KR101104728B1 - Method and Apparatus for Providing Streaming Service Using Variable Buffering - Google Patents

Method and Apparatus for Providing Streaming Service Using Variable Buffering Download PDF

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Publication number
KR101104728B1
KR101104728B1 KR1020080107678A KR20080107678A KR101104728B1 KR 101104728 B1 KR101104728 B1 KR 101104728B1 KR 1020080107678 A KR1020080107678 A KR 1020080107678A KR 20080107678 A KR20080107678 A KR 20080107678A KR 101104728 B1 KR101104728 B1 KR 101104728B1
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KR
South Korea
Prior art keywords
streaming
buffer unit
content data
data
capacity
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KR1020080107678A
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Korean (ko)
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KR20100048492A (en
Inventor
김경환
심선호
전재식
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에스케이플래닛 주식회사
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Priority to KR1020080107678A priority Critical patent/KR101104728B1/en
Publication of KR20100048492A publication Critical patent/KR20100048492A/en
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    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television or video on demand [VOD]
    • H04N21/40Client devices specifically adapted for the reception of or interaction with content, e.g. set-top-box [STB]; Operations thereof
    • H04N21/43Processing of content or additional data, e.g. demultiplexing additional data from a digital video stream; Elementary client operations, e.g. monitoring of home network, synchronizing decoder's clock; Client middleware
    • H04N21/433Content storage operation, e.g. storage operation in response to a pause request, caching operations
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television or video on demand [VOD]
    • H04N21/40Client devices specifically adapted for the reception of or interaction with content, e.g. set-top-box [STB]; Operations thereof
    • H04N21/43Processing of content or additional data, e.g. demultiplexing additional data from a digital video stream; Elementary client operations, e.g. monitoring of home network, synchronizing decoder's clock; Client middleware
    • H04N21/44Processing of video elementary streams, e.g. splicing a video clip retrieved from local storage with an incoming video stream, rendering scenes according to MPEG-4 scene graphs
    • H04N21/44004Processing of video elementary streams, e.g. splicing a video clip retrieved from local storage with an incoming video stream, rendering scenes according to MPEG-4 scene graphs involving video buffer management, e.g. video decoder buffer or video display buffer

Abstract

The present invention relates to an apparatus and method for providing a streaming service using variable buffering. The present invention reassigns the ratio of additional information temporarily stored in the buffer unit according to the capacity of the content data among the temporarily stored streaming signals while the streaming signal having the streaming content is received and temporarily stored in the buffer unit. That is, the present invention can improve the quality of the streaming service and efficiently utilize the limited resources of the client terminal by providing a streaming service without interruption by variably operating the buffer unit of the client terminal used for the streaming service according to the remaining storage capacity.
Streaming, buffer, storage, threshold, content data, side information, reallocation

Description

Method and apparatus for providing streaming service using variable buffering {Method and Apparatus for Providing Streaming Service Using Variable Buffering}

The present invention relates to a streaming service, and more particularly, to a method and an apparatus capable of providing a smooth streaming service using variable buffering in a streaming service.

With the development of internet technology, a streaming service that receives multimedia content such as video or animation through the internet in real time is being activated. Streaming refers to a technique of playing in real time while buffering a certain amount of the entire file, unlike a download method of playing after receiving all multimedia content files. Since the rest is continuously transmitted while playing back the buffered part, it is called 'streaming' because the transmitted data is treated like a continuous, continuous stream of water. Such streaming services include real time broadcast services or video on demand services.

Meanwhile, with the explosive increase in video content including user created contents (UCC), Internet traffic has been increasing rapidly in recent years. The growth rate of Internet bandwidth (supply) is not able to keep pace with the growth rate of Internet traffic (demand). In 2007 alone, global Internet traffic grew 75 percent, but Internet bandwidth grew only 44 percent.

As a way to solve the shortage of Internet bandwidth, CDN (content delivery network) technology is attracting attention. CDN technology is a technology that can utilize the internet network more efficiently by using active traffic distribution to increase average network utilization and lower peak traffic. According to the CDN technology, the content provider replicates the content to be provided to the client to a plurality of locally distributed servers, and when requested by the client, the content provider can receive the content from the optimal server.

However, in the case of a streaming service mainly targeting a large amount of multimedia content, the performance and characteristics of a client terminal that receives, buffers, and plays data in addition to the network state or performance significantly affect the overall service quality. Even if the network environment is improved, it is difficult to expect a high quality streaming service if the receiving performance or buffering capacity at the end user is low.

Accordingly, the present invention is to solve the conventional problems, to improve the quality of service in terms of the client terminal in the streaming service of multimedia content.

In addition, the present invention is to provide a method that can efficiently utilize the limited resources of the client terminal in the streaming service of the multimedia content.

In order to achieve this object, the present invention provides a streaming service providing method and apparatus using variable buffering.

According to an aspect of the present invention, there is provided a streaming service providing method comprising: receiving, by a receiving unit of a client terminal, a streaming signal having content data for streaming content and additional data other than the content data, and temporarily storing the received streaming signal in a buffer unit; Reproducing, by the reproducing unit of the client terminal, the streaming signal temporarily stored in the buffer unit; And reallocating, by the controller of the client terminal, a storage ratio between content data and additional data with respect to a storage capacity of the buffer unit according to the capacity of the content data of the streaming signals temporarily stored in the buffer unit.

In the streaming service providing method, the reassigning step includes the controller storing the entire storage capacity of the buffer unit when the capacity of the content data of the streaming signals temporarily stored in the buffer unit is less than a first threshold. It can be assigned to the storage of content data.

The reallocating step may further include allocating a portion of the storage capacity of the buffer unit to the storage of the additional data when the control unit of the client terminal has a capacity of the content data of the streaming signals temporarily stored in the buffer unit equal to or greater than a second threshold value. can do.

On the other hand, the streaming service providing apparatus according to the present invention, the buffer unit for temporarily storing a streaming signal having the content data and additional data other than the content data for the input streaming content; A reproducing unit reproducing the streaming signal temporarily stored in the buffer unit; And a control unit controlling the buffer unit to reallocate a storage ratio between content data and additional data with respect to a storage capacity of the buffer unit according to the capacity of the content data of the streaming signals temporarily stored in the buffer unit.

In the streaming service providing apparatus, the control unit controls to allocate the entire storage capacity of the buffer unit to store the content data when the capacity of the content data of the streaming signals temporarily stored in the buffer unit is less than a first threshold. can do.

The controller may control to allocate a portion of the storage capacity of the buffer unit to the storage of the additional data when the capacity of the content data of the streaming signals temporarily stored in the buffer unit is equal to or greater than a second threshold value.

According to the present invention, the buffer unit of the client terminal used for the streaming service is variably operated according to the remaining storage capacity to provide a streaming service without interruption, thereby improving the quality of the streaming service (QoS) and efficiently utilizing the limited resources of the client terminal. There is an advantage.

Hereinafter, with reference to the accompanying drawings will be described in detail an embodiment of the present invention. In describing the embodiments, descriptions of technical contents that are well known in the art to which the present invention pertains and are not directly related to the present invention will be omitted. This is to more clearly communicate without obscure the core of the present invention by omitting unnecessary description. In addition, like reference numerals designate like or corresponding elements throughout the accompanying drawings.

1 is a view schematically showing the configuration of a streaming service providing system according to an embodiment of the present invention.

Referring to FIG. 1, the streaming service providing system includes a service group 100 including a plurality of client terminals A1, A2,..., An, and a content server 200 that provides streaming content to the service group 100. ).

The service group 100 is client terminals that subscribe to a streaming service provided by the content server 200. These client terminals may be provided with streaming content from the content server 200 via wired or wireless.

The content server 200 transmits the streaming content to the client terminals as a streaming signal. The streaming content may consist only of audio data such as a music file or may include both audio and video data such as a video file. In this specification, such audio and video data will be referred to as 'content data'.

The content server 200 transmits content data as a streaming signal. When transmitting the streaming signal, the content server 200 may include necessary 'additional data' in the streaming signal and transmit the same.

The additional data may be data at the back of the content currently receiving the streaming service in the case of the streaming service on demand. In addition, the latter part of the content data may be transmitted first.

The additional data may be data associated with content data currently being played by the client terminal. For example, the video file may be data for playing a first screen, a thumb-nail displaying a jacket picture of a music file, a subtitle of the video file, and the like.

The additional data may be data not associated with content data currently being played by the client terminal. For example, such additional data may be data for playing an advertisement or the like.

The client terminal may include various functional modules related to the streaming service. For example, in order to display streaming data on a predetermined display device, the client terminal converts an analog signal into a digital signal to fit the display device, an analog to digital convertor (ADC), a codec according to the format of the streaming data, And a color converter that compresses and expands the data to fit the screen size.

The client terminal may be a computer, a mobile communication terminal, a digital broadcasting terminal, a personal digital assistant (PDA), a smart phone, an MP3 player, a digital camera, or a set-top box. It may be a device or a wired or wireless multimedia device.

Next, the client terminal belonging to the service group will be described in more detail. 2 is a block diagram showing the configuration of a client terminal according to an embodiment of the present invention.

2, the client terminal includes a communication unit 110, a modem unit 120, a buffer unit 130, a codec unit 140, a playback unit 150, and a control unit 160.

The communication unit 110 receives a streaming signal from the content server 200. The streaming signal includes streaming content and also includes video data, audio data and additional data. The streaming signal is continuous in the time domain, and the communication unit 110 continuously receives the streaming signal until the streaming content ends. The communication unit 110 may receive a streaming signal according to a wired or wireless protocol.

In the wireless case, the communication unit 110 receives a streaming signal, which is a high frequency (RF) signal, and sequentially converts the received high frequency signal into an intermediate frequency (IF) signal and a base band (BB) signal. In addition, the communication unit 110 converts an analog signal into a digital signal. To this end, the communication unit 110 may include a low noise amplifier (LNA), a channel filter, an analog to digital converter, and the like.

In the case of a wired line, the communication unit 110 may include a converter for converting a streaming signal, which is a wired analog signal, to a digital signal according to a wired interface.

The streaming signal converted into a digital signal is output from the communication unit 110 and input to the modem unit 120.

The modem unit 120 demodulates and outputs a streaming signal, which is an input digital signal. The modem unit 120 modulates the streaming signal in a manner corresponding to a method in which the content server 120 modulates the streaming signal, and outputs it to the buffer unit 130.

The buffer unit 130 temporarily stores the input streaming signal. The buffer unit 130 preferably employs a first-in first-out (FIFO) method in which data inputted first in time is outputted first. In addition, the buffer unit 130 may be configured in a stack or queue manner to store an input streaming signal.

The streaming signal may be a music file composed only of audio data, or a video file composed of audio and video data. Audio and video data also differ in file size used to store one frame. That is, the file size of video data storing one frame is larger than audio data. Accordingly, the storage capacity of the buffer unit 130 is preferably a multiple of one frame storage capacity of each of the video data and the audio data.

The buffer unit 130 stores a sufficient amount of streaming signals at the beginning of playback to seamlessly service streaming content. That is, in order to provide a streaming service without interruption from the user's point of view, the buffer unit 130 must store a streaming signal of a predetermined capacity or more. For this reason, at the initial reception of the streaming signal, the buffer unit 130 outputs the temporarily stored streaming signal to the codec unit 140 only after data having a predetermined capacity or more is stored under the control of the controller 160.

At this time, the output of the streaming signal of the buffer unit 130 is output according to the data format of the streaming signal. That is, audio data of the streaming signal is output to the audio codec, and video data of the streaming signal is output to the video codec. In addition, when the streaming signal includes additional data, the streaming signal may be output using the corresponding data codec.

In particular, the buffer unit 130 performs variable buffering to vary the storage ratio of the content data and the additional data according to the remaining capacity of the content data stored in the buffer unit 130.

The codec unit 140 decodes the input streaming signal and outputs the decoded signal to the reproduction unit 150. At this time, the codec unit 140 decodes the streaming signal according to the data format of the streaming signal. To this end, the codec unit 140 may include an audio codec, a video codec, a data codec, and the like. That is, the codec unit 140 decodes the audio data of the streaming signal through the audio codec, and decodes the video data of the streaming signal through the video codec. In the case of additional data, the data is decoded and output through a data codec according to the format of each additional data.

The playback unit 150 reproduces the input streaming signals. To this end, the playback unit 150 includes a display device and an audio device. The display device displays video data among the streaming signals output from the codec unit 140 on the screen. The display device may be formed of a liquid crystal display (LCD). The audio device plays a role of reproducing audio data among the streaming signals output from the codec unit 140. An audio device for this purpose may have a configuration in which audio data, which is a digital signal, is converted into an analog signal, amplified, and reproduced through a speaker. The reproduction unit 150 may reproduce the additional data using either the display apparatus or the audio apparatus according to the additional data format, and may include another apparatus for reproducing the additional data according to the data format.

The controller 160 controls the input / output of the communication unit 110, the modem unit 120, the buffer unit 130, the codec unit 140, and the playback unit 150 described above. In particular, the controller 160 adjusts the storage capacity and the storage data composition ratio of the buffer 130.

In an embodiment of the present invention, the controller 160 checks the capacity temporarily stored by the buffer unit 130 and adjusts the storage ratio of the streaming signal according to the content currently being played.

In another embodiment of the present invention, the controller 160 measures the streaming signal transmission rate to adjust the storage ratio of the streaming signal according to the content currently being played.

The client terminal for providing a streaming service according to an embodiment of the present invention has been described so far, and the following describes a streaming service providing method using the client terminal.

3 is a conceptual diagram illustrating variable buffering according to an embodiment of the present invention.

In FIG. 3, a first threshold value 1 and a second threshold value 2 according to the content data storage capacity of the buffer unit are shown. As shown, the first threshold 1 represents a smaller capacity than the second threshold 2. In FIG. 3, reference numeral 130a denotes a buffer unit that stores content data that is less than a first threshold 1, and reference numeral 130b denotes a buffer unit that stores content data that is greater than or equal to a second threshold 2.

2 and 3, the buffer unit 130 (130a, 130b) temporarily stores and outputs a streaming signal. In order to provide a seamless streaming service to the user, the content data among the streaming signals should be stored in the buffer unit 130 for a predetermined amount or more. In order to perform this function, the first threshold is a value for guaranteeing a predetermined capacity or more for providing a seamless service.

Therefore, the controller 160 periodically measures the capacity of the content data stored in the buffer 130. As a result of the measurement, when the capacity of the content data of the streaming signals temporarily stored in the buffer 130 is less than the first threshold (130a), the controller 160 stores the total capacity of the buffer 130 in the content data. Control to assign to.

On the other hand, when the capacity of the content data among the streaming signals temporarily stored in the buffer unit 130 is greater than or equal to a second threshold (130b), the controller 160 allocates a portion of the buffer unit 130 to the storage of additional data. To control.

As described above, the present invention performs variable buffering according to the capacity of the content data stored in the buffer unit 130. Hereinafter, a method of providing a streaming service of a client terminal using such variable buffering will be described with reference to FIGS. 2 and 4. 4 is a flowchart illustrating a streaming service providing method of a client terminal according to an embodiment of the present invention.

First, the receiving unit 110 of the client terminal receives the streaming signal having the streaming content from the content server 200 in step S401, and outputs it to the modem unit 120.

The modem unit 120 demodulates the streaming signal received in operation S403. These streaming signals are continuous in the time domain and are continuously received until the streaming content ends.

When the reception of the streaming signal starts as described above, the buffer unit 130 temporarily stores the streaming signal output through the modem unit 120 in step S405.

Then, the controller 160 determines whether or not the streaming signal temporarily stored in the buffer unit 130 has a capacity capable of starting playback in step S407. That is, in order to provide a streaming service seamlessly from the user's point of view, a streaming signal of a predetermined capacity or more must be stored in the buffer unit. For this reason, since the streaming service is started after data having a predetermined capacity or more is stored in the buffer unit 130, the capacity that can start playback is checked to start the streaming service.

As a result of the determination in step S407, when the content data having a playable capacity or more is stored, the controller 160 controls to output the streaming signal stored in the buffer unit 130 to the codec unit 140 in step S409. At this time, the output of the streaming signal of the buffer unit 130 depends on the data format of the streaming signal. That is, audio data of the streaming signal is output to the audio codec, and video data of the streaming signal is output to the video codec. In addition, when the streaming signal includes additional data, the streaming signal may be output to the corresponding data codec. On the other hand, when it is determined in step S407 that no more capacity to start playback is stored, the controller 160 waits until a capacity capable of starting playback is received.

In operation S411, the codec unit 140 decodes the input streaming signal and outputs the decoded streaming signal to the reproduction unit 150. At this time, the codec unit 140 decodes the data according to the data format of the input streaming signal and outputs the decoded data to the reproduction unit 150 according to each data. That is, audio data of the streaming signal is decoded through the audio codec, and video data of the streaming signal is decoded through the video codec. When additional data is included in the streaming signal, it is decoded and output according to the format of each additional data.

When the decoded streaming signal is input, the reproduction unit 150 reproduces the streaming signals in step S413. At this time, the playback unit 150 displays the video data through the display device, and reproduces the audio data through the audio device. In addition, the playback unit 150 may display additional data of the streaming signal through the splay device as necessary. For example, the additional data displayed through the display device may be a caption of a video file.

As described above, the controller 160 measures the capacity of the content data temporarily stored in the buffer unit in operation S415, and the storage capacity of the content data of the buffer unit 130 is less than the first threshold in operation S417. Determine if it is.

If the storage capacity of the content data of the buffer unit 130 is less than the first threshold as a result of the determination in step S417, the controller 160 stores all of the capacity of the buffer unit 130 in step S419. Control to allocate for That is, since the storage capacity of the content data stored in the buffer unit 130 cannot go along with the playback speed, the streaming content may be interrupted. Therefore, the entire capacity of the buffer unit 130 is used for temporary storage of the streaming signal. .

In operation S417, when the storage capacity of the content data of the buffer unit 130 is equal to or greater than a preset first threshold value, the controller 160 stores the content data of the buffer unit 130 in step S421. It is determined whether the capacity is greater than or equal to a second predetermined threshold (threshold 2).

As a result of the determination in step S421, if the storage capacity of the content data is equal to or greater than the second threshold 2, the controller 160 allocates a portion of the capacity of the buffer unit 130 to the additional data storage in step S423. To control. In this case, even if the storage of the buffer is somewhat reduced, there is no problem in seamlessly playing the streaming content. That is, it may be a case where the transmission speed of the streaming signal is high. On the other hand, the capacity to be allocated to the additional data storage is preferably proportional to the transmission rate.

If the storage capacity of the content data is less than the second threshold 2 as a result of the determination in step S421, the controller 160 proceeds to step S425. In step S425, the controller 160 determines whether playback of the content has ended. At this time, if the content playback is finished, the process is terminated, otherwise, the process returns to step S413 to play the received streaming signal.

As described above, the method and apparatus for providing a streaming service of a client terminal according to an embodiment of the present invention adjusts the data storage rate of the buffer unit based on the amount of content data temporarily stored in the current buffer unit, thereby improving the quality of the streaming service (QoS). ) And the buffer can be used efficiently.

As described above, the present specification and drawings have been described with respect to preferred embodiments of the present invention, although specific terms are used, it is only used in a general sense to easily explain the technical contents of the present invention and to help the understanding of the present invention. It is not intended to limit the scope of the present invention. It is to be understood by those skilled in the art that other modifications based on the technical idea of the present invention are possible in addition to the embodiments disclosed herein.

The present invention can be usefully used for a variety of multimedia streaming services that appear in a variety of forms, such as video content, online education, mass media content such as movies, broadcasts, music, recording and live broadcast, IPTV, including UCC.

1 is a view schematically showing the configuration of a streaming service providing system according to an embodiment of the present invention.

2 is a block diagram showing the configuration of a client terminal according to an embodiment of the present invention.

3 is a conceptual diagram illustrating variable buffering according to an embodiment of the present invention.

4 is a flowchart illustrating a streaming service providing method of a client terminal according to an embodiment of the present invention.

<Description of main parts of drawing>

100: service group 110: communication unit

120: modem section 130: buffer section

140: codec unit 150: playback unit

160: control unit 200: content server

Claims (6)

  1. Receiving, by a receiving unit of the client terminal, a streaming signal having content data of the streaming content and additional data other than the content data, and temporarily storing the received streaming signal in a buffer unit;
    Reproducing, by the reproducing unit of the client terminal, the streaming signal temporarily stored in the buffer unit;
    Reallocating, by the controller of the client terminal, a storage ratio between content data and additional data with respect to a storage capacity of the buffer unit according to the capacity of the content data of the streaming signals temporarily stored in the buffer unit;
    Streaming service providing method of a client terminal comprising a.
  2. The method according to claim 1,
    In the reallocating step, if the capacity of the content data of the streaming signals temporarily stored in the buffer unit is less than a first threshold, the controller of the client terminal allocates the entire storage capacity of the buffer unit to the storage of the content data. A streaming service providing method of a client terminal, characterized in that.
  3. The method according to claim 1,
    In the reallocating step, if the capacity of the content data of the streaming signals temporarily stored in the buffer unit is greater than or equal to a second threshold value, the controller of the client terminal allocates a portion of the storage capacity of the buffer unit to the storage of the additional data. A streaming service providing method of a client terminal, characterized in that.
  4. A buffer unit which temporarily stores a streaming signal including content data of the input streaming content and additional data other than the content data;
    A reproducing unit reproducing the streaming signal temporarily stored in the buffer unit; And
    A control unit controlling the buffer unit to reallocate a storage ratio between the content data and the additional data with respect to a storage capacity of the buffer unit according to the capacity of the content data of the streaming signals temporarily stored in the buffer unit;
    Streaming service providing apparatus of a client terminal comprising a.
  5. The method according to claim 4,
    The control unit controls to allocate the entire storage capacity of the buffer unit to the storage of the content data when the capacity of the content data of the streaming signals temporarily stored in the buffer unit is less than a first threshold. Streaming service providing device.
  6. The method according to claim 4,
    The control unit controls to allocate a portion of the storage capacity of the buffer unit to the storage of the additional data when the capacity of the content data among the streaming signals temporarily stored in the buffer unit is equal to or greater than a second threshold value. Streaming service providing device.
KR1020080107678A 2008-10-31 2008-10-31 Method and Apparatus for Providing Streaming Service Using Variable Buffering KR101104728B1 (en)

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KR102002921B1 (en) * 2012-12-05 2019-07-23 삼성전자주식회사 Buffer managing method and therefore semiconductor storage device

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