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: Verizon launches rewards program with tracking

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

Verizon launches rewards program with tracking

18 hours ago

Verizon Wireless is launching a nationwide loyalty program this week for its 100-million-plus subscribers. There's a twist, though: To earn points for every dollar spent, subscribers must consent to have their movements tracked ...

Verizon boosts FiOS uploads to match downloads

Jul 21, 2014

Verizon is boosting the upload speeds of nearly all its FiOS connections to match the download speeds, vastly shortening the time it takes for subscribers to send videos and back up their files online.

The goTenna device pitch is No Service, No Problem

Jul 18, 2014

In the new age of Internet-based crowdfunding with special price offers, where startup teams try to push their product closer and closer to the gate of entry, goTenna's campaign offers a most attractive pitch. ...

Maths can make the internet 5-10 times faster

Jul 17, 2014

Mathematical equations can make Internet communication via computer, mobile phone or satellite many times faster and more secure than today. Results with software developed by researchers from Aalborg University ...

User comments : 0