Reexamining The Design of Next Generation Video Streams (2016)

By Yasser Syed, PhD, Comcast Cable

The popularity of on-demand viewing means that content is being stored and retrieved more than ever before. Oftentimes, it is video playout on handheld devices, and resultant battery drain, that impacts performance more so than any lack of bandwidth. Similarly Content Delivery Networks/CDNs can impair viewing because too many copies of video packets are being stored. Yet for certain live events, the audience is larger than ever before.

Video streams traditionally have been designed for compression efficiency and with a specific focus on linear systems. This has affected codec selection, transmitted resolution, GOP length, random access, conditional access and hardware. Such linear-related restrictions have done a good job at balancing good linear video experience with good content delivery. But while traditional video streams may be suitable for linear systems, they may actually cause scaling issues for newer approaches that deliver IP video content over CDNs, mobile networks, mesh systems, and other unmanaged infrastructures.

This paper examines how video codec design could be optimized for the rising gamut of IP delivery mechanisms, and how a re-examined codec could impact the design of next generation video streams using IP delivery.

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