Thursday, October 13, 2016

MPEG-CMAF: Threat or Opportunity?

In February 2016 at the 114th MPEG meeting in San Diego, an input contribution was registered providing a proposal for a “common media format for segmented media” signed by a number of major companies. This document proposed a Media Application Format (MAF) based on the ISO Base Media File Format (ISOBMFF) and other MPEG standards for segmented media delivery which later became the MPEG Common Media Application Format (CMAF; officially MPEG-A Part 19 or ISO/IEC 23000-19).

In this blog post we will look closer into CMAF and how it actually relates to existing over-the-top (OTT) deployments.

The full version of the blog post is available here...

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

New Springer Journal “Quality and User Experience”

In 2016, the Springer journal “Quality and User Experience” was launched (Editors-in-Chief: S. Möller; M. Tscheligi). It presents research on the human experience and quality perception of digital media, telecommunication and Information Communications Technology (ICT) products and interactive services. It explores human-centered and technology-centered approaches and examines a range of perspectives on quality of experience. Coverage includes mobile and pervasive applications, augmented and virtual reality, gaming, video conferencing, telepresence, and video-on-demand. Tactics can be human centered (e.g., to characterize user perceptions) or technology centered (to guide product development). As a result of this research, technologies, products and systems can be evaluated and optimized to provide optimum experience; this optimization process is also targeted by the journal.

The journal promotes integration of knowledge by assembling a range of disciplinary perspectives on experience quality: quality of experience (QoE), user experience (UX), quality management, usability engineering, human-centered design, cognitive processes, subjective audio & video quality assessment, and human-computer interaction.

The journal will encourage and enable first class research from any scientific discipline that contributes to and shows relevance to quality of experience and user experience. Examples include: development of a new metric based on subjective or objective analysis; taxonomies and models to define and explain quality of experience and user experience; relationship to other concepts such as user acceptance or value systems; lab or situated studies delivering insights to specific experience aspects, discussion of influence factors on UX and QoE and their relationships; the significance of time for the dynamics of user experience and quality of experience, relevant insights from different disciplines such as design, psychology, social sciences or material science; research in contextual experiences to capture specific situations including specific domain aspects; tools and frameworks towards the development of next generation experiences; methods to capture, analyze, design and evaluate user experience and quality of experience; user experience research related to special user groups, special needs as well personal differences; insights on the design of experiences from the constructive as well as from the process perspective; experience design approaches and methods; viewpoints on the meaning of experience design; and experience design for specific application domains.  

Please note that QUEX offers permanent free access to all articles published in 2016 and 2017.

More information:

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Open Positions at Bitmovin

About working with Bitmovin

Bitmovin, a YCombinator company, is a fast growing privately owned technology leader, located in Klagenfurt am Wörthersee in Austria and in California. Our company is leading in research and development of cutting-edge multimedia services like, e.g.,Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP (DASH)HTTP Live Streaming (HLS), multimedia systems and multimedia cloud services.
We believe our employees are the most valuable assets of our company. They drive Bitmovin’s success with their knowledge, experience and passion. Therefore we provide a high degree of freedom to our employees to initiate projects and take on responsibility, while paying a very competitive salary above the average.
Working at Bitmovin is international, fast-paced, fun and challenging. We’re looking for talented, passionate and inspired people who want to change the way media is consumed online. Join us to develop, sell and market the world’s fastest video encoding service.

Sales and Marketing

Software and Development

Admin and Finance

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

IEEE Computer "Social Computing" Column: Call for Papers

I’m looking for forward-looking and thought-provokening articles for the Social Computing column within the IEEE Computer magazine. As you know, IEEE Computer is the flagship publication of the IEEE Computer Society (CS) which is distributed to all members (CS is the biggest society within IEEE).

The topics are related to the Special Technical Community on Social Networking (STCSN) and please submit column articles directly to me! The guidelines see below and no specific template is required (just plain text in an editable Word file is fine).

An overview of previous columns can be found here. If you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Guidelines for Computer Column Contributions

We encourage column editors to include contributions solicited from their colleagues to provide the six installments for their bimonthly Computer columns.

The target length for each column is 2.0-2.5 magazine pages, or about 1,500-1,900 words. Each figure or table is counted as 300 words, and obviously we prefer to include appropriate graphic elements when they are available. Max. 2,200 (if no art).

Editors are asked to remind contributors that columns do not include a bibliography or an acknowledgments section. References or URLs can be inserted inline in the text if needed.

Submitted columns should include the article title, author(s) name(s) and affiliation(s) and a brief bio that also provides email contact information:

//First name/last name// is a //academic title, institution, or business title, company//. Contact him at //email address.//

Image guidelines

To ensure the quality needed for print publication, we need an editable vector art file-for example, Illustrator or Visio files-for each line drawing. For each photo, we need a 4-color electronic image at 300 dpi resolution, preferably in a .tif, .png, or .jpeg format. We cannot use derivative images or images embedded in a document.

In our article layouts, the figures are usually at least 4 inches (24picas) wide. If you prefer to send screenshots, they should be approximately 12 inches wide. Our production artist can reduce these low-resolution images to 4 inches in Photoshop and process them to achieve the required resolution. If your original images are smaller than 12 inches, using a large monitor set at its highest resolution will help achieve a better screenshot. No compression is necessary.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

DASH-IF Academic Track

The MPEG-DASH standard has raised a huge momentum within both industry and academia. The DASH-IF provides – among others – interoperability guidelines and test vectors and closes the gap enabling interoperable deployments. In recent years, we have seen a tremendous amount of research papers addressing various issues in and around DASH and, thus, the DASH-IF establishes an academic track to:
  • identify research communities working in the area of DASH
  • create awareness of DASH-IF material and promote it within the academic community, and
  • solicit research within and collect results from the academic community
As a first step the DASH-IF created the “Excellence in DASH Award” at ACM MMSys 2016 and is proud to announce the result as follows. The excellence in DASH award was selected by members of the DASH-IF and instead of a first, second, and third place the DASH-IF concluded to give the first price to all three papers which are as follows: “ABMA+: lightweight and efficient algorithm for HTTP adaptive streaming” by Andrzej Beben, Piotr Wiśniewski, Jordi Mongay Batalla, Piotr Krawiec (Warsaw University of Technology, Poland ); “Delivering Stable High-Quality Video: An SDN Architecture with DASH Assisting Network Elements” by Jan Willem Martin Kleinrouweler, Sergio Cabrero, Pablo Cesar (Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica, Netherlands); and “SQUAD: A Spectrum-based Quality Adaptation for Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP” by Cong Wang, Amr Rizk, Michael Zink (University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA). (see pictures here).

For academics who want to join the DASH-IF Academic Track, please subscribe to the public email reflector via

Everyone is welcome - let's do something! For any comments or questions, please let me know.

Another related activity was the IEEE ICME 2016 Bitmovin Grand Challenge on DASH which is summarized below. We'd like to thank all authors who have submitted their work to the grand challenge and we'd like to congratulate the winner team!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Review of ACM MMSys 2016 & NOSSDAV, MoVid, and MMVE

The 7th ACM International Conference on Multimedia System (MMSys 2016) was successfully held in Klagenfurt am Wörthersee, Austria from May 10-13, 2016 ( with the co-located workshops NOSSDAV, MoVid, and MMVE.
We'd like to thank our Gold Sponsors: Adobe and YouTube.
The ACM Multimedia Systems Conference (MMSys) provides a forum for researchers to present and share their latest research findings in multimedia systems. While research about specific aspects of multimedia systems are regularly published in the various proceedings and transactions of the networking, operating system, real-time system, and database communities, MMSys aims to cut across these domains in the context of multimedia data types. This provides a unique opportunity to view the intersections and the inter-play of the various approaches and solutions developed across these domains to deal with multimedia data types.
This year’s MMSys introduced a new format referred to as overview talks which have been held on May 10 starting in the afternoon and concluding in the evening with a get together event at the conference venue. The following overview talks have been given at MMSys: “Using Games to solve Challenging Multimedia Problems” by Oge Marques, ACM Distinguished Speaker, FAU, USA ; “More Juice Less Bits: MediaMelon Content Aware Streaming” by Ali C. Begen, MediaMelon Inc., USA, Ozyegin University, Turkey, IEEE ComSoc Distinguished Lecturer, “MPEG-DASH Spatial Relationship Description” by Omar Aziz Niamut, TNO, The Netherlands, “Mulsemedia: Novelty or Reinvention?” by Gheorghita Ghinea, Brunel University, UK ; and “Smart Camera Systems” by Bernhard Rinner, Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt, Austria .
ACM MMSys typically comes with keynotes from experts and leaders in industry and academy. The first keynote was about “Ten Thousand Channels to Ten Million Viewers: Technologies for Scaling Video Delivery over IP” by Neill A. Kipp, Comcast VIPER, USA addressing issues with video delivery at scale whereas the second keynote entitled “Advances and Trends in Augmented Reality Systems“ by Dieter Schmalstieg, Graz University of Technology, Austria was related to one of the special session. The third keynote was about “5G enabling the Tactile Internet” by Frank Fitzek, Technische Universität Dresden, Germany providing insights about next generation mobile networks.
Best Paper Award
Best Paper Award
In general, ACM MMSys 2016 attracted 71 full paper submissions from which 20 got finally accepted in the program which has been carefully selected from our experienced members of the technical program committee. In addition to the full paper submissions, MMSys 2016 hosted two special sessions, one on augmented reality and another on media synchronization. A demo session provided researchers, engineers, and scientist to present the opportunity to showcase their research prototypes, systems, and applications to MMSys attendees. An important aspect of MMSys is the dataset track which enables reproducible research thanks to the availability of common datasets across different application areas. In particular, the dataset track is an opportunity for researchers and practitioners to make their work available and citable.
ACM MMSys hosts three workshops: the 26th ACM Workshop on Network and Operating Systems Support for Digital Audio and Video (NOSSDAV), the 8th ACM Workshop on Mobile Video (MoVid), and the 8th ACM Workshop on Massively Multiuser Virtual Environments (MMVE). The operate with their own committees and review process but benefit from a single registration fee for all events co-located with MMSys.
The 7th ACM MMSys issued the following awards:
  • a best paper award,
  • a best student paper award, and
  • for the first time the excellence in DASH award sponsored by the DASH-IF.
Best Student Paper
Best Student Paper
The best paper award goes to “Distributed Rate Allocation in Switch-Based Multiparty Videoconference” by Stefano D’bronco (EPFL), Sergio Mena (Cisco Systems), Pascal Frossard (EPFL) and the best student paper award goes to “Network-assisted Control for HTTP Adaptive Video Streaming” by Giuseppe Cofano (Politecnico di Bari, Italy), Luca De Cicco (Telecom SudParis, France), Thomas Zinner (University of Würzburg, Germany), Anh Nguyen-Ngoc (University of Würzburg, Germany), Phuoc Tran-Gia (University of Würzburg, Germany), Saverio Mascolo (Politecnico di Bari, Italy).
The excellence in DASH award was selected by members of the DASH-IF and instead of a first, second, and third place the DASH-IF concluded to give the first price to all three papers which are as follows: “ABMA+: lightweight and efficient algorithm for HTTP adaptive streaming” by Andrzej Beben, Piotr Wiśniewski, Jordi Mongay Batalla, Piotr Krawiec (Warsaw University of Technology, Poland ); “Delivering Stable High-Quality Video: An SDN Architecture with DASH Assisting Network Elements” by Jan Willem Martin Kleinrouweler, Sergio Cabrero, Pablo Cesar (Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica, Netherlands); and “SQUAD: A Spectrum-based Quality Adaptation for Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP” by Cong Wang, Amr Rizk, Michael Zink (University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA).
We would like to congratulate all award winners of ACM MMSys 2016.
Finally, we would like to thank our gold sponsors Adobe and YouTube for their excellent support. In this context, it is worth mentioning the social events including coffee breaks, lunches, get together on the first evening, welcome BBQ on the second evening, and gala dinner on the third evening. These side events are as much as important as the technical papers, demos, and datasets and allow for networking, discussions, and possible future collaborations of conference attendees.
Finally, we’re happy to announce next year’s ACM MMSys (and NOSSDAV, MoVid, and MMVE) in Taiwan with Sheng-Wei (Kuan-Ta) Chen from Academia Sinica.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

MPEG Survey on Virtual Reality

(c) Bitmovin
As mentioned in my previous blog post, virtual reality is becoming a hot topic across the industry (and also academia) which also reaches standards developing organizations like MPEG. MPEG established an Ad-hoc Group on MPEG-VR (open to everyone) which published a survey on virtual reality. The survey is still open until August 18, 2016 and available here...

In particular, MPEG is seeking feedback from content and service providers as well as device manufacturers. Please help to shape the future!

(c) Bitmovin

Within Bitmovin we're working on this topic in a Web context and a demo is available here. Additionally, here's a live 4K VR/360 demo using HEVC: (Note: requires HEVC hardware support at your device).