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Paper: An Ultra-Low Bandwidth Video Transmission System
Volume: 101, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems V
Page: 108
Authors: Percival, J. W.; White, R. L.
Abstract: We have developed a Progressive Video Transmission system that is suitable for use over ultra-low bandwidth connections, which we define as phone-grade connections of 28,800 bits per second (bps) or less. Our system is not designed for person-to-person videoconferencing. Rather, it is designed as a video frame browser for observatory video systems whose signals typically represent guide cameras, wavefront sensors, slit-viewing cameras, and so on. We have found that videoconferencing products are not suitable for ultra-low bandwidth connections or for video frames containing possibly significant scientific content because they often sacrifice image quality to maintain frame rate, require bandwidths of 100 kbps or more, and consume all available bandwidth between the client and server. Our system allows the user to control image quality, resolution and bandwidth on the fly, and uses a variety of compression techniques to achieve compression factors of about 5 with little apparent degradation of the images. The transmission is progressive, with the quality of each frame improving during its transmission. It supports multiple remote users, allowing each to work at their own baud and frame rates. A Tk-based GUI allows the user to control image quality and frame rate, select image size, set maximum bandwidth, save frames to disk, and change channels remotely. This system is in use at the WIYN Observatory.
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