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Real-time issues of MPEG-2 playout in resource constrained systems



Damir Isovic, Gerhard Fohler, Liesbeth Steffens

Publication Type:

Journal article


International Journal of Embedded Systems


Cambridge International Science Publishing


Decoding MPEG-2 video streams imposes hard real-time constraints for consumer electronic devices such as TV sets. The freedom of encoding choices provided by the MPEG-2 standard results in high variability inside streams, in particular with respect to frame structures and their sizes.In this paper, we discuss real-time issues for MPEG-2 playout. We present results from a study of realistic MPEG-2 video streams to analyze the validity of common assumptions for software decoding and identify a number of misconceptions. We identify constraints imposed by frame buffer handling and discuss their implications on decoding architecture and timing. Finally, we identify realistic timing constraints demanded by high quality MPEG-2 software video decoding.


author = {Damir Isovic and Gerhard Fohler and Liesbeth Steffens},
title = {Real-time issues of MPEG-2 playout in resource constrained systems},
volume = {1, issue 2},
number = {ISSN 1740-4460},
month = {June},
year = {2005},
journal = {International Journal of Embedded Systems},
publisher = {Cambridge International Science Publishing},
url = {}