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VoIP steps into video

Posted: 04 Dec 2008     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:VoIP  video streaming  DSP 

Voice-over-IP (VoIP) has matured as a technology over the past decade, and is now an acceptable technology for the enterprise and the network core. Although there were issues with voice quality, delay and echo, dedicated DSPs and software solutions have helped improve quality to reach acceptable levels. VoIP has, in fact, enabled the next generation of quality improvements with such things as wideband codec support that sounds even better than legacy telephone systems.

Awad: Particular attention must be paid to software quality when choosing a silicon supplier with a complete software package.

VoIP for video apps
The most obvious development over the past few years is the rising adoption of video. VoIP has paved the way by prompting enterprises and network operators to transition their voice networks to IP-based networks. With this infrastructure in place, "switching on" video is made much easier. This means that enterprise and mobile systems can accommodate video streaming and video conferencing.

Consumers have become more video-savvy. This transition started with the appearance of digital cameras and camera-enabled mobile phones, which are now capable of capturing video as well. The new generation of consumers has become accustomed to capturing and sharing photos and videos, and this trend is spreading to enterprise communications, where employees are now ready to use video to communicate more effectively.

Thankfully, a new generation of DSPs has made it possible to support voice and video simultaneously. Working with a combined voice and video software package enables shorter development cycles, saves development and debugging time, as well as makes the learning curve shorter and integration easier.

From an architectural standpoint, using a combined voice and video product simplifies the overall system. There is no need to perform special packet routing for each type of traffic, routing voice and video to different processing elements. It also allows for a single hardware design to be created. Also, resolving A/V synchronisation is easier when there is a single processing element responsible for coordinating between the audio and video streams.

Particular attention must be paid to software quality when choosing a silicon supplier with a complete software package. Echo cancellation and video encoding are two examples of sophisticated fields where a lot of algorithmic research is required.

DSP platforms that support voice and video are emerging. By offering a complete hardware and software solution, these products offer substantial cost and simplicity benefits to system designers.

- James Awad
Product Marketing Manager
Octasic, Inc.

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