Pixtree Technologies Inc., a digital multimedia solution company specializing in the latest Digital Multimedia Broadcasting compression standard MPEG-4, is busy both at home and abroad.
Even though the European Digital Audio Broadcasting's standard Eureka-147 has been adopted for terrestrial DMB as its system standard, the highly efficient MPEG-4 AVC (H.264) and MPEG-4 BSAC have been chosen as standards for video and audio compressions, respectively. Accordingly, Pixtree has won the recognition for its technological prowess in this field.
Last year, Pixtree, for example, signed a Non-Disclouser Agreement (NDA) with RadioScape, a DAB equipment supplier of Britain, for the joint marketing of DMB transmission systems. In addition, Pixtree received offers from such companies as VDL of France and Factum of Sweden for the joint development of DMB equipment.
Earlier, Pixtree made the DMB transmission of audio and video possible by adopting the MPEG 4 video and audio compression standards of the European DAB transmission system. The successful launch of multimedia broadcasting of DMB by SBS was made possible by Pixtree combining its MPEG-4 encoder with DAB equipment made by Factum of Sweden.
Early in 2004, meanwhile, Pixtree supplied MPEG-4 decoding solutions to a U.S. chip set manufacturer for application in digital signal processors (DSP) to make digital multimedia broadcasting possible.
Pixtree, whose principal employees are veterans of 10 years or more at the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT), has put its corporate focus on developing and supplying solutions that can support communication since its establishment in July 2002.
|Shin Jae-seob, chief executive officer of Pixtree Technologies|
Against the company's outstanding background of achievement, the Korea IT Times held an interview with Shin Jae-seob, chief executive officer of Pixtree Technologies. Mr. Shin currently chairs the Industry Focus Group of the MPEG-4 Industry Forum. The following are excerpts from the interview.
What role has Pixtree played in the development of DMB technology
I think the division of roles we have taken with Personal Telecom, the company responsible for manufacturing of hardware terminals for DMB services and Pixtree supplying operating software and multimedia programs, can be seen as a good example of cooperation among small companies in bringing about the world's first commercial service of Digital Multimedia Broadcasting.
Because small venture companies such as ours and Ontimetek provided good technologies at the right time, it was possible for us to contribute considerably in advancing the date of DMB service. That point, when viewed globally, can also be said to have given the necessary momentum for Korea to achieve standards in DMB technology in advance of others.
The local media frequently speak of Korea being the world's first in providing DMB service. Does this mean that mobile TV broadcasting service is not available in other parts of the world
No. From the technological standpoint, there is the digital TV broadcasting system called DVB-T that allows you to receive mobile broadcasting services. However, the service has the problem of low performance and high cost.
In contrast, what DMB means is that you can simultaneously provide moving pictures with audio by simply laying down the MPEG technology, which is widely regarded as the best technology available in the world, above the commercialized technology called DAB for the purpose of transmitting audio in Europe. What is important here is that not only is this trial being made in Korea, but through its demonstration, it will reveal all possibilities for its commercial operation.
Hasn't any other country tried to commercialize DMB
No, not yet. Even though such technologies as DVB-H, which can be called rival technologies, and Media Flo are in fact good technologies, they are technologies more for telecommunication rather than broadcasting. Accordingly, consumer satisfaction is low and the market has not yet taken off. Nonetheless, it is difficult to say which is more superior when only the technology itself is considered. However, when one speaks of which is more appealing in the market today, then the answer is definitely DMB.
How was DMB received during its demonstration runs around the world
When we launched a test broadcast of DMB in Germany in January, there were a considerable number of people in Europe who misunderstood that they needed to replace DAB and start all over again if they were to introduce DMB.
We have strived to correct this and, after a series of demonstrations and meetings, people on the broadcasting committee of BLM of Germany, for instance, now hold a significant understanding of DMB. That is, it is an efficient form of digital broadcasting that can provide service with least cost in Europe.
After all, the key to the success of DMB technology is how far and how well the market can be vitalized through concerted efforts by operators and the general public alike after the April 1st launch.
Please give us a brief overview of Pixtree.
First of all, the core technicians of Pixtree come from the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology. They were involved in the standardization of MPEG technology and they are the ones who have developed the audio technology called BSAC. On the video side, too, there are technicians who hold technology licenses in international standards. As Pixtree is the world's first company to develop DMB encoders that are presently being supplied to TV stations, I think that the fact that those like Samsung and STIC Ventures who have invested in our company is a testimony to the high appraisal of not only the technological prowess of the company but also of its future business prospects.
What do you think the future direction of Pixtree should be
I am very much interested in how DMB can be combined with portable Internet to create a new market in the future, as there is possibility that this could be a big issue as early as next year. After all, a venture company is no longer a venture company if it were to engage in a business for more than three years based on the technology it has developed.
Pixtree, the Multimedia Solution Meister
Pixtree Technologies Inc. is a digital multimedia solution company established in July 2002. Pixtree offers DMB encoders, decoders, CMS (Contents Management System) and PMP (Portable Multimedia Play) solutions. It supports multimedia data on various embedded environment with H.264 (MPEG-4 Part 10), MPEG-1/2 video codec and MPEG-2/4 AAC, SBR, MPEG-4 BSAC and MP3 audio codec.
The company is a leading provider of multimedia solutions based on international standards, including MPEG-4, 3GPP. Pixtree consists of MPEG4 A/V and System experts and has developed DMB encoder and decoder systems for broadcasting TV stations.
In November last year, Pixtree developed DMB Hardware Encoder (Model No. PixDMB-E100H) for DMB broadcasters. PixDMB-E100H is an integrated encoding system which includes video capturing, compression, multiplexing, and channel coding (FEC) that supports the Korean T-DMB standard. It supports DVB-ASI or ETI/STI output stream formats as well as UDP or TCP/IP output interfaces and also supports a variety of analog and digital interfaces for audio/video input devices. The PixDMB-P 100 is a development kit solution for Korean terrestrial DMB receivers. It is designed to support most of the needs of Korean terrestrial DMB industry. The target products for this solution are mobile receivers, automobile set-tops, notebooks and PDAs.
Pixtree provides PixDMB-M100S to monitoring T-DMB signals. It can monitor the status of the output DMB streams with visual graphic display. PixDMB-M 100S can analyze DMB stream from FEC and MPEG-2 TS level to MPEG-4 elementary stream level.
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