September 6, 2002

Searching for H.263

I tried to find some information on the H.263+ options commonly used in video conferencing software. The most popular application looks like Microsoft NetMeeting, no doubt in large part because it's bundled with every version of Windows. Cu-SeeMe doesn't look like it officially exists anymore, but I did find Click to Meet by First Virtual Communications. It looks like FVC used to be in charge of Cu-SeeMe but now sells Click to Meet. The free iVisit application also looks pretty popular, based on their discussion forum. It was developed by Tim Dorcey, the creator of Cu-SeeMe. Unfortunately, I could not find out anything about what H.263+ options these applications support. I've emailed FVC and the iVisit people asking if they would be able to provide me with this information. I'm not even sure if NetMeeting implements H.263+, since everything only refers to H.263.

But there's also Polycom, which I know about from my work at the Berkeley Multimedia Research Center. They are good enough to make their technology white papers available, and list the H.263+ annexes and options implemented in their iPower video codec:

  • Annex F: Advanced Prediction
  • Annex J: Deblocking
  • Annex N: Reference Picture Selection
  • Annex P: Reference Picture resampling by a factor of 4
  • Appendix I: Error Tracking

I also found two more papers. The first is provides a bunch of statistical models for variable-bit-rate video. This might be useful later on when we need to develop our own video stream models for traffic analysis. The second compares PSNR video quality of H.263 with different packet-loss protection schemes. Interesting that they found H.263 PSNR decreases linearly as packet loss increases.

Posted by josuah at September 6, 2002 2:43 AM UTC+00:00

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