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Internet Communication Engineering

Preliminary 1

MPEG which stands for Moving Picture Experts Group, is the name of a family of
standards used for coding audio-visual information (e.g., movies, video, music etc)
in a digital compressed format. The major advantage of MPEG compared to other
video and audio coding formats is that MPEG files are much smaller for the same
quality. This is because MPEG uses very sophisticated compression techniques.

MPEG algorithms compress data to form small bits that can be easily transmitted
and then decompressed. MPEG achieves its high compression rate by storing only
the changes from one frame to another, instead of each entire frame.
The video information is then encoded using a technique
called Discrete Cosine Transform (DCT). MPEG uses a type of lossy compression,
since some data is removed. But the diminishment of data is generally
imperceptible to the human eye.

The major MPEG standards include the following;

MPEG-1: The most common implementations of the MPEG-1 standard provide a

video resolution of 352-by-240 at 30 frames per second (fps). This produces video
quality slightly below the quality of conventional VCR videos.

MPEG-1 was developed for audio and video compression. MPEG-1 Layer 3 is a
codec within the standards, known simply as MP3, or the popular audio compression
format for music. The video format of MPEG-1 was used to store movies on CDs,
known as Video CD, or VCD. Quality is equal to that of a VHS tape, and compatibility
playback on CD/DVD players is high. One drawback of MPEG-1 is that it only
supports progressive footage, verses the inclusion of interlaced. These terms relate
to the way a picture paints itself across a screen. Progressive monitors (including
progressive TVs) paint a picture ‘from top to bottom’ progressively in a single,
sequential pass. Interlaced displays paint every other line, and then fill in the odd
lines in a two-pass process.

MPEG-2: Offers resolutions of 720x480 and 1280x720 at 60 fps, with full CD-quality
audio. This is sufficient for all the major TV standards, including NTSC, and even
HDTV. MPEG-2 is used by DVD-ROMs. MPEG-2 can compress a 2 hour video into a
few gigabytes. While decompressing an MPEG-2 data stream requires only modest
computing power, encoding video in MPEG-2 format requires significantly more
processing power. MPEG-2 also contains two container formats: the Transport
Stream and Program Stream. These relate to the way digital broadcasts are
transmitted and formatted to media, respectively.

MPEG-3: Was designed for HDTV but was abandoned in place of using MPEG-2 for

MPEG-4: A graphics and video compression algorithm standard that is based on

MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 and Apple QuickTime technology. Wavelet-based MPEG-4 files
are smaller than JPEG or QuickTime files, so they are designed to transmit video and
images over a narrower bandwidth and can mix video with text, graphics and 2-D
and 3-D animation layers. MPEG-4 was standardized in October 1998 in the
ISO/IEC document 14496.

MPEG-7: Formally called the Multimedia Content Description Interface, MPEG-7

provides a tool set for completely describing multimedia content. MPEG-7 is
designed to be generic and not targeted to a specific application.

MPEG-21: Includes a Rights Expression Language (REL) and a Rights Data

Dictionary. Unlike other MPEG standards that describe compression coding
methods, MPEG-21 describes a standard that defines the description of content and
also processes for accessing, searching, storing and protecting the copyrights of


Multicasting is a technical term which means that you can send a piece of data
(a packet) to multiple sites at the same time. The usual way of moving information
around the Internet is by using unicastprotocols -- tools that send packets to one
site at a time.

You can think of multicasting as the Internet's version of broadcasting. A site that
multicasts information is similar in many ways to a television station that
broadcasts its signal. The signal originates from one source, but it can reach
everyone in the station's signal area. The signal takes up some of the finite
available bandwidth, and anyone who has the right equipment can tune in. The
information passes on by those who don't want to catch the signal or don't have the
right equipment.

Multicast is also used for programming on the MBone, a system that allows users at
high-bandwidth points on the Internet to receive live video and sound programming.
In addition to using a specific high-bandwidth subset of the Internet, Mbone
multicast also uses a protocol that allows signals to be encapsulated
as TCP/IP packet when passing through parts of the Internet that cannot handle the
multicast protocol directly.

On a multicast network, you can send a single packet of information from one
computer for distribution to several other computers, instead of having to send that
packet once for every destination. Because 5, 10, or 100 machines can receive the
same packet, bandwidth is conserved. Also, when you use multicasting to send a
packet, you don't need to know the address of everyone who wants to receive the
multicast; instead, you simply "broadcast" it for anyone who is interested.

Multicasting is useful because it conserves bandwidth, in many cases the most

expensive part of network operations. It does this by replicating packets as needed
within the network, thereby not transmitting unnecessary packets. Multicasting is

the most economical technique for sending a packet stream (which could be audio,
video, or data) from one location to many other locations on the Internet
simultaneously. Its commercial applications include webcasting over the Internet
(one to many multicasts), multiparty computer games and conference calls (many
to many multicasts) and communication between devices behind the scenes.

In computers, encoding is the process of putting a sequence of characters (letters,
numbers, punctuation, and certain symbols) into a specialized format for efficient
transmission or storage. Decoding is the opposite process, the conversion of an
encoded format back into the original sequence of characters. Encoding and
decoding are used in data communications, networking, and storage. The term is
especially applicable to radio (wireless) communications systems.

There are different types of encoding for example message encoding, which is the
process of transforming a set of Unicode characters into a sequence of bytes.
Encoding is necessary for a secure and efficient transmission or storage of data.