Free-viewpoint TV Over IPTV

With the advance of computer graphics and vision technologies, free viewpoint video will become a reality in the near future. Traditional videos such as those shown on TV or viewed on the Internet are a passive two-dimensional medium in nature. Namely, viewers can only passively observe the event captured by the cameraman and have no ability to actively change the viewpoint once the video is recorded. On the contrary, free viewpoint video will allow the viewer to select an arbitrary viewpoint to a dynamic scene and thus enjoy a feeling of immersion into events such as an Olympic competition or a popular theatre show. In other words, free viewpoint video has the desirable feature of interactivity, which is absent in the traditional 2D video. Free viewpoint video applications over IPTV will likely become very popular and emerge as a prime application. A free viewpoint video system is composed of various components: scene acquisition and representation, compression, transmission, rendering and display. To make free viewpoint video applications a reality in the future and foster a mass consumer market, significant technical challenges in all components of the processing chain need to be tackled. These applications can be classified into two categories based on the type of distribution channel: (i) free viewpoint video applications using a network, either a dedicated broadcast network or Internet, as a distribution channel. (ii) Free viewpoint video applications using a non-network channel, such as recording media on next generation DVD or network accessible video server is also possible. Our proposed research aims at developing free viewpoint video applications that use IP networks as the distribution channel. A successful free viewpoint video system needs synergistic integration of various technologies such as multi-view video acquisition, compression, transmission and rendering. In this research project, we will focus on addressing the challenges of developing free viewpoint video systems from the ground up using emerging standards such as H.264/MPEG-4 AVC compression standard. Our main goal will be to develop a prototype system that would serve as a demonstrator for commercial partners to test the concept.

Project details (PDF)