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An Architecture for Multimedia Systems

The architecure of multimedia system may be described as a four-level hierarchy. In line with concepts developed in conventional layered systems such as the OSI and Internet (Chapter [*]) each layer performs a specific function and supports the function performed in the layer above. The four-layers (lowest (bottom) layer first) of the archiotecture, known as the RT architecture (Real-time information handling), are:

Network Subsystem (Layer 1)
-- This layer takes care of the functionalities up layer 3 in the OSI model (Chapter [*]). Network specific funstions depend on the technolgy used in this layer (see Section refsec:mmnetwork below). Essentially this level provides a possible connection through a network with a specified bandwidth and error probability as supported by the underlying technology.
End-to-End QoS Control(Layer 2)
-- This layer maintains the connection between the source and destination and can be conceptually viewed as a single connection -- even though there may be physically many more. Each connection is managed to ensure that a given Quality of Service (Qos) (Section 9.4) is maintained.
Media Management (layer 3)
- This layer provides generic services to applications ihn so far as media management is concerned. A primary functions is synchronisation across the media (Section 9.4).
Application (Layer 4)
-- The direct interface with the user. The applciation wil also interface with the operating system, if required -- for example calls to stroage media or specific library functions (subroutines).

next up previous
Next: Multimedia Networking Up: Multimedia Architecture Previous: Components of a Multimedia
Dave Marshall
11/5/1999