The Moving Picture Experts Group

Interoperable Adaptive Multimedia Communication


Name Affiliation
Christian Timmerer Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt
Hermann Hellwagner Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt
Magazine name: 
IEEE Multimedia
Published on: 
January 2005

The drive for innovation in multimedia technology often results in a diversity of ideas and approaches. However, this diversity is introducing new challenges for accessing multimedia content anytime, anywhere, any way.The richness in multimedia content and increasing heterogeneity of networks and user devices is making interoperable multimedia communications difficult. Intelligent solutions are needed to enable multimedia content access under a wide range of delivery conditions and usage environments.The MPEG-21 standard promises to fill this need by standardizing descriptors for multimedia content access and allowing standards-compatible technologies to be used for adapting multimedia content.
In this article, Christian Timmerer and Hermann Hellwagner tell us how MPEG-21 seeks to achieve interoperable multimedia communication across networks and devices. They describe how MPEG-21 addresses device and format coding independence by standardizing descriptors of usage environment and bit-stream syntax. Through detailed examples involving streaming of audio-video resources and adapting of images according to terminal capabilities, the article illustrates how MPEG-21 solves the challenging and important problem of universal multimedia access.