Supporting multimedia applications over a computer network renders the application distributed. This will involve many special computing techniques -- discussed later.
Multimedia systems may have to render a variety of media at the same instant -- a distinction from normal applications. There is a temporal relationship between many forms of media (e.g. Video and Audio. There 2 are forms of problems here
The key issues multimedia systems need to deal with here are:
Data has to represented digitally so many initial source of data needs to be digitise -- translated from analog source to digital representation. The will involve scanning (graphics, still images), sampling (audio/video) although digital cameras now exist for direct scene to digital capture of images and video.
The data is large several Mb easily for audio and video -- therefore storage, transfer (bandwidth) and processing overheads are high. Data compression techniques very common.