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Chapter 16. MPEG-4 OVERVIEW > The Future of MPEG-4

The Future of MPEG-4

Given its great potential, the question, of course, is "When will MPEG-4 be available?" The first commercial MPEG-4 systems are expected to be used for internet delivery of multimedia content in early 2000. One MPEG-4 server and a software decoder were previewed by Philips Digital Video Systems at the September 1998 International Broadcasting Convention in Amsterdam. The video decoder in Microsoft's Windows Media Player, in fact, now operates according to the text of the final MPEG-4 standard. Recently, Sharp introduced a digital camera capable of storing MPEG-4 video.

The next adopters might be manufacturers of mobile equipment and providers of mobile services. For such devices, implementing the entire standard would be too much. Instead, a number of profiles, which define a subset of the standard, have been included for their designers to choose from. In fact, MPEG-4 has been found usable for streaming wireless video transmission by using GSM (Global System for Mobile communications) at 10 Kbps, which is the currently used data rate for voice communications. We might soon see mobile phones with video!


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