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MPEG advances MPEG-21 technology

In Trondheim, Norway, MPEG advanced work on the Multimedia Framework with completion last week of Parts 5 and 6 of MPEG-21, entitled "the Rights Expression Language (REL) and its associated Rights Data Dictionary (RDD)." The REL and the RDD together form a powerful tool for managing the consumption rights of all forms of content.

MPEG said that REL provides the means to create expressions that can then be associated with audio/video and other content to express what the consumer can do with that content. REL expressions can be as simple as "play" and can also express the complex consumption models that can be devised. Along with MPEG-21 Parts 2 and 3 (Digital Item Declaration and Digital Item Identification) that are already completed, the addition of the REL/RDD moves the MPEG-21 Multimedia Framework closer to fruition.

Work also has been advanced on Digital Item Adaptation (DIA), a technology making it possible to successfully render multimedia content on a myriad of multifunction devices by taking into account the network and terminal characteristics of the multimedia consumption infrastructure.

In addition, MPEG announced support to carry AVC (MPEG-4 Part 10) over MPEG-2 Transport Streams. The MPEG-4 File Format was also upgraded. The ability to use AVC in conjunction with MPEG-2 in broadcast applications was sought by the television industry. Also completed was an amendment to MPEG-4 Visual (Part2), which defines an "Error-resilient Simple Scalable Profile." This new technology provides increased quality in error-prone mobile environments. The addition of error resilience to the suite of tools in MPEG-4 Visual will facilitate re-synchronization enhancement information to be transmitted.

MPEG also completed the work on the MPEG-4 reference hardware (Part 9). This completes a first step in a two-step process that will ultimately include the integration of both the optimized reference software (Part 7) and this now complete reference hardware part of MPEG-4.

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