ERCIM News No.25 - April 1996 - GMD
Distributed Video Production
by Manfred Kaul and Wolfgang Heiden
Video production is inherently distributed: Broadcasters are physically
distributed over several sites and studios, they increasingly outsource
video production and post-production to specialized studios or upcoming
virtual studios. Thus there is an increasing demand for the enabling technology
for distributed video production.
The technological revolution of digital media is rapidly changing the world
of broadcasters and the media industry. In the emerging field of media processing
we see computer science, communication technology and media technology coming
together to explore new applications and define new products and new markets.
These concerted technologies will enable media producers to remotely collaborate
in digital video and multimedia production, post-production, archiving,
indexing, and retrieval.
In the ACTS project (Advanced Communications Technologies and Services)
'Distributed Video Production', leading European broadcasters, computer,
communication and media technology providers are joining their efforts to
start an innovation initiative in remote contribution, production, post-production
and dissemination of digital video and multimedia material. Additionally,
an American supercomputer center and a Canadian educational institute will
contribute distributed video applications and distributed virtual reality
simulations. For these applications a broadband transatlantic link will
be used between the involved partners for real-time simulations.
In Distributed Video Production, basic technology for transferring studio-quality
digital video over broadband networks (ATM/Asynchronous Transfer Mode),
and video coding and compression is the starting point. Problems of transmission
and processing delays, synchronization requirements, and quality of service
have to be solved. Built upon these basic results, pilot applications are
planned for a distributed virtual studio, distributed telepresence, distributed
virtual reality, and distributed video archiving.
As an example, the Distributed Virtual Studio will enable Television producers
to improve the economic efficiency and the time to market of broadcast program
production. Production environments with ATM connectivity can have access
to virtual studio techniques as an external service. By this means, ATM
allows a 'studio on demand' scenario, this enables Television producers
to save equipment and reduce training and manpower costs. On the other hand,
a new service industry is expected to develop, where information products
like virtual sets are contributed in real time from an outside service provider
to the program producer.
Several application scenarios for Distributed Video Production will demonstrate
that the technology is ready for commercial exploitation:
Distributed Video Production addresses the urgent demands of broadcasting
and media industry for distributed video production technology. It incorporates
important American and Canadian partners over transatlantic broadband networks
and will help push the development of European information and media industry
to a world-wide leading level.
- Distributed Video Post-Production: Editing and special-effects generation
using both local equipment (editing console, Digital Video Editing) and
remote equipment (video servers).
- Distributed Video Production: Bringing together real actors and objects
(props) from different - separated - studios in a common real or virtual
- Distributed Rehearsal: An immersive teleconferencing environment allowing
small groups of actors and musicians at different studios to conduct rehearsals
as if face-to-face.
- Distributed Video Archiving, Indexing, and Retrieval: Besides real-time
applications like those mentioned above, some non-real-time applications
will also contribute to Distributed Video Production.
Manfred Kaul ­p; GMD
Tel: +49 2241 14 2205
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or
Wolfgang Heiden ­p; GMD
Tel: +49 2241 14 2358
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