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A rational approach to testing MPEG-2

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1 Author(s)
Noah, J.O. ; Tektronix Inc., USA

Any complex electronic communication system presents a variety of challenges during design, installation, and operation. In MPEG-2 systems, problems usually show up in two areas: testing and interoperability. Test procedures put together without adequate understanding of the hierarchical nature of the MPEG-2 transport stream may allot too much time to the scrutiny of less important parameters, while possibly allowing more important ones to escape notice. Interoperability problems may arise not only from obvious physical incompatibilities, like mismatched connectors, but also from more subtle discrepancies, like inconsistent uses of reserved packet-identification values. The paper provides a feel for the sorts of problems routinely encountered in MPEG-2 transmission systems and supply some practical guidelines on test methodology. Because transport operation-but not physical interconnection-is specified by MPEG-2 for decoders, issues relating to the connection of systems and testing devices must be explored. Some typical problems in a sample application, satellite news gathering, are examined as well

Published in:

Spectrum, IEEE  (Volume:34 ,  Issue: 5 )