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Video-on-demand (VoD) is an essential technology for many multimedia applications. However, it remains challenging to efficiently deliver on-demand streams to a large number of receivers in a heterogeneous network environment. Although a number of VoD broadcasting protocols have been proposed for heterogeneous receivers, these protocols considers only single-bit-rate VoD services, which cannot satisfy the diverse quality-of-service requirements of heterogeneous receivers. In this paper, we propose a unified approach to heterogeneous VoD broadcasting, called unified heterogeneous broadcasting (UHB). As a unified approach, UHB is design to integrate different VoD broadcasting protocols and different scalable video coding schemes. The main merits of UHB are threefold. First, unlike conventional VoD broadcasting protocols, UHB supports multiple-bit-rate VoD services. Second, UHB is capable of adapting to network bandwidth fluctuations. Third, UHB enables each heterogeneous receiver to obtain the best visual quality by selecting the optimum system joining time. Our performance evaluation results indicate that UHB is superior to conventional heterogeneous VoD broadcasting protocols under various network conditions.
Date of Publication: March 2008