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.

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