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Video Enhanced Telephony — Part I

In the mass-market today, the onslaught of rich video content and social networking has greatly increased the impact of online video on the network. The expectation by the consumer is a high quality video that can add to the end user experience in a very seamless manner. This represents a huge opportunity and a plethora of issues all at the same time.

To better understand the issues, I found some emerging experts in the video enhanced telephony space at Dialogic Corporation. Joe Mele (News - Alert), Vice President at Dialogic Media Labs, states that several “breakthrough” video algorithms and technologies are being created by the Media Labs team. More information can be found at

One of the major challenges the team is exploring is how to deliver high quality video in a low network bandwidth environment. The latest standard, H.264, addressed the needs for proper video compression techniques. However, compression techniques get much more interesting when they enhance telephony applications with video. According to Brian Peebles, CTO at Dialogic (News - Alert), “Video processing operations require that the content be uncompressed and then recompressed and doing so consumes a considerable amount of processing power. Additional processing such as combining conference streams, synchronizing audio, image overlay, etc, requires even more processing power. The processing power needed for transcoding or for combining an image is a function of the total number of bits processed, which will depend on the overall image quality required.” Brian went on to say that the relevant factors in designing a video processing gateway or server include the following:

  • Scaling over a factor of 100 in channel density.
  • Scaling over a factor of 200 in processing density per channel.
  • Field upgradeability to accommodate new algorithms.
  • Cost effectiveness.

“In short, scalability, versatility, density, and usability are four notable design principles for video processing architectures,” says Peebles.

Final Score

IMS is an end-to-end architectural framework. Video-enhanced telephony will be the future content driver for broadband networks for network operators and service providers deploying these IMS solutions. Resolving the complex networking bandwidth and compression challenges will be critical for providers to successfully deploy video enhanced telephony.

Jeff Hudgins is VP of Product Management at NEI, Inc. For more information, visit the company online at

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