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Layer-aware forward error correction for mobile broadcast of layered media

: Hellge, C.; Gomez-Barquero, D.; Schierl, T.; Wiegand, T.


IEEE transactions on multimedia 13 (2011), Nr.3, S.551-562
ISSN: 1520-9210
Fraunhofer HHI ()

The bitstream structure of layered media formats such as scalable video coding (SVC) or multiview video coding (MVC) opens up new opportunities for their distribution in Mobile TV services. Features like graceful degradation or the support of the 3-D experience in a backwards-compatible way are enabled. The reason is that parts of the media stream are more important than others with each part itself providing a useful media representation. Typically, the decoding of some parts of the bitstream is only possible, if the corresponding more important parts are correctly received. Hence, unequal error protection (UEP) can be applied protecting important parts of the bitstream more strongly than others. Mobile broadcast systems typically apply forward error correction (FEC) on upper layers to cope with transmission errors, which the physical layer FEC cannot correct. Today's FEC solutions are optimized to transmit single layer video. The exploitation of the dependencies in layered media codecs for UEP using FEC is the subject of this paper. The presented scheme, which is called layer-aware FEC (LA-FEC), incorporates the dependencies of the layered video codec into the FEC code construction. A combinatorial analysis is derived to show the potential theoretical gain in terms of FEC decoding probability and video quality. Furthermore, the implementation of LA-FEC as an extension of the Raptor FEC and the related signaling are described. The performance of layer-aware Raptor code with SVC is shown by experimental results in a DVB-H environment showing significant improvements achieved by LA-FEC.