Rapid increase in the volume of video transmissions: Work is in progress on a new intelligent video platform

By the year 2022, video content will account for almost 79 percent of mobile data traffic. This means that the level is expected to increase nine-fold in just five years from 2017 to 2022. These ever-growing magnitudes pose new challenges for modern technologies. In a research alliance between the Department of Information Technology, bitmovin GmbH and the joint CD laboratory ATHENA, researchers are now working on a new cloud-based video platform that can keep pace with current demands.

An exabyte is a multiple of a byte; specifically, it equates to 1,0006 bytes. Looking ahead to 2022, experts predict that the monthly data traffic passing through the mobile telephony network will reach 77 exabytes, with close to 61 exabytes of this being attributable to video transmissions. “This leaves no doubt that we have reached the era of exascale computing”, lead scientist Christian Timmerer (Department of Information Technology) concludes. In the future, it will be necessary to process even larger amounts of data. New technologies are needed to ensure fast computing speeds and high-quality transmission.

One of the most important steps will be a new video platform with the title APOLLO, which will enable intelligent HTTP-adaptive streaming. Cloud technologies are at the heart of this endeavour, as Timmerer goes on to explain: “We need to distribute video processing tasks in an intelligent manner. To do this, we need appropriate settings, ranging from large data centres to small computer environments. Artificial intelligence and machine learning will support the actual distribution.”

The aim is to keep the consumers’ perception of the quality of service and experience in mind. Algorithms and tools are used to manage resources efficiently. Customers will be supplied with the resources according to predefined classes of service and experience quality.

The project in Klagenfurt builds on extensive experience in the field of video streaming technologies. The team at the Department of Information Technology plays a leading role in the development of numerous standards in video streaming worldwide. This is further complemented by comprehensive expertise concerning exascale systems, including that of Radu Prodan, a partner in the ongoing EUH2020-FET project “ASPIDE”. In January, the Christian Doppler Laboratory ATHENA was opened jointly with bitmovin GmbH, with researchers working on different projects, but with a thematic overlap. The APOLLO project is supported by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) and bitmovin GmbH.