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Transport issues of real-time MPEG-2 video streams over IP network Cai, Liang Norton

Abstract

Networked Multimedia is the point at which computer, telecommunication and entertainment industries converge. With the deployment of gigabit and terabit routers in fast data networks and the increasing performance of personal computers, there is growing interest in providing network users with networked multimedia services. Digital video and audio services will more often be delivered over intranets, the Internet and other IP-related technologies. In contrast to research in the transport of MPEG-2 video over ATM, our project investigates the effects of network impairments at the IP layer. We have developed a real routed IP testbed network with a Continuous Media File Server, IP network performance measurement program, MPEG-2 video implementation and quality measurement program. One of the objectives of the project is to investigate the effects of network impairments, specifically IP packet loss and jitter under moderately to heavily loaded network conditions, on MPEG-2 video reconstruction. We studied MPEG-2 video stream transport errors, error propagation, error sources and the severity of the error effects on video quality. In consideration of the transport requirements of real-time MPEG-2 video, we examined network impairments and related them to our classification of MPEG-2 errors. Based on the IP network performance metrics derived from the stressed testbed network and the video quality obtained from the transported MPEG-2 streams, we examined quantitatively the empirical relationships between IP network performance and MPEG-2 video quality. We observed the behavior that digital video presented when transported in a lossy and bursty IP network. By quantifying the effects of IP packet loss on MPEG-2 video quality, our study resulted in four outcomes: • Established the experimental system and collected quantitative data sets to investigate the empirical relationships between MPEG-2 video quality and IP packet loss. • When MPEG-2 video is transported in IP packets, slice loss rather than picture loss is the dominant factor contributing to video artifacts within the range of fair quality video. • Spatial and temporal masking effects tend to reduce the visibility of artifacts introduced by packet losses. Low motion / low spatial activity MPEG--2 video clips are more susceptible to IP packet loss impairment than are high motion / high spatial activity clips. • PSNR, as a numerical comparison method, was found to linearly correlate with packet loss in the high, medium, and low activity test streams. The outcomes of the project provide useful information for variety of potential applications. For example, the quantitative and statistical results and their implications are very important in designing an effective and efficient Forward Error Correction.

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