Efficient delivery of scalable video using a streaming class model

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Quinlan, Jason J.
Zahran, Ahmed H.
Sreenan, Cormac J.
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When we couple the rise in video streaming with the growing number of portable devices (smart phones, tablets, laptops) we see an ever-increasing demand for high-definition video online while on the move. Wireless networks are inherently characterised by restricted shared bandwidth and relatively high error loss rates, thus presenting a challenge for the efficient delivery of high quality video. Additionally, mobile devices can support/demand a range of video resolutions and qualities. This demand for mobile streaming highlights the need for adaptive video streaming schemes that can adjust to available bandwidth and heterogeneity, and can provide a graceful changes in video quality, all while respecting viewing satisfaction. In this context the use of well-known scalable/layered media streaming techniques, commonly known as scalable video coding (SVC), is an attractive solution. SVC encodes a number of video quality levels within a single media stream. This has been shown to be an especially effective and efficient solution, but it fares badly in the presence of datagram losses. While multiple description coding (MDC) can reduce the effects of packet loss on scalable video delivery, the increased delivery cost is counter productive for constrained networks. This situation is accentuated in cases where only the lower quality level is required. In this paper, we assess these issues and propose a new approach called Streaming Classes (SC) through which we can define a key set of quality levels, each of which can be delivered in a self-contained manner. This facilitates efficient delivery, yielding reduced transmission byte-cost for devices requiring lower quality, relative to MDC and ALD (42% and 76% respective reduction for layer 2), while also maintaining high levels of consistent quality. We also illustrate how selective packetisation technique can further reduce the effects of packet loss on viewable quality by leveraging the increase in the number of frames per group of pictures (GOP), while offering a means of reducing overall error correction and by providing equality of data in every packet transmitted per GOP.
Scalable video , Lossy networks , Layered coding , Error resilience , Layer distribution , Rateless coding , Streaming classes
Quinlan, J., Zahran, A. and Sreenan, C. (2018) 'Efficient Delivery of Scalable Video Using a Streaming Class Model', Information, 9(3), 59 (56pp). doi: 10.3390/info9030059