Controlling multimedia streams across internet and ATM network
Today's networking environment comprises a variety of networks. This does not only imply differences in physical transport media, but also imply differences in all layers including the application layer. The forthcoming networked multimedia age will complicate the issue even more. Nevertheless, users do not wish to be aware of such complexity and heterogeneity of the environment; they want the services to be provided in a uniform and seamless manner as if they use a single network - therefore the necessity of interworking at service level as well as at network level. This paper describes MiddleMEN system, which supports the service interworking functions in the heterogeneous network environment comprising the Internet and the ATM network. In a nutshell, MiddleMEN delivers DAVIC-compliant VOD to an Internet user. This paper, in particular, focuses on interworking of the stream control mechanisms for providing the Internet user with the control capability of the real-time multimedia stream served by the service provider in the DAVIC domain. MiddleMEN supports the various brokerage functionalities to enable the user to access the multimedia services more easily and more effectively. And also, MiddleMEN supports the various interworking functionalities that enable the user and the service provider to use and serve the services without being concerned with the location and type of network of the other party. More specifically, for the purpose of control of the stream, MiddleMEN converts the internet real-time stream control protocol into the DAVIC-compliant stream control protocol. Through the service gateway interworking function of MiddleMEN, the DAVIC-compliant L2 gateway (i.e., MHEG-5) is translated into more familiar form of HTML on the fly, enabling the Internet user to have access to the multimedia service and have control on it using his own way he is familiar with, as if he is in a homogeneous network environment. MiddleMEN proves the possibility of bilateral network-to-network interworking at service level.
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