Abstract

Advances in computers, networking, and communications have created new distribution channels and business opportunities for the dissemination of multimedia content. Streaming audio and video over networks such as the Internet, local area wireless networks, home networks, and commercial cellular phone systems has become a reality and it is likely that streaming media will become a mainstream means of communication. Despite some initial commercial success, streaming media still faces challenging technical issues, including quality of service (QoS) and cost effectiveness. For example, deployments of multimedia services over 2.5G and 3G wireless networks have presented significant problems for real time servers and clients in terms of high variability of network throughput and packet loss due to network buffer overflows and noisy channels. New streaming architectures such as peer-to-peer (P2P) networks and wireless ad hoc networks have also raised many interesting research challenges.