Media Synchronization - reference protocol implementation and prototype

Graduation (external) project TNO ICT – NCS/MMT 2010

Title: TNOMedia Synchronization - reference protocol implementation and prototype
Contact: TNO: Dr. Ir. M.O. van Deventer, Dr. Ir. O.A. Niamut, UT: Dr. Ir. G. Karagiannis
Start: To be decided, preferably early 2010
Location: TNO, Brassersplein 2, Delft



Digital TV, and in particular IPTV, offers a new range of TV services. This includes interactive and social TV services which involve viewers with the programs, or enable mutual communication between viewers. ConnecTV, a social TV service developed by TNO, is an example of such an interactive TV service; multiple users share their TV experience by "watching apart together", i.e. the can view the same content at different TV sets, while communicating with each other using text, speech and/or video communication.

Interactive TV services may require inter-destination or group synchronization. For example, the "watching apart together" experience is already spoiled if the play-out time between viewers differs less than a second, whereas delay differences of multiple seconds are likely to occur. TNO is now specifying a solution for inter-destination media synchronization within ETSI TISPAN, an international standardization body. A reference implementation can help further improve the solution and can significantly boost the exposure of this solution.

Project description

The graduate student should make a technical design and a reference implementation of inter-destination media synchronization, using the solution described in the ETSI TISPAN specification. This implementation should demonstrate the technical feasibility of the solution and potentially identifies flaws and/or weaknesses in the protocol specification. The reference implementation should be applied to the ConnecTV service.

We are looking for:

A graduate student with a background in Electrical Engineering, Computer Science or similar. He/she should have a feeling for protocols and APIs. Programming skills are required for implementation. Experience with SIP, HTTP, RTP and RTCP protocols, and IMS, IPTV, and video technologies is desired, but not essential.

We are offering:

An interesting external M.Sc. assignment (at TNO), carried out in a stimulating environment, possibly resulting in a publication.

Candidates can contact Georgios Karagiannis (




F. Boronat, J. Lloret, M. García, “Multimedia group and inter-stream synchronization techniques: A comparative study”, Elsevier Information Systems 34 (2009), pp. 108–131

Overview of synchronization technologies

Toshiro Nunome; Shuji Tasaka, "An Application–Level QoS Comparison of Inter–Destination Synchronization Schemes for Continuous Media Multicasting", IEICE transactions on communications, ISSN 0916-8516, Vol. 87 (2004), No. 10, pp. 3057-3067 (11).

Validation of inter-destination media synchronization technologies

Niamut et al, Large-Scale User Trial Shows Viability Of Social Experience-Sharing TV Services, IBC 2008, September 2008

Overview of the ConnecTV service and the pilot that was held to test the service

Van Deventer et al, Advanced interactive television services require content synchronization, IWSSIP 2008, Juni 2008

Overview of services that require inter-destination media synchronization

ETSI TS 181 016: “Telecommunications and Internet converged Services and Protocols for Advanced Networking (TISPAN); Service Layer Requirements to integrate NGN services and IPTV”.

Search for "synchronization" to find the relevant use cases and requirements on inter-destination media synchronization

ETSI TS 182 027: "Telecommunications and Internet converged Services and Protocols for Advanced Networking (TISPAN); IPTV Architecture; IPTV functions supported by the IMS subsystem".

Search for "synchronization" to find the relevant architecture and procedures on inter-destination media synchronization

ETSI TS 183 063: "Telecommunications and Internet converged Services and Protocols for Advanced Networking (TISPAN); IMS-based IPTV stage 3 specification".

Search for "synchronization" to find the relevant protocol definition for inter-destination media synchronization

IETF: SIP: Session Initiation Protocol,

Session initiation protocol (SIP), that is used by TS 183 063 to initiate IPTV sessions and synchronization sessions

IETF: RTP: A Transport Protocol for Real-Time Applications,

Real-time transport protocol (RTP) and especially Real-time transport control protocol(RTCP), that is used by TS 183 063 to exchange synchronization status information and synchronization settings instructions.

IETF: RTP Control Protocol Extended Reports (RTCP XR),

Solution to extend RCTP, which is used by TS 183 063 to convey additional parameters for synchronization.