AuthorsH. Riiser, T. Endestad, P. Vigmostad, C. Griwodz and P. Halvorsen
TitleVideo Streaming Using a Location-Based Bandwidth-Lookup Service for Bitrate Planning
AfilliationMedia, Communication Systems
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
JournalACM Transactions on Multimedia Computing, Communications and Applications

A lot of people around the world commute using public transportation and would like to spend this time viewing streamed video content such as news or sports updates. However, mobile wireless networks typically suffer from severe bandwidth fluctuations, and the networks are often completely unresponsive for several seconds, sometimes minutes. Today, there are several ways of adapting the video bitrate and thus the video quality to such fluctuations, e.g., using scalable video codecs or segmented adaptive HTTP streaming that switches between non-scalable video streams encoded in different bitrates. Still, for a better long-term video playout experience that avoids disruptions and frequent quality changes while using existing video adaptation technology, it is desirable to perform bandwidth prediction and planned quality adaptation. This paper describes a video streaming system for receivers equipped with a GPS. A receiver's download rate is constantly monitored, and periodically reported back to a central database along with associated GPS positional data. Thus, based on the current location, a streaming device can use a GPS-based bandwidth-lookup service in order to better predict the near-future bandwidth availability and create a schedule for the video playout that takes likely future availability into account. To create a prototype and perform initial tests, we conducted several field trials while commuting using public transportation. We show how our database has been used to predict bandwidth fluctuations and network outages, and how this information helps maintain uninterrupted playback with less compromise on video quality than possible without prediction.