Reliable transmission of high-quality video over ATM networks

Vasudevan Parthasarathy, James W. Modestino, Kenneth S. Vastola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


The development of broadband networks has led to the possibility of a wide variety of new and improved service offerings. Packetized video is likely to be one of the most significant high-bandwidth users of such networks. The transmission of variable bit-rate (VBR) video offers the potential promise of constant video quality but is generally accompanied by packet loss which significantly diminishes this potential. In this paper, we study a class of error recovery schemes employing forward error-control (FEC) coding to recover from such losses. In particular, we show that a hybrid error recovery strategy involving the use of active FEC in tandem with simple passive error concealment schemes offers very robust performance even under high packet losses. We discuss two different methods of applying FEC to alleviate the problem of packet loss. The conventional method of applying FEC generally allocates additional bandwidth for channel coding while maintaining a specified average video coding rate. Such an approach suffers performance degradations at high loads since the bandwidth expansion associated with the use of FEC creates additional congestion that negates the potential benefit in using FEC. In contrast, we study a more efficient FEC application technique in our hybrid approach, which allocates bandwidth for channel coding by throttling the source coder rate (i.e., performing higher compression) while maintaining a fixed overall transmission rate. More specifically, we consider the performance of the hybrid approach where the bandwidth to accommodate the FEC overhead is made available by throttling the source coder rate sufficiently so that the overall rate after application of FEC is identical to that of the original unprotected system. We obtain the operational rate-distortion characteristics of such a scheme employing selected FEC codes. In doing so, we demonstrate the robust performance achieved by appropriate use of FEC under moderate-to-high packet losses in comparison to the unprotected system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)361-374
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Image Processing
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1999


  • Asynchronous transfer mode
  • Channel coding
  • Communication channels
  • Information rates
  • Multimedia communications
  • Multiplexing
  • Source coding
  • Video coding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Software
  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition


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