An adaptive protocol for synchronizing media streams

  • Authors:
  • Kurt Rothermel;Tobias Helbig

  • Affiliations:
  • -;-

  • Venue:
  • Multimedia Systems
  • Year:
  • 1997

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Stream synchronization is widely regarded as a fundamental problem in the field of multimedia systems. Solutions to this problem can be divided into adaptive and rigid mechanisms. While rigid mechanisms are based on worst case assumptions, adaptive ones monitor the underlying network and are able to adapt themselves to changing network conditions. In this paper, we will present an adaptive stream synchronization protocol. This protocol supports any kind of distribution of the sources and sinks of the streams to be synchronized. It is based on a buffer-level control mechanism, allowing immediate corrections when the danger of a buffer overflow or underflow is recognized. Moreover, the proposed protocol is flexible enough to support a wide variety of synchronization policies, which can be dynamically changed while synchronization is in progress. Finally, the message overhead of this protocol is low, because control messages are only exchanged when network conditions change.