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The complete guide to planning and deploying networked multimedia.
Multimedia Communications is an indispensable resource for anyone who needs to make networked multimedia work in products, in business LANs or WANs, or across the Internet. It covers everything that engineers and network professionals need to know to plan for and manage multimedia traffic.
Start with a detailed understanding of the unique technical and performance requirements that surround networked multimedia, including throughput, error rates, delay, latency, and quality of service issues. Then, take a close look at the technologies and methodologies now available to maximize the performance of networked multimedia applications.
Compare compression technologies from the original MPEG-1 to the new MPEG-4 and discover new wavelet and fractal techniques that can dramatically improve compression rates. Understand the subnetworking issues that arise in networked multimedia and how to evolve your network to support these new applications. Compare your ATM options, including Classical IP-over-ATM, IP Multicasting, LAN Emulation, and native multimedia over ATM.
Multimedia Communications also includes expert coverage into new network and transport layer protocols for multimedia, including Multicast IP, IPv6, RSVP, ST2, the Tenet protocols, and RTP. It provides up-to-the-minute guidance for building reliable, end-to-end multicast networks, including choosing the right protocols and planning for scalability and efficiency.
Finally, you'll review the unique needs of each important networked multimedia application, including Internet MBone multicasting and video servers, push technology, videoconferencing, distributed audio, shared whiteboards, multi-party gaming, and more.
Multimedia applications stress networks as they've never been stressed before. If you're faced with planning or implementing these applications, Multimedia Communications is your single source for the straight answers and technical insight you need.
Who Should Read This Book.
What This Book Covers.
What This Book Does Not Cover.
How the Book Came To Be.
1. Introduction to Multimedia.
The Internet and Multimedia Communications. Continuous and Discrete Media. Digital Signals. Still Images. Text and Graphics. Moving Graphics and Images. Encoding and Decoding. Bandwidth vs. Compression. Project TeleTeaching. References.
Distributed Multimedia Applications. Peer-to-Peer and Multipeer Communications. Network Performance Parameters for Multimedia. Characteristics of Multimedia Traffic Sources. Factors That Affect Network Performance. Multimedia Traffic Requirements for Networks. Quality of Service. References.
Introduction to Compression Methods. Basic Coding Methods. Video Compression. Audio Compression. More Information about Compression Methods. References.
Networking Requirements of Multimedia Applications. Networking Technologies. Networking Infrastructure Evolution. Summary. References.
Principles and Algorithms of Traditional Protocols. Problems with Traditional Protocols. A New Generation of Protocols for Multimedia. Media Filtering, Media Scaling, and Adaptive Applications. Summary. References.
Defining End-to-End Reliability. A Taxonomy of Reliable Multicast Protocols. Maximum Throughput of Reliable Protocols. Protocol Implementations. Scaling and Efficiency Issues. Summary. Acknowledgments. References.
Introduction. Application-Level Framing. Audio/Video Conferencing. Video Servers. Applications Requiring Reliable Multicast. Multimedia Applications in the World Wide Web. Interactive Multiplayer Games. Summary. References.
At the dawn of a new millennium, an information revolution is taking place that involves the convergence of communications with computers. The Internet is a first manifestation of that revolution. Soon to come are technologies that will integrate commerce, education, entertainment, and telecommunications. New consumer products are emerging that will combine the functions of the telephone, the personal computer, and television. Radically innovative telecommunications systems are being developed that will enable the free flow of multiple media—voice, data, image, video information—between these new personal information terminals. These new telecommunications systems involve combinations of the switched public telephone network, broadcast and cable-TV (CATV) nets, as well as wide- and local area data networks. In this telecommunications-driven information revolution, the major technology enabler is multimedia.
Who Should Read This Book
The book is a professional reference for electrical engineers and computer scientists. It is also intended as a classroom resource for advanced undergraduate and graduate courses in telecommunications and in computer science.
What This Book Covers
This book presents the basic technical concepts of multimedia technology and the communications principles underlying multimedia networking. It covers the systems aspects of computer communications, centering on the network protocols needed to make multimedia communications practicable. The coverage extends from the lowest (physical) layer protocols to the highest (application) layer. We also emphasize communications requirements for multimedia, with particular stress on what these requirements imply for the design of network protocols.
In addition to coverage on protocols, we include a comprehensive chapter on the network technology underpinnings that pertain to multimedia communications, including the very important Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) technology. Again, systems issues are emphasized, rather than the hardware and software bases of these technologies.
Finally, we examine important applications of multimedia communication and address new systems approaches needed to render these communications as efficient and inexpensive as possible. Thus, the kinds of applications presented in this book involve both multimedia and communications.
What This Book Does Not Cover
Not covered here are applications involving the representation of multimedia information, such as multimedia authoring and the design of multimedia databases, because they do not necessarily involve communications aspects.
Among other topics not presented in this volume are baseline computer networking principles, such as TCP/IP, routing, and local area networking. It is assumed that the reader has a basic background in computer networking and knows how to use the Internet and browse the World Wide Web.
How the Book Came To Be
The idea for this book resulted from a series of discussions in Mannheim, Germany between two of the editors—Franklin Kuo and Wolfgang Effelsberg. Kuo spent the academic year 1995-96 as a visiting professor at the University of Mannheim and was supported by an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Research Award. His host was Professor Effelsberg, chair of Praktische Informatik IV (Computer Science) at Uni Mannheim. Kuo was very impressed by the high degree of technological sophistication in multimedia communications that was exhibited not only at the Mannheim center but at other research institutes in Germany, including the IBM European Networking Center in Heidelberg (about 20 kilometers from Mannheim). Kuo and Effelsberg decided to edit a book on multimedia communications, focusing on the expertise and technical insights of European computer scientists working in the field. Since multimedia is an international technology, a third editor, from the United States, joined the team—J. J. Garcia-Luna-Aceves of the University of California, Santa Cruz. Garcia-Luna-Aceves's expertise on internetworking and reliable multicasting was necessary to make the coverage more complete and up-to-date.
The editors would like to express their gratitude to the authors of the chapters. Their spirit of cooperation and willingness to work hard to meet deadlines is greatly appreciated. Special thanks go to Wieland Holfelder at the University of Mannheim who has done an outstanding job as the principal technical editor of this book. Brian Levine of UCSC, one of the authors, provided special assistance to Kuo and Garcia-Luna-Aceves and deserves our special gratitude. We would also like to thank Mary Franz, Executive Editor at Prentice Hall, Professional Technical Reference, for her advice, help, and most of all, her patience. Finally, we wish to acknowledge the generous support of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, of Bonn, Germany, which provided the Research Award to Kuo that made the development of this book possible.
Franklin Kuo, Wolfgang Effelsberg, J. J. Garcia-Luna-Aceves June 1997