A scalable multimedia streaming scheme with CBR‐transmission of VBR‐encoded videos over the internet

Md. H. Kabir (Department of Computer Science, University of Victoria, Victoria BC, Canada)
Gholamali C. Shoja (Department of Computer Science, University of Victoria, Victoria BC, Canada)
Eric G. Manning (Departments of Computer Science & ECE, University of Victoria, Victoria BC, Canada)

Interactive Technology and Smart Education

ISSN: 1741-5659

Publication date: 1 February 2006

Abstract

Streaming audio/video contents over the Internet requires large network bandwidth and timely delivery of media data. A streaming session is generally long and also needs a large I/O bandwidth at the streaming server. A streaming server, however, has limited network and I/O bandwidth. For this reason, a streaming server alone cannot scale a streaming service well. An entire audio/video media file often cannot be cached due to intellectual property right concerns of the content owners, security reasons, and also due to its large size. This makes a streaming service hard to scale using conventional proxy servers. Media file compression using variable‐bit‐rate (VBR) encoding is necessary to get constant quality video playback although it produces traffic bursts. Traffic bursts either waste network bandwidth or cause hiccups in the playback. Large network latency and jitter also cause long start‐up delay and unwanted pauses in the playback, respectively. In this paper, we propose a proxy based constant‐bit‐rate (CBR)‐transmission scheme for VBR‐encoded videos and a scalable streaming scheme that uses a CBRtransmission scheme to stream stored videos over the Internet. Our CBR‐streaming scheme allows a server to transmit a VBRencoded video at a constant bit rate, close to its mean encoding bit rate, and deals with the network latency and jitter issues efficiently in order to provide quick and hiccup free playback without caching an entire media file. Our scalable streaming scheme also allows many clients to share a server stream. We use prefix buffers at the proxy to cache the prefixes of popular videos, to minimize the start‐up delay and to enable near mean bit rate streaming from the server as well as from the proxy. We use smoothing buffers at the proxy not only to eliminate jitter and traffic burst effects but also to enable many clients to share the same server stream. We present simulation results to demonstrate the effectiveness of our streaming scheme.

Keywords

Citation

Kabir, H., Shoja, G. and Manning, E. (2006), "A scalable multimedia streaming scheme with CBR‐transmission of VBR‐encoded videos over the internet", Interactive Technology and Smart Education, Vol. 3 No. 1, pp. 45-57. https://doi.org/10.1108/17415650680000052

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Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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