Monday, January 12, 2015

MPEG news: a report from the 110th meeting, Strasbourg, France

This blog post is also available at SIGMM records.

The 110th MPEG meeting was held at the Strasbourg Convention and Conference Centre featuring the following highlights:

  • The future of video coding standardization
  • Workshop on media synchronization
  • Standards at FDIS: Green Metadata and CDVS
  • What's happening in MPEG-DASH?
Additional details about MPEG's 110th meeting can be also found here including the official press release and all publicly available documents.

The Future of Video Coding Standardization

MPEG110 hosted a panel discussion about the future of video coding standardization. The panel was organized jointly by MPEG and ITU-T SG 16's VCEG featuring Roger Bolton (Ericsson), Harald Alvestrand (Google), Zhong Luo (Huawei), Anne Aaron (Netflix), Stéphane Pateux (Orange), Paul Torres (Qualcomm), and JeongHoon Park (Samsung).

As expected, "maximizing compression efficiency remains a fundamental need" and as usual, MPEG will study "future application requirements, and the availability of technology developments to fulfill these requirements". Therefore, two Ad-hoc Groups (AhGs) have been established which are open to the public:
The presentations of the brainstorming session on the future of video coding standardization can be found here.

Workshop on Media Synchronization

MPEG101 also hosted a workshop on media synchronization for hybrid delivery (broadband-broadcast) featuring six presentations "to better understand the current state-of-the-art for media synchronization and identify further needs of the industry".
  • An overview of MPEG systems technologies providing advanced media synchronization, Youngkwon Lim, Samsung
  • Hybrid Broadcast - Overview of DVB TM-Companion Screens and Streams specification, Oskar van Deventer, TNO
  • Hybrid Broadcast-Broadband distribution for new video services :  a use cases perspective, Raoul Monnier, Thomson Video Networks
  • HEVC and Layered HEVC for UHD deployments, Ye Kui Wang, Qualcomm
  • A fingerprinting-based audio synchronization technology, Masayuki Nishiguchi, Sony Corporation
  • Media Orchestration from Capture to Consumption, Rob Koenen, TNO
The presentation material is available here. Additionally, MPEG established an AhG on timeline alignment (that's how the project is internally called) to study use cases and solicit contributions on gap analysis and also technical contributions [email][subscription].

Standards at FDIS: Green Metadata and CDVS

My first report on MPEG Compact Descriptors for Visual Search (CDVS) dates back to July 2011 which provides details about the call for proposals. Now, finally, the FDIS has been approved during the 110th MPEG meeting. CDVS defines a compact image description that facilitates the comparison and search of pictures that include similar content, e.g. when showing the same objects in different scenes from different viewpoints. The compression of key point descriptors not only increases compactness, but also significantly speeds up, when compared to a raw representation of the same underlying features, the search and classification of images within large image databases. Application of CDVS for real-time object identification, e.g. in computer vision and other applications, is envisaged as well.

Another standard reached FDIS status entitled Green Metadata (first reported in August 2012). This standard specifies the format of metadata that can be used to reduce energy consumption from the encoding, decoding, and presentation of media content, while simultaneously controlling or avoiding degradation in the Quality of Experience (QoE). Moreover, the metadata specified in this standard can facilitate a trade-off between energy consumption and QoE. MPEG is also working on amendments to the ubiquitous MPEG-2 TS ISO/IEC 13818-1 and ISOBMFF ISO/IEC 14496-12 so that green metadata can be delivered by these formats.

What's happening in MPEG-DASH?

MPEG-DASH is in a kind of maintenance mode but still receiving new proposals in the area of SAND parameters and some core experiments are going on. Also, the DASH-IF is working towards new interoperability points and test vectors in preparation of actual deployments. When speaking about deployments, they are happening, e.g., a 40h live stream right before Christmas (by bitmovin, a top-100 company that matters most in online video). Additionally, VideoNext was co-located with CoNEXT'14 targeting scientific presentations about the design, quality and deployment of adaptive video streaming. Webex recordings of the talks are available here. In terms of standardization, MPEG-DASH is progressing towards the 2nd amendment including spatial relationship description (SRD), generalized URL parameters and other extensions. In particular, SRD will enable new use cases which can be only addressed using MPEG-DASH and the FDIS is scheduled for the next meeting which will be in Geneva, Feb 16-20, 2015. I'll report on this within my next blog post, stay tuned..

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

ACM International Conference on Interactive Experiences for Television & Online Video

*** TVX 2015 ***
ACM International Conference on Interactive Experiences for Television & Online Video
3rd – 5th June 2015

Hosted by iMinds Digital Society Department at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Brussels, Belgium

Jointly organised with the International Symposium on Media Innovations (ISMI) and the Private Television Conference

  •  November 15, 2014: Course and Workshop proposals
  • January 12, 2015: Full and Short Paper submissions
  • March 2, 2015: WiP, TVX in Industry, Demo, Doctoral Consortium
TVX is the ACM International Conference on Interactive Experiences for Television and Online Video. TVX is the leading international conference for presentation and discussion of research into online video and TV interaction and user experience. The conference brings together international researchers and practitioners from a wide range of disciplines, ranging from human-computer interaction, multimedia engineering and design to media studies, media psychology and sociology. In addition to standard research paper presentations the conference includes a wide range of formats for presentation and discussion of research, including Industry Papers, Demos, Works-in-Progress, and also provides the opportunity to participate in the Doctoral Consortium and to run and attend courses and workshops on specialist topics in TV and online video interaction and user experience.

Topics of interest include (but are not limited to):
  • Content Production: traditional & novel content production for the new media landscape, including cross-platform services and interactive storytelling, and personalisation.
  • Systems & Infrastructures: system designs and architectures and their evaluation, including delivery, transmission, and synchronization of media.
  • Interaction Technologies & techniques: including gestural and multi-sensory, multi-display systems, and interaction for device ecosystems.
  • Experience Design & Evaluation: TV and online video design and evaluation research, including social and shared experiences.
  • Media Studies: including consumption practices and theoretical and practical ethical, regulatory, and policy issues.
  • Empirical Methods: novel methods for evaluating TV and online video experience, and audience measurement.
  • Data Science for TV & Online Video: advances in techniques for collaborative filtering, interactive/synchronous environments, collective intelligence and crowd-sourcing, and location-based and context-aware applications and services.
  • Business Models & Marketing: research and practice around novel business models and marketing strategies for the new media landscape of television and online video. Studies around novel ways of advertisement models and strategies.
  • Innovation & Visions of Future TV & Online Video: research on innovative design strategies, new concepts, and prototype experiences for television and online video, including case studies and media artworks and performances.

Contributions must describe unpublished original work, emphasizing completed or advanced research, and a parallel submission to other venues should be clearly indicated to the program committee. Research paper submissions are double-blind and will be reviewed by at least three program committee members.

For detailed submission guidelines, including the use of the ACM SIGCHI PCS submission system see:


Along the inclusion and accessibility strategy at TVX2015, we also provide a mentoring opportunity. During the TVX submission process, we can provide the opportunity to bring the experience of established researchers to new researchers. In the mentorship program we get you in contact with a specific member of the community who will provide feedback and support for your submission.

Please find more information on how to ask for mentoring, becoming a mentor, and our existing mentors:


For up-to-date information and further details visit:

For questions, please contact us on:



David Geerts, iMinds / KU Leuven, Belgium

Lieven De Marez, iMinds / UGent, Belgium

Caroline Pauwels, iMinds / VUB, Belgium


Frank Bentley, Yahoo Labs, USA

Christian Timmerer, Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt, Austria


Hokyoung Blake Ryu, Hanyang University, South Korea

Jeroen Vanattenhoven, iMinds / KU Leuven, Belgium


Rene Kaiser, Joanneum Research, Austria

Noor Ali-Hasan, Google, USA


Pedro Almeida, University of Aveiro, Portugal

Santosh Basapur, Illinois Institute of Technology, USA


Marian Ursu, University of York, UK

Teresa Chambel, University of Lisbon, Portugal


Katia Aerts, Mike Matton, VRT, Belgium


Tom Bartindale, Culture Lab, Newcastle University, UK

Rinze Leenheer, iMinds / KU Leuven, Belgium


Reuben Kirkham, Culture Lab, Newcastle University, UK

Tom Evens, iMinds / UGent, Belgium


Jonathan Huyghe, iMinds / KU Leuven, Belgium

Sunday, October 19, 2014

A bit of MPEG-DASH or the story behind bitdash!

Back in time, some years ago, it was around 2008 (or so), some people within MPEG were wondering whether it is worth looking beyond the MPEG-2 Transport Stream or new means for the delivery of media content encoded with MPEG codecs, specifically in the context of new codecs and use cases (e.g., ultra-high definition). There was even the saying like "hey, MPEG-2 is quite old, we need something new" and some of you probably know, "new is always better" ;)

In any case, MPEG started - like they ever did if something new pops up and there's a critical mass of supporters - an exploration phase resulting in - if there's enough evidence and interest (there was enough of both) - drafting use cases, context/objectives, and, finally, requirements followed by a call for proposals. In July 2010 I've chaired the evaluation of the responses to the call for proposals on HTTP Streaming of MPEG Media and two years later, the first edition of MPEG Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP (DASH) was published as ISO/IEC 23009-1. Another two years later,  the second edition was published in 2014 and now MPEG is working on further extensions, possibly leading to a third edition sooner or later.

Soon after the evaluation of the responses to the call for proposals, first open source implementations became available and became a major portal for tools and datasets around MPEG-DASH. After setting up this Web site we thought about the next step and this was founding a company called bitmovin which provides online streaming solutions (OTT), enabling highest-quality media experience for the end user.

Early October 2014 we launched the official product Web site for our MPEG-DASH player bitdash. bitdash enables MPEG-DASH playback on any Web browser including mobile platforms using either HTML5 or Flash, depending on the browser and its version. bitdash pays high attention to stability and performance, featuring fast startup, best adaption algorithms and, thus, highest media quality of experience to the end user.

Feel free to download a free version on and give it a try!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Call for Poster/Demo: ACM VideoNext 2014

Call for Posters/Demo: ACM VideoNext 2014
02 December, Sydney Australia
In Conjunction with ACM CoNEXT 2014

VideoNext 2014 is inviting submissions for a special poster and demo session that will foster lively, informal, and in-depth discussions on emerging topics in video streaming and multimedia communications. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
  • Media streaming, distribution, and storage
  • Cloud-assisted video streaming including encoding, transcoding, and adaptation
  • Energy efficient multimedia streaming
  • Peer-to-peer and cooperative video streaming
  • Multimedia communications and system security
  • Networked games and real-time immersive systems
  • Web 2.0 systems and social networks
  • Streaming next generation video like multi-view, panorama and 3D
  • Wireless networks and embedded systems for multimedia applications
  • Compressive sensing for efficient video capture, processing, and streaming

What and How to Submit

VideoNext posters and demos will be selected on the basis of two-page PDF abstracts, with fonts no smaller than 10 point, using the same format as for regular papers.  Abstracts must be submitted using the submission system linked from the call for poster/demo site:

Posters will be reviewed and selected on the following basis:
  • Submissions must describe new, interesting work, not previously presented. Posters may be accompanied by demos (subject to limited space). Preference will be given toward posters accompanied by demos.
  • Student submissions meeting the above criteria will be given preference; however, non-students may also submit abstracts.
Please provide the following information in your PDF file in addition to presenting your research:
  • Poster title
  • Author names, affiliations and email addresses
  • Mark which authors, if any, are students
  • Indicate if you plan to set up a demo with your poster. If so, the submission must include the requirements for the demo setup and presentation. Note that the authors will be responsible to bring and set up any equipment they will need.

All submissions will be reviewed by the TPC of VideoNext 2014.

Accepted posters will be published online on the workshop Web site. At least one author should register and present the poster throughout the entire session. Authors of the best posters will be given award certificates and three minutes each to present their work before the poster session.

Important Dates
  • Submission: 17 October 2014
  • Notifications: 24 October 2014

Monday, August 18, 2014

Over-the-Top Content Delivery: State of the Art and Challenges Ahead

Tutorial at ACM Multimedia 2014
November 3-7, 2014
Orlando, Florida, USA

Abstract: In this tutorial we present state of the art and challenges ahead in over-the-top content delivery. It particular, the goal of this tutorial is to provide an overview of adaptive media delivery, specifically in the context of HTTP adaptive streaming (HAS) including the recently ratified MPEG-DASH standard. The main focus of the tutorial will be on the common problems in HAS deployments such as client design, QoE optimization, multi-screen and hybrid delivery scenarios, and synchronization issues. For each problem, we will examine proposed solutions along with their pros and cons. In the last part of the tutorial, we will look into the open issues and review the work-in-progress and future research directions.


Biography of Presenters
Christian Timmerer is an Associate Professor at the Institute of Information Technology (ITEC), Multimedia Communication Group (MMC), Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt, Austria. His research interests include immersive multimedia communication, streaming, adaptation, and Quality of Experience (QoE). He was the general chair of QoMEX’13, WIAMIS’08, AVSTP2P’10 (co-located with ACMMM’10), WoMAN’11 (co-located with ICME’11), and TPC co-chair of QoMEX’12. He has participated in several EC-funded projects, notably DANAE, ENTHRONE, P2P-Next, ALICANTE, SocialSensor, and ICoSOLE. He is an Associate Editor for IEEE Computer Science Computing Now, Area Editor for Elsevier Signal Processing: Image Communication, Review Board Member of IEEE MMTC, editor of ACM SIGMM Records, and member of ACM SIGMM Open Source Software Committee. He also participated in ISO/MPEG work for several years, notably in the area of MPEG-21, MPEG-M, MPEG-V, and DASH (incl. DASH Industry Forum). He received his PhD in 2006 from the Klagenfurt University. Follow him on and subscribe to his blog

Ali C. Begen is with the Video and Content Platforms Research and Advanced Development Group at Cisco. His interests include networked entertainment, Internet multimedia, transport protocols and content delivery. Ali is currently working on architectures and protocols for next-generation video transport and distribution over IP networks. He is an active contributor in the IETF and MPEG, and has given a number of keynotes, tutorials and guest lectures in these areas. Ali holds a Ph.D. degree in electrical and computer engineering from Georgia Tech. He received the Best Student-paper Award at IEEE ICIP 2003, the Most-cited Paper Award from Elsevier Signal Processing: Image Communication in 2008, and the Best-paper Award at Packet Video Workshop 2012. Ali has been an editor for the Consumer Communications and Networking series in the IEEE Communications Magazine since 2011 and an associate editor for the IEEE Transactions on Multimedia since 2013. He served as a general co-chair for ACM Multimedia Systems 2011 and Packet Video Workshop 2013. He is a senior member of the IEEE and a senior member of the ACM. Further information on Ali’s projects, publications, presentations and professional activities can be found at

Monday, July 7, 2014

bitmovin White Papers on bitcodin and bitdash for MPEG-DASH

bitmovin recently release two white papers related to MPEG-DASH describing two major components of any DASH-based ecosystem. The first white paper is related to preparing content compliant to MPEG-DASH utilizing cloud infrastructure and is referred to bitcodin™ (PDF) offering transcoding & streaming as a service (T&SaaS). As such it provides benefits across multiple dimensions:

  • Remove capacity bottlenecks in the streaming media workflows. 
  • Flexibility to scale resources and associated operational costs with the demand. 
  • Right-size encoding and streaming infrastructure. 
  • Eliminate the necessity for capital investments in dedicated encoding systems. 
  • Full flexibility to choose quality and speed of encoding. 
  • Reduce reliance on specific technical encoding/streaming expertise. 

The second white paper is about the client adaptation framework which is essential for every playback device. Therefore, bitdash™ (PDF) is a suite of highly optimized MPEG-DASH clients for the broadest range of platforms and devices, delivering the best streaming performance and user experience, in particular in adverse (mobile) network conditions.

bitdash™ is the result of continued R&D investments and incorporates patent pending technology  resulting in MPEG-DASH compliant client solutions that deliver up to 101% higher effective  media throughput as well as significantly higher Quality of Experience (QoE) compared to existing adaptive bitrate streaming technologies and clients.

Further information can be found at

Thursday, June 26, 2014

VideoNext: Design, Quality and Deployment of Adaptive Video Streaming

The workshop co-located with CoNEXT 2014
December 2, 2014
Sydney, Australia

Submission deadline changed: August 29, 2014 (no further extensions)

Call for Papers

As we continue to develop our ability to generate, process, and display video at increasingly higher quality, we confront the challenge of streaming the same video to the end user. Device heterogeneity in terms of size and processing capabilities combined with the lack of timing guarantees of packet switching networks is forcing the industry to adopt streaming solutions capable of dynamically adapting the video quality in response to resource variability in the end-to-end transport chain. For example, many vendors and providers are already trialing their own proprietary adaptive video streaming platforms while MPEG has recently ratified a standard, called Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP (DASH), to facilitate widespread deployment of such technology. However, how to best adapt the video to ensure highest user quality of experience while consuming the minimum network resources poses many fundamental challenges, which is attracting the attention of researchers from both academia and industry. The goal of this workshop is to bring together researchers and developers working on all aspects of adaptive video streaming with special emphasis on innovative concepts backed up by experimental evidence.

Specific areas of interest include, but are not limited to:
  • New metrics for measuring user quality of experience (QoE) for adaptive video streaming
  • Solutions for improving streaming QoE for high-speed user mobility
  • Analysis, modelling, and experimentation of DASH
  • Exploitation of user contexts for improving efficiency of adaptive streaming
  • Big data analytics to assess viewer experience of adaptive video
  • Efficient and fair bandwidth sharing techniques for bottleneck links supporting multiple adaptive video streams
  • Network functions to assist and improve adaptive video streaming
  • Synchronization issues in adaptive video streaming (inter-media, inter-device/destination)
  • Methods for effective simulation or emulation of large scale adaptive video streaming platforms
  • Cloud-assisted adaptive video streaming including encoding, transcoding, and adaptation in general
  • Attack scenarios and solutions for adaptive video streaming
  • Energy-efficient adaptive streaming for resource-constraint mobile devices
  • Reproducible research in adaptive video streaming: datasets, evaluation methods, benchmarking, standardization efforts, open source tools
  • Novel use cases and applications in the area of adaptive video streaming

The workshop is considered an integral part of the CoNEXT 2014 conference. All workshop papers will be published in the same set of proceedings as the main conference, and available on the ACM Digital Library. Publication at this workshop is not intended to preclude later publication of an extended version of the paper. At least one author of each accepted papers is expected to present his/her paper at the workshop.

Instructions for Authors

A submission must be no greater than 6 pages in length including all figures, tables, references, appendices, etc., and must be a PDF file of less than 10MB. The review process is single-blind.

Follow the same formatting guidelines as the CoNEXT conference, except VideoNext has a 6 page limit and a 10MB file size limit. See the “Formatting Guidelines” section. Submissions that deviate from these guidelines will be rejected without consideration.

Then use the paper submission site to submit your paper by 8:59 pm Pacific Standard Time (PDT), August 29, 2014.
Important dates
  • Paper Submission: August 2229, 2014 20:59 PDT
  • Notification of Acceptance: September 30, 2014
  • Camera-ready Papers Due: October 24, 2014
  • Workshop: December 2, 2014

TPC co-chairs
  • Mahbub Hassan, University of New South Wales, Australia
  • Ali C. Begen, Cisco Canada
  • Christian Timmerer, Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt, Austria

Technical Program Committee
  • Alexander Raake, Deutsche Telecom Labs, Germany
  • Carsten Griwodz, University of Oslo/Simula, Sweden
  • Chao Chen, Qualcom, USA
  • Colin Perkins, University of Glasgow, Scotland
  • Constantine Dovrolis, Georgia Tech, USA
  • Grenville Armitage, Swinburne University of Technology, Australia
  • Imed Bouazizi, Samsung
  • Kuan-Ta Chen, Academia Sinica
  • Magda El Zarki, University of California Irvine, USA
  • Manzur Murshed, Federation University Australia, Australia
  • Pal Halvorsen, University of Oslo/Simula
  • Polychronis Koutsakis, Technical University of Crete, Greece
  • Roger Zimmerman, National University of Singapore, Singapore
  • Saverio Mascolo, University of Bari, Italy
  • Shervin Shirmohammadi ,University of Ottawa, Canada
  • Victor Leung, University of British Columbia, Canada