Successful review of the first research phase: Christian Doppler ‘pilot’ laboratory ATHENA to transition to a regular CD laboratory two years after launch

The University of Klagenfurt has been running the Christian Doppler Laboratory ATHENA in collaboration with Bitmovin since October 2019. The team of researchers is developing new methods for the delivery and playback of live and on-demand video via the Internet using HTTP Adaptive Streaming technology. The aim is to provide viewers with a higher quality, lower latency video experience in the future. At the same time, researchers are seeking to reduce storage and distribution costs. The laboratory has recently undergone a comprehensive evaluation — and can now transition from the pilot phase to a regular laboratory.

“Not long after the launch of ATHENA, the COVID-19 pandemic also reached Austria. Even during that early tricky phase of getting the project off the ground, we nonetheless succeeded in managing the situation professionally and moving forward swiftly with our research work,” Christian Timmerer reports. He is the director of the laboratory and also teaches and conducts research at the Institute of Information Technology. The scientific output that has since emerged is impressive: As many as 25 papers have already been published, most of them in high-ranking publication venues. Two of the results presented in these articles have since been adopted by the industry partner Bitmovin for use in their innovation infrastructure. The first of these results improves how development teams measure and visualise media player performance, and the second introduces a more efficient approach to ensuring that the highest quality video is delivered to viewers.

Christian Doppler Laboratories are subject to regular reviews by experts between the different project phases. The first review is conducted after two years. The panel of experts was presented with a comprehensive evaluation report and a demonstration of various technical innovations. The ATHENA team was able to make a highly favourable impression on the experts. “It is my pleasure to announce that the ATHENA CD ‘pilot’ laboratory will transition into a regular CD laboratory starting in October 2021. Moreover, the budget for the second phase of the project has been approved by the Christian Doppler Association”, Christian Timmerer confirms. The CD Laboratory in Klagenfurt employs 17 scientists from 9 countries.