siliconindia

Video Revolution

Author: Arun Netravali
Managing Partner, OmniCapital Group, LLC President (Emeritus), Bell Labs
Video Revolution -By-Arun Netravali
It was over 30 years ago when I wrote my first technical article on video compression. It has taken a long time to realize the dreams we in the Bell System had back then about how ubiquitous video telephones would become in a decade or two. Although slow in coming, applications of video communications have already far exceeded anyone’s dreams. Moreover, many believe that this is simply the tip of the iceberg. Technologists believe that video communications will overwhelm the bandwidth available from today’s network and render today’s architectures obsolete, while offering entertainment, sports, and news at our finger tips anywhere, anytime and in any form. Video businesses of today see enormous threats to their current models, but others see an opportunity to disrupt old models and create new offerings. Social scientists worry about the impact of ‘always-available video communications’ on the development of children. Civil libertarians are concerned about violation of privacy of citizens whose movements are monitored by video cameras that are ubiquitous in public places. Educators worry about the form universities of tomorrow may take. What is behind the video revolution? Clearly, video enriches consumer experience, whether it is entertainment, education, business or other endeavors. It facilitates the task at hand. Much of this is not new, but with technology driving the costs down, video applications are becoming more affordable.

Images and video facilitate almost any task. As an example, even abstract Math books of today have more illustrations and animations to improve our understanding of the subject. Almost every book is available on-line and any subject can be learned on-line from some of the best teachers on the subject. Universities routinely record courses and keep them on-line so students from local or virtual campuses around the world can take them anytime. Web-casts are used increasingly by businesses to introduce new products, train sales people and communicate with employees. Video conferencing assisted by the web is saving time, money and reducing the wear and tear associated with travel, while promoting collaborative projects among technical people around the globe. Early use of video was in entertainment, sports, and news. Today, with cable, satellite and terrestrial broadcast, there are hundreds of TV channels. Several of these channels are dedicated exclusively to certain types of content (e.g., sports, movies or news). Broadband wireless is the newest transport medium to carry video. The small size of the display in a wireless terminal, combined with the short time spurts available for consumers to use wireless, may limit watching full-length movies; however, 'short-form videos' -- i.e. short clips of news, events, and other content -- are gaining momentum. Finally, the brand new phenomenon of blogging is extending to video blogging. Consumers are capturing interesting video and uploading it into databases provided by a number of companies, so anyone can view it over the internet. The most recent debate between the democratic presidential candidates in the United States showed the power of this new medium. Prescreened questions in the form of videos from citizens were displayed to the candidates and the rest of the viewers who were watching the broadcast channel. Candidates responded over the air, thus debating issues not just with the moderators but also with citizens interested in the issues. Finally, home theaters with larger high-definition TV (HDTV) screens and better quality of sound are luring consumers away from movie houses to watch videos in the comfort of their own homes. Technologies have enabled a variety of these applications and made them more efficient and inexpensive.

We know that television sets and PC's had their form factors based on the applications they served in the past and the networks they were connected to. As the applications converge and video is delivered over the internet, television sets and PC's may morph into new devices suitable for specific applications. A variety of efforts made by PC manufacturers hold promise but a winner has not yet emerged.

Even though the rate of introduction of new technology has accelerated in the past few decades, there is still a lot more to come. It is therefore somewhat dangerous to speculate, but I have stuck my neck out in the following predictions.

* In the 60’s and 70’s, dominant traffic in the network was due to telephony: therefore telephone companies around the world built networks optimized for voice. Since the digital traffic was rather small initially, it was overlaid on the voice networks in the form of modems. As the data traffic continued to increase, a brand new IP-based data network emerged. As the data traffic began to dominate, voice traffic was put as an overlay in the form of VOIP (voice over IP). Most believe that video traffic will begin to dominate soon and today’s Internet will not be appropriate for video, since it does a number of functions not required for video — e.g., deep packet inspection, node by node routing decisions, retransmission of erroneous packets, protocol and frame conversions, queuing, and peer-to-peer exchange of short flows to and from ubiquitous terminals with large numbers of IP addresses. Traffic characteristics of video are very different and therefore I predict that a network interconnecting video storage servers with Ethernet over ë will be created; but the Internet will be used for consumers to get access to these video servers due to its ubiquity.

* As video servers and connecting networks become widespread, they may overlay data and voice signals, creating a very different multiservice than before. As video gets stored globally, user interfaces will include search technology and will provide both channelized video for “common” programs watched by the many and niche programs watched by consumers with special interests.

* With the evolving broadband networks (wired or wireless), we will be able to receive video from anywhere on the web. Moreover, we will be able to search for video that we are looking for from the context, not only from the keywords, as today’s technology does. Models of payment for viewing video, from today’s monthly charge for a package of channels, will evolve. Advertisement-based charging, charging for hosting the content from a producer, and charging consumers for viewing the video of their choice, are already being experimented with. It will be fascinating to see if there is a single winner.

In summary, the future of video communications is bright. A variety of new platforms will emerge to deliver video to consumers in a customized, “on-demand” fashion, with advertisements of interests being viewed. Tools will exist to convert video for the best presentation for the mobile device. Networked video, stored on the web will be delivered to the consumer’s device to provide video services anywhere, anytime, and in any form, and with flexible payment models. Broadband internet will help, but video networking will require a different network to be cost effective. In summary, video revolution is here today. Let us take advantage of it.
Previous  article
Next article
 
Write your comment now

Email    Password: 
Don't have SiliconIndia account? Sign up    Forgot your password? Reset
  Cancel
Reader's comments(3)
1: From: Mrs. Mary David

This mail may be a surprise to you because you did not give me the permission to do so and neither do you know me but before I tell you about myself I want you to please forgive me for sending this mail without your permission. I am writing this letter in confidence believing that if it is the will of God for you to help me and my family, God almighty will bless and reward you abundantly. I need an honest and trust worthy person like you to entrust this huge transfer project unto.

My name is Mrs. Mary David, The Branch Manager of a Financial Institution. I am a Ghanaian married with 3 kids. I am writing to solicit your assistance in the transfer of US$7,500,000.00 Dollars. This fund is the excess of what my branch in which I am the manager made as profit last year (i.e. 2010 financial year). I have already submitted an annual report for that year to my head office in Accra-Ghana as I have watched with keen interest as they will never know of this excess. I have since, placed this amount of US$7,500,000.00 Dollars on an Escrow Coded account without a beneficiary (Anonymous) to avoid trace.

As an officer of the bank, I cannot be directly connected to this money thus I am impelled to request for your assistance to receive this money into your bank account on my behalf. I agree that 40% of this money will be for you as a foreign partner, in respect to the provision of a foreign account, and 60% would be for me. I do need to stress that there are practically no risk involved in this. It's going to be a bank-to-bank transfer. All I need from you is to stand as the original depositor of this fund so that the fund can be transferred to your account.

If you accept this offer, I will appreciate your timely response to me. This is why and only reason why I contacted you, I am willing to go into partnership investment with you owing to your wealth of experience, So please if you are interested to assist on this venture kindly contact me back for a brief discussion on how to proceed.

All correspondence must be via my private E-mail (dmary4love1@yahoo.fr) for obvious security reasons.

Best regards,
Mrs. Mary David.
Posted by: mary lovely david - Monday 26th, September 2011
2: tataosah@yahoo.com
Hello.
My Name is Tata I was impressed when i saw your profile at ww.siliconindia.com and will like you to email me back to my inbox so that i can send you my picture for you to know who i am.i belive we can establishe a long lasting relation ship with you.In addition,i will like you to reply me through my private e mail box (tataosah@yahoo.com).
This is because i dont know the possibilities of
remainning in forum for a long time.
Thanks,waiting to hear from you soonest.
Tata.
Posted by: tata tatababy os - Friday 30th, October 2009
3: excellent article on the future of lerning options availble and a direction to the things that will soon be part of our daily life.
Posted by: Pankaj Srivastava - Tuesday 19th, August 2008
More articles
The retail industry is witnessing an increased migration of customers ... -By-Kaushal Mehta
by Kaushal Mehta - Founder & CEO, Motif Inc..
The retail industry is witnessing an increased migration of customers from traditional brick and mortar retail to E-commerce (online retail)...more>>
Its 1 AM. Do You Know What Your Offshore Team Is Doing? -By-Samir Shah
by Samir Shah - CEO, Zephyr .
You probably do because you are on the phone with them! For all of you working in some technical management capacity here in Silicon Valley,...more>>
Disconnect: The Root Of All Execution Evils -By-Raj Karamchedu
by Raj Karamchedu - Chief Operating Officer, Legend Silicon .
These days are a mixed bag for me. Of late I have been considering "doing something bigger and better," in my life, perhaps seriously though...more>>
IT Services Rise Of Tier II Companies -By-Madhavi Vuppalapati
by Madhavi Vuppalapati - CEO of Prithvi Information Solutions .
IT Services Rise of Tier II companies The Indian IT outsourcing industry is going through very exciting phase in its business life...more>>
DLP, Prevention Is Better Than A Cure -By-Bhaskar Bakthavatsalu
by Bhaskar Bakthavatsalu- Country Manager, India and SAARC of Check Point Software Technologies.
Data loss occurs every day through corporate email. In fact, given the sheer number of emails an organization sends every day, data loss inc...more>>