Volume 20 (2012) Issue 1 Pages 185-195
High-quality and high-performance real-time interactive video streaming requires both keeping the highest data transmission rate and minimizing data packet loss to achieve the best possible streaming quality. TCP-friendly rate control (TFRC) is the most widely recognized mechanism for achieving relatively smooth data transmission while competing fairly with TCP flows. However, because its data transmission rate depends largely on packet loss conditions, high-quality real-time streaming suffers from a significant degradation of streaming quality due to both a reduction in the data transmission rate and data packet losses. This paper proposes the dynamic probing forward error correction (DP-FEC) mechanism that is effective for high-quality real-time streaming to maximize the streaming quality in a situation in which competing TCP flows pose packet losses to the streaming flow. DP-FEC estimates the network condition by dynamically adjusting the degree of FEC redundancy while trying to recover lost data packets. It effectively utilizes network resources and adjusts the degree of FEC redundancy to improve the playback quality at the user side while minimizing the performance impact of competing TCP flows. We describe the DP-FEC algorithm and evaluate its effectiveness using an NS-2 simulator. The results show that by effectively utilizing network resources, DP-FEC enables to retain higher streaming quality while minimizing the adverse condition on TCP performance, thus achieving TCP friendliness.