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Method for dynamically adjusting encoding resolutions to reduce network bandwidth utilization in a media center and thin-client environment

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000012207D
Publication Date: 2003-Apr-16
Document File: 2 page(s) / 103K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a method for dynamically adjusting encoding resolutions to reduce network bandwidth utilization in a media center and thin-client environment. Benefits include improved quality of service.

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Method for dynamically adjusting encoding resolutions to reduce network bandwidth utilization in a media center and thin-client environment

Disclosed is a method for dynamically adjusting encoding resolutions to reduce network bandwidth utilization in a media center and thin-client environment. Benefits include improved quality of service.

Background

              Conventional media centers typically stream video to media adaptors (called thin clients) at a bit-rate that supports broadcast quality video (see Figure 1). In the case of MPEG-2, the rate is from 4 Mbps to 6 Mbps at a 720 x 480 resolution. To accommodate the additional bandwidth requirement on the communication channel for rendering graphical content (such as User Interfaces) remotely, video is streamed at a lower bit-rate, which means lower resolution and lower quality in MPEG-2. Alternatively, a more efficient encoding scheme is used, such as MPEG-4, generating a lower rate bit stream at a higher computational complexity. The increased capability leads to higher hardware cost or increased central processor unit (CPU) loading on the media center and the thin client.

             

              The media adaptor decodes the incoming video and renders it on the TV for viewing. The media center also runs various graphical user interface (GUI) based applications on behalf of the thin client. An example is an electronic programming guide (EPG). The media center sends the GUI renderings to the thin client on a separate network connection (but over the same physical network) which includes commands and data.

              A typical scenario for video redistribution over a wireless network is to stream the MPEG-2 video (MP@ML, 4-6 Mbps) over the wireless network connection from the media center to the thin client media adapter that is attached to the TV. Graphics for the user interface (UI) from the thin client are sent by the media center with a network-enabled graphics protocol over the same wireless network through a separate network connection. Quality of service (QoS) issues may occur if the combined bandwidth of the MPEG-2 video and the graphics data being streamed exceeds the practical bandwidth limit of the wireless network.

Description

              The disclosed method dynamically adjusts the encoding resolutions to reduce network bandwidth utilization in a media center and thin-client environment. When graphical content is being presented on the TV, the video is most likely no longer displayed in the full TV screen. It is likely to be displayed in a window that only occupies part of the screen. For example, an EPG is displayed on most of the screen with video in a window located at the...