instance an iPhone is displaying a “3G” connection, this means it is using UMTS. In future, connections are set to become faster: then 4G or LTE – depending on the provider – will be displayed. Initially, LTE achieves speeds of 100 megabits a second. Future rollouts will see speeds rise all the way up to 300 megabits a second. By comparison, the maximum UMTS speed is 28 megabits a second. As a result, tablet computers using LTE can load content about three to four times faster. This is particularly interesting for rural areas, where the cells of networks are so large that data rates are often scarcely sufficient to download videos or other large files to mobile devices.

Not only do LTE networks transfer videos and other volumes of data faster, they also have shorter time lags. This is particularly important for video conferencing, where participants do not want to sit waiting for the response of their dialogue partner to be transmitted. “LTE allows resources to be distributed to users of mobile services in a very flexible manner,” says Thomas Wirth, group manager at the HHI. “In addition, new protocols carry information about the application being used, which makes it possible to further optimize transmission.”

To deliver videos to mobile devices at even greater speed, researchers are integrating LTE technology, which is fast in its own right, with the High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) video compression standard. Researchers at the HHI have developed important technologies for HEVC together with well-known electronics manufacturers.

The advantage of HEVC is that the standard requires only half the bandwidth for high-quality video transmission, which means it can serve twice the number of devices as the previous H.264/MPEG-4 AVC standard. But how does it manage this? “A lot of concepts have been taken over from H.264 and systematically improved,” says Schierl, group manager for multimedia communication at the HHI. “One example is block size: whereas H.264 breaks up the image to be transmitted into blocks with a maximum size of 16 x 16 pixels, HEVC has much greater flexibility as regards choosing the maximum block size – from 16 x 16 all the way up to 64 x 64 pixels. Larger blocks enable significantly greater coding efficiency, especially for videos in high definition (HD).” For instance, if an object within a video moves, this movement can be described. Video compression standards calculate motion information for each block. This information is typically transmitted once per block. On account of the significantly greater block size capacity and flexibility with HEVC compared to H.264, there is a corresponding decrease in the amount of motion data required.

“The combination of the two standards will transform user behavior,” says Schierl with conviction. “Today’s mobile Internet is faster than the typical DSL connection people have in their homes, which means a lot of users will choose to go online via LTE even when at home.” The researchers will be presenting their innovation, which should be operational in a few months’ time, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona from February 25 to 28 (Hall 7, Booth D60).


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. "Faster video streaming in a mobile era." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 February 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130205123511.htm>.
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. (2013, February 5). Faster video streaming in a mobile era. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130205123511.htm
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. "Faster video streaming in a mobile era." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130205123511.htm (accessed April 21, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Monday, April 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nintendo Changed Gaming World, but Its Future Uncertain: Upstone

Nintendo Changed Gaming World, but Its Future Uncertain: Upstone

AFP (Apr. 19, 2014) — The Nintendo Game Boy celebrates its 25th anniversary Monday and game expert Stephen Upstone says the console can be credited with creating a trend towards handheld gaming devices. Duration: 01:21 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Did Nike Fire Most Of Its Nike FuelBand Team?

Why Did Nike Fire Most Of Its Nike FuelBand Team?

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) — Nike fired most of its Digital Sport hardware team, the group behind Nike's FuelBand device. Could Apple or an overcrowded market be behind layoffs? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nearly Two Weeks On, The Internet Copes With Heartbleed

Nearly Two Weeks On, The Internet Copes With Heartbleed

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) — The Internet is taking important steps in patching the vulnerabilities Heartbleed highlighted, but those preventive measures carry their own costs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Facebook To Share Nearby Friends Data With Advertisers

Facebook To Share Nearby Friends Data With Advertisers

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) — A Facebook spokesperson has confirmed the company will use GPS data from the new Nearby Friends feature for advertising sometime in the future. Video provided by Newsy
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