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Video Streaming in Wireless Environments

Manoj Kumar Chinnakotla


Video Streaming refers to the real-time transmission of "stored video". In order to control network congestion, rate control schemes adjust the output rate of the video stream to the estimated available bandwidth in the network. Loss based rate control schemes like AIMD, TFRC employ the packet loss rate reported by the receiver as the principal feedback parameter to estimate the state of the network. In a heterogeneous network, where the streaming server is located on the wired network and the client/receiver is located on the wireless network, due to the high-bursty error rates of the wireless channels, the loss rate reported by the receiver may not be a correct indicator of congestion in the network. Especially during bad wireless channel conditions, when the channel error rate is high, the loss rate reported will be high. Hence, loss based rate control schemes may inaccurately estimate the state of the network and respond by decreasing the output rate which will affect the quality of video received by the clients. Two schemes have been proposed to alleviate the above problem. In "Report only congestion losses" scheme, the receiver is made to report only fraction of the packets lost due to congestion. Due to this, the errors in the wireless channel cannot affect the rate control and quality of video as these errors are not reported to the sender. In "Report correlation of loss and delay", besides loss rate, the correlation of the packet loss and delay during a feedback interval is reported. This parameter is used by the sender in addition to the loss rate to respond to only congestion.

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