New approach to mobile video fuses streaming and downloading to dodge delays, improve quality

Jun 25, 2013
NYU-Poly Professor Shivendra Panwar is leading the development of streamloading -- a process that allows users to load most of the content of data-heavy videos ahead of time, so that mobile devices can later layer on only minimal data to complete the video -- saving mobile data usage charges and precious mobile bandwidth. Credit: NYU-Poly

It's the bane of streaming media—the endlessly spinning cursor on a dark screen, or the final minutes of a favorite show freezing to a halt when the wireless signal weakens. A new technology developed by researchers at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly) may make spotty streaming and data-hogging downloads a thing of the past.

The patent-pending technique, called streamloading, in the simplest terms makes use of a video format that splits the video into two layers—a base layer, which contains a coarse representation of the video, and an enhancement layer, which completes the and includes the fine-grain details. Traditional streaming involves downloading 30 to 60 seconds of video ahead of time, with the and speed varying depending on wireless signal strength. Streamloading allows users to pre-download the enhancement layer onto their devices in a location where wireless signal is strong—at home, for example—and stream only the base layer at the time of viewing.

Shivendra S. Panwar, professor of electrical and computer engineering at NYU-Poly and the lead developer of streamloading, estimates that the technique could remove as much as 75 percent of the streaming content from increasingly overloaded cellular wireless networks, while at the same time reducing high data usage charges for consumers. Panwar explains that "in the best-case scenario, we'll at the same time relieve some of the bandwidth crunch for and significantly improve the speed and quality of streaming video, making it easier and less expensive to access content this way."

Panwar, along with a team of students at NYU-Poly who have been working on the prototype technology, designed streamloading to be compatible with current (DRM) protocols. Although users will technically be downloading and saving content on their devices—something that's prohibited by services like Netflix— Panwar explains that "what's being stored is just one layer of content. It would be useless and impossible to watch without the base layer, which is streamed at the time of viewing."

Panwar and his team plan to continue testing and refining the technology this summer and have already initiated conversations with wireless carriers. Their research is supported by the National Science Foundation and the Center for Advanced Technology in Telecommunications (CATT) at NYU-Poly.

Explore further: Why the SIM card has had its day

Related Stories

Searching for 1,000 times the capacity of 4G wireless

Jul 19, 2012

Researchers at Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly) have assembled a powerful consortium of government and business support to advance beyond today's fourth generation (4G) wireless technologies ...

Marvell says 802.11ac 4x4 solution is an industry-first

Dec 06, 2012

(Phys.org)—Marvell Technology Group has announced Avastar 88W8864, a wireless local area network system-on-chip. The company says the 88W8864 sets new industry benchmarks for speed and range. The new entry ...

Streaming video over temporary networks

Jan 29, 2013

Self-configuring data networks may provide crucial help to emergency and rescue operations in hard-to-access areas. Norwegian researchers are developing software that makes it easier to transmit vital video ...

Recommended for you

Why the SIM card has had its day

Mar 05, 2015

The small microchips known as "subscriber identity modules" or SIM cards that are required for mobile phones to log on to a phone network will soon be 25 years old. While mobile phones and network technology ...

The UK doesn't yet need net neutrality regulations

Mar 04, 2015

The net neutrality debate in the US has ended, at least for now, with the Federal Communications Commission ruling for stricter regulation of telecoms and internet service providers (ISPs) in order to maintain ...

Italy adopts plans to shift into Internet fast lane

Mar 04, 2015

Italy's government adopted a six-billion-euro plan Tuesday to modernise its Internet network and improve access to broadband in hopes of shedding its reputation as one of Europe's online laggards.

Phone firms and the quest for the 5G Holy Grail

Mar 03, 2015

Lightning-quick downloads, driverless cars and remote surgery: telecom firms are racing to develop a new generation of "5G" mobile networks that could start to change the world in five years.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

vacuum-mechanics
1 / 5 (3) Jun 25, 2013
Shivendra S. Panwar, professor of electrical and computer engineering at NYU-Poly and the lead developer of streamloading, …. Panwar explains that "in the best-case scenario, we'll at the same time relieve some of the bandwidth crunch for wireless carriers and significantly improve the speed and quality of streaming video, making it easier and less expensive to access content this way."

By the way, it is interesting to note that what which called as 'wireless carrier' here, it is a pure sinusoidal wave used for modulation process for sending the required signal information. It is not the physical medium used as the carrier of radio wave (electromagnetic wave) which was told that it could propagate by itself, but is it true or not…
http://www.vacuum...20〈=en

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.