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Videoconferencing over packet-based networks

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2 Author(s)
Willebeek-LeMair, M.H. ; Res. Div., IBM Thomas J. Watson Res. Center, Yorktown Heights, NY, USA ; Zon-Yin Shae

The Internet explosion is driving the need for new collaboration tools which will enable two or more users to share data, audio, and video. The real-time packet-based solutions which are emerging differ considerably from the circuit-switch solutions which have existed for some time now. In this paper, we present one such packet-based approach, the Multimedia Multiparty Teleconferencing (MMT) system, which was fully implemented as a research prototype. Using MMT as an example, we address some of the fundamental issues related to videoconferencing systems in a packet-based environment, and discuss the differences with the traditional circuit-switch approaches, namely, the ITU H.320 standard. In particular, MMT is a distributed solution, while H.320 is centralized. The use of multicast and a novel video-mixing technique to facilitate the distributed solution are presented. Furthermore, MMT audio and video streams are susceptible to congestion and packet loss in the shared media packet-based environment, while H.320 streams use dedicated connections. As such, synchronization, error resilience, and dynamic rate control schemes for the packet-based system are presented

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Selected Areas in Communications, IEEE Journal on  (Volume:15 ,  Issue: 6 )