Judder-free videos on the smartphone

Feb 03, 2012

Overloaded cellular networks can get annoying – especially when you want to watch a video on your smartphone. An optimised Radio Resource Manager will soon be able to help network operators accommodate heavy network traffic. Researchers will present their solution at the GSMA Mobile World Congress from 27 February to 1 March, 2012 in Barcelona.

The journey for the family holiday can be a long one. To avoid the incessant “Are we there yet?”, stressed parents gladly hand their smartphones to the back seat – so the kids can watch videos or movies on the internet. While modern technology provides for entertainment, it occasionally reaches its limits and then the whining returns: The movies sometimes judder, or are completely interrupted. The cause may be twofold: If the user is standing at the basin of a valley and has poor reception, the data stream transmission rate is inadequate and the cellphone cannot download the data fast enough. Another cause may be network overload – if too many users download massive data volumes simultaneously, then the mobile radio cell becomes congested.

The standard Radio Resource Managers in use today, installed in every network cell, are designed to prevent this: They check which user needs what data, and how much capacity their transmission requires – and are supposed to ensure that each user swiftly obtains the requested data. However, as the Internet is increasingly being used to watch videos, things can get a bit “haywire”, and function only moderately, or not at all. This is because videos are beyond the grasp of the cellular networks; they don’t “know” how large the downloaded data volumes are and what requirements the video stream has. Is the mobile device just loading a densely compressed mini-sequence, or a 90 minute video at the highest quality?

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications, Heinrich-Hertz-Institut HHI in Berlin have recently optimised these Radio Resource Managers. “To do so, we combined Long Term Evolution, or LTE, the new cellular standard that is replacing UMTS, with a format for web streaming called Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP, or ‘DASH’ for short,” says Dr. Thomas Schierl, group manager, Multimedia Communications at HHI. Among other things, the DASH standard makes videos and images available in various qualities, or in other words, it allows different file sizes. This means the user can select different video qualities and define how quickly websites are established or videos are loaded.

“Soon, the DASH standard can play to its full strength, even on ,” says Thomas Wirth, group manager at HHI. If the user clicks on the preview in order to start a video, the transmitting stations and the mobile end device automatically check reception and the volume of traffic on the network. The advantage: If reception is poor or the network is overloaded, then the transmitting stations and the mobile receiver device adjust the quality of the video in a manner that allows the user to see the film without judders. Poor reception or an overloaded network will slightly diminish just the image quality of the video. As soon as the connection improves, the image quality also increases again.

Network operators also benefit from optimized Radio Resource Managers: They can exploit the resources of a network cell better than before. “With our mechanism, resources can be optimally distributed, and hence saved,” says Wirth. “The saved resources can then be allocated to others. This means we can increase the number of users that can be serviced.” Researchers have already completed a prototype of the optimised Radio Resource Manager.

Explore further: Hand out money with my mobile? I think I'm ready

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Putting 3-D films on your cell phone

Feb 11, 2011

German researchers at Fraunhofer have combined the new mobile radio standard LTE-Advanced with a video coding technique. This puts 3-D films on your cell phone. The experts will be presenting their solution ...

Breakthrough for mobile television

Feb 09, 2010

Long Term Evolution, the new mobile telecommunications standard, will revolutionize mobile Internet. High transmission rates will soon be possible on mobile devices. For this purpose Fraunhofer researchers at HHI Berlin, ...

Disruption-free videos

Sep 05, 2008

Standardized video coding techniques still have their snags -- digitally transmitted images are not always disruption-free. An extension of the H.264/AVC coding format allows to protect the most important data packets to ...

3-D movies via Internet and satellite

Aug 26, 2010

Multiview video coding (MVC) is the new standard for 3-D movie compression. While reducing the data significantly, MVC allows at the same time providing full high-resolution quality. At the International Broadcasting ...

VuNow Sends Free Internet Video Directly to Your TV

Dec 31, 2008

Verismo's VuNow is an affordable solution for video lovers that sends free internet video content directly to your Television set. VuNow only takes a minute to connect, just plug in the AC power, connect your ...

Recommended for you

Hand out money with my mobile? I think I'm ready

Apr 17, 2014

A service is soon to launch in the UK that will enable us to transfer money to other people using just their name and mobile number. Paym is being hailed as a revolution in banking because you can pay peopl ...

Quantenna promises 10-gigabit Wi-Fi by next year

Apr 16, 2014

(Phys.org) —Quantenna Communications has announced that it has plans for releasing a chipset that will be capable of delivering 10Gbps WiFi to/from routers, bridges and computers by sometime next year. ...

Tech giants look to skies to spread Internet

Apr 16, 2014

The shortest path to the Internet for some remote corners of the world may be through the skies. That is the message from US tech giants seeking to spread the online gospel to hard-to-reach regions.

Wireless industry makes anti-theft commitment

Apr 16, 2014

A trade group for wireless providers said Tuesday that the biggest mobile device manufacturers and carriers will soon put anti-theft tools on the gadgets to try to deter rampant smartphone theft.

Dish Network denies wrongdoing in $2M settlement

Apr 15, 2014

The state attorney general's office says Dish Network Corp. will reimburse Washington state customers about $2 million for what it calls a deceptive surcharge, but the satellite TV provider denies any wrongdoing.

Netflix's Comcast deal improves quality of video

Apr 14, 2014

Netflix's videos are streaming through Comcast's Internet service at their highest speeds in the past 17 months now that Netflix is paying for a more direct connection to Comcast's network.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Under some LED bulbs whites aren't 'whiter than white'

For years, companies have been adding whiteners to laundry detergent, paints, plastics, paper and fabrics to make whites look "whiter than white," but now, with a switch away from incandescent and fluorescent lighting, different ...

Researchers uncover likely creator of Bitcoin

The primary author of the celebrated Bitcoin paper, and therefore probable creator of Bitcoin, is most likely Nick Szabo, a blogger and former George Washington University law professor, according to students ...

The importance of plumes

The Hubble Space Telescope is famous for finding black holes. It can pick out thousands of galaxies in a patch of sky the size of a thumbprint. The most powerful space telescope ever built, the Hubble provided ...