Video Distribution Systems: MPEG-4

Introduction

Following technological advances, the utilization of the internet to transmit data and graphics to different parts of the world has been on the rise especially in areas where institutions and individuals can access fast internet. This is applied in areas such as common information transfer, company training of staff and clients among other applications.

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The process of transmitting and encoding has been developed by Microsoft windows programmers to facilitate the transfer of data from point A to point B. In areas where users cannot access fast and reliable internet, streaming technology has been engineered to enable them also access large multimedia data or files with ease. Streaming technology transmits data as a constant stream and users can surf and view graphics before downloading the whole document. The goal of this preface is to comprehend the term MPEG-4 and explore available versions so far. Additionally, the subject of multicasting and why programming or encoding is done will be looked into also. At the end of the discussion, we will be able to understand multicasting, encoding and data transfer techniques and how they our lives.

MPEG-4 Definition and Features

The acrimony MPEG means Moving Picture Experts Group and belongs to a family of benchmarks designed for coding audio-visual data in a digitally compacted arrangement. As a result of very advanced compression systems used, MPEG audio-visual data are small in size but of superior quality as compared to other coding arrangements, and this is one of its unparalleled advantage (Koenen, 2002, p. 1). MPEG benchmark is a constituent of various parts and every component covers a particular feature of the entire design. For instance, MPEG-4 is one of the MPEG standards whose main purpose is multimedia coding benchmark. Just to mention few benefits of the MPEG-4 feature include: the user can program varied media information i.e. speech, video, and audio data. Being a sophisticated feature, we have enhanced coding competence therefore the system is fault resilience and this facilitates robust broadcasting. Another advantage is that the user can intermingle with the audio-visual sight produced at the receiver.

However, the MPEG-4 aspect works hand in hand with MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 features so that 3-dimension reproduction of images and subsequent orientation is possible. Based on the above features and advantages of MPEG-4, it has been successful in digital television transmission, interactive multimedia (in the distribution of World Wide Web pictures), and interactive graphics functions. Other features of MPEG include MP3 and video standards referred to as MPEG-1, DVD, and Digital Television boxes support called MPEG-2 and MPEG-7 which are a benchmark for searching and portraying visual and audio content.

Multicasting

Data can be transferred either as unicast or multicast. For multicast transmission, servers are used to transfer data using different links of network connections to set destinations concurrently only once while using the most proficient scheme to the message. On the other hand, unicast servers offer data streams to only one user at any given time while utilizing two-way network connections to complete the task (Day, 2004, p. 2). Tuning into a given radio station where the server remits a single stream for every multicast station and therefore whether if a single or thousands of listeners are tuned in, no additional weight is experienced by the multicast server. This is a typical case of multicast transmission.

This is to say that IP Multicast is the same as multicast. Information is broadcasted out there with no consideration as to how many and who are to be the recipients of the data. Multicast exploits systems infrastructure resourcefully by remitting packet data once from the source, irrespective of how many receivers are out there. If the need arises to send to many receivers, nodes found in the network reproduce packet data to serve receivers (Day, 2004, p. 3). We also have Internet Relay Chat (IRC) and Explicit Multi-Unicast (XCAST) as an alternative multicast scheme. In Australia, Optus Multicast is another multicast infrastructure widely used where you can relay your packet data or high-quality video using personal digital satellite service (Optus Incorporation, 2005, p. 1)

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Encoding

It is a course of action where data is converted into a different format to facilitate the transmission of this data via the internet or any other network system available. This conversion is very crucial since it enables the user to sample media files as it comes in or even before or while downloading the whole document. The excellence of media files witnessed on the internet corresponds directly to the excellence of the encoding that was used in converting media files to user-friendly format (Optus Incorporation, 2005, p. 2). Before converting files, there are several factors to put in mind. First, the expected number of receivers and frequency and this case files are compressed in different file formats so that most users will be in a position to view. Secondly, converting files into widely used and most effective video formats namely QuickTime, Window Media, Macromedia, and Real Video. The third is whether the content is high or minimum motion video since this affects the quality of the picture. Finally, the rate of bit is very important as this determines stream optimization depending on connection speed. It must be in one that gives an optimized stream.

Works Cited

Day Jonathan. “Introduction to Multicasting.”freshmeat.net, 2004. Web.

Koenen Rob. “International Organisation for Standardisation:Moving Pictures and Audio” Chiariglione.org, 2002. Web.

Optus Incorporation. “Optus Multicast.” optusbusiness.au, 2005. Web.

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