RealTime IT News

MPEG-4 Gains Momentum

Looking to cash in on the great promise of Internet video and Video on Demand (VoD), two Silicon Valley firms announced Wednesday successful demonstrations using MPEG-4 technology.

Kasenna Inc. said Sony Broadband Solutions (SBS) finished a test of its new IPv6 -compliant network with VoD using its MediaBase MPEG-4 server. The Mountain View, Calif., company said the demonstration, done by SBS and funded by the Japanese government, showed the great promise for IPv6, a standard designed to replace IPv4 and considered critical to the expansion of the wireless Internet.

In the demonstration, Kasenna said SBS'IPv6 network created a "virtual world" with online personas, in which users can order a VoD movie and interact while watching. The demonstration ran in 300 homes, in addition to a few group showings. MediaBase powered the distribution.

The Internet Engineering Task Force created the Internet Protocol version 6 specification to expand IP addresses from 32 bits to 128 bits, in order to accommodate the global surge of Internet usage over a variety of devices.

Meanwhile, Sigma Designs Inc. said its MPEG-4 compressor/decompressor Windows plug-in, which can encode digitized video into standardized MPEG-4 files, is available for trial on its Web site. The San Jose, Calif., company said the MPEG-4 compressor/decompressor would give users wide interoperability in the emerging consumer market MPEG-4 technology.

"We see widespread use of MPEG-4 creating a wave of efficient and interactive media that is supported in nearly all digital video appliances," Ken Lowe, Sigma Designs' vice president of Business Development, said in a statement. "We are continuing to develop a wide range of MPEG-4 products that offer high performance features and our goal is to ensure that users can enjoy a lifetime of compatibility by encoding their content only once."

The Moving Picture Experts Group created MPEG-4 , having already created the MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 standards that enabled streaming video in CD-ROMs and digital television. MPEG-4 is a standard for delivering streaming content over the Web that is considered crucial for delivering high-quality audio and video to wireless devices.

Two months ago, the MPEG-4 Industry Forum announced that 29 MPEG-4 vendors had completed three rounds of interoperability tests toward creating a standard for files to work with a variety of playback options.