Image Processing Reference
Pause and rewind of live video, for instance, is very likely to be built into TV sets,
and for it to be manufactured cheaply enough, the functionality will be implemented in
just a few integrated circuits and will then be as ubiquitous as the Teletext decoders found
in European TV sets.
Broadband connectivity is penetrating the marketplace very rapidly—perhaps not
quite as fast as DVD players did, but in quite large numbers all the same.
A critical threshold is reached when video codecs are good enough to deliver satis-
factory video at a bit rate that is equal to or less than what is available on a Broadband con-
nection. Indeed, H.264 encoding packed into MPEG-4 multimedia containers coupled
with a PVR storage facility and a fast, low- contention broadband link is a potential fourth
TV platform that offers solutions to many of the problems that cannot be easily solved on
the satellite-, terrestrial- and cable-based digital-TV platforms. MPEG-4 interactive multi-
media packages could be delivered alongside the existing digital-TV content in an MPEG-2
transport stream. Indeed, the standards body has made special provision to allow this
delivery mechanism, and MPEG-4 itself does not need to standardize a transport stream
because there is already one available.
On with the Journey
So we have some ideas now about the kind of platform the video we compress might be
played on. This helps us to assess the best way to encode it. We also know something
about the target size and the delivery mechanism. That will help us choose players and
Now we can consider the scenario from the other end. The material we use will be
sourced in a range of formats, and we need to know something about how each one