Advanced Digital Media

From its inception, iCAIR has been involved in multiple research and development projects focused on creating new advanced digital media communication services and foundation capabilities based on next generation networks. Initially, these projects designed and developed advanced digital media services that used existing or improved Internet technologies, for example, by using new and enhanced Internet protocols. However, more recent projects have also focused on creating new methods for designing digital media services that are based on non-packet routed networks. These services are being designed not as replacements for packet routed services, but as complementary services, which often can be directly integrated with existing services. Digital media communication services have been especially important drivers for the next-generation Internet technology design and creation. These services have many special requirements that are much more challenging than standard Internet applications. Therefore, the Internet content today primarily consists of text and images as opposed to digital media.

The future Internet will have significantly more digital media capabilities. Increasingly, improvements to Internet technology are enabling it to support the creation and deployment of many new forms of digital media. For example, the Internet can support far more varieties of communications channels than are generally available today, such as network based 3D digital media virtual environments. Also, these new methods allow for streaming extremely high quality, high definition digital media, for example, media that has three hundred percent more resolution than HD providing substantially more visual information.

The Internet and Digital Media

The Internet has the potential to provide advance visual communications services that are far more powerful than those provided by traditional media technology, for example, the technologies used by broadcast media. Those types of legacy technologies eventually will be replaced by infrastructure that can provide for many new capabilities for visual information services. However, before this goal is achieved, a number of limitations in current Internet networks must be addressed. In general, Internet technology as generally implemented does not effectively support digital media based applications. Consequently, digital media applications that exist today are fairly restricted at several levels, which usually results the low quality services that are generally experienced today.

Through multiple initiatives, iCAIR and its research partners have been advancing digital media technology by removing these restrictions. These research initiatives are developing advanced capabilities for high quality, high performance digital media to the Internet. One goal of these initiatives is to bring high quality digital media (full color, full motion, full screen, ultra-high-quality) as a common service to the Internet. Another goal is to create new classes of applications and services based on digital media. Another objective is to create new software that will support media applications. Other projects are aimed at creating new types of foundation networking technology that provide enhanced support for high performance digital media. The majority of iCAIR's digital media projects are national and international in scope.

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