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Breakthrough claimed in mobile video communication

28 January 2004 News

Siemens has developed a new video communication standard for mobile phones in cooperation with research organisations and leading high-tech-companies from all over the world.

With the currently available bandwidth, the company says that this innovation enables video communication at a screen quality comparable with TV and video films. The two most important international standardising boards - ITU-T and ISO/IEC - have together made way for the use of video communication in diversified product spectrums, from mobile phones to VCRs and monitoring cameras.

The trend in mobile telecommunication veers towards video communication. What makes this possible in the near future is a new compression method H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, which was developed in international cooperation.

Says Siemens researcher, Gero Bäse, who was involved in the development of this standard: "While the user accepts a long charging time for the transfer of photos, this is not permissible for videos. Here, eight new pictures have to appear on the screen every second; otherwise the presentation will be a mobile slide show."

In order to carry this out with the current bandwidth, the amount of data has to be reduced without diminishing the image quality. This goal was achieved by increasing the accuracy of existing compression processes and at the same time developing numerous new algorithms that can exploit the higher productive efficiency of modern processors. This 'quantum leap' in video coding was adopted by the standardisation board ITU-T and ISO/IEC as a joint, international standard and was, furthermore, included into the future planning for cellular phones.

"Soon mobile phones will accept and dispatch videos of fantastic quality," states Gero Bäse. "Though there is more to it than that, since the standard will probably be integrated into TVs and VCRs, so the videos recorded via mobile phone can also be presented on TV!"

The new video-communication standard emerged through the collaboration of various research organisations and leading high-tech-companies from all over the world. The business units Information and Communication Mobile, and Corporate Technology represented Siemens.

For more information contact Siemens Southern Africa, 011 652 2000.





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