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Wireless UPnP-AV Live-Media-Network

The Communication Technology Institute developed an UPnP-AV conform media network demonstrator for efficient usage of wireless resources.

Enhancement of the efficiency of wireless networks

 

medinetz4Methods for efficient usage of wireless resources were evaluated within the HOMEPLANE project. As the usage of IEEE 802.11 (WLAN) devices is increasing nowadays, problems due to high node density and probability of interference arise. To reduce the amount of resulting packet collisions, different strategies concerning the organization of the network were evaluated.

Using a hybrid network architecture, a flexible concept was developed for a dynamic channel transition (DFS). This enables the possibility to choose for the most favorable channel for each link. This method prevents disturbances and increases the capacity. The hybrid network combines to different network technologies. In this case, IEEE 802.15.4/Zigbee and IEEE 802.11 (WLAN) were chosen. Both networks operate on non-overlapping channels.  In addition, a modified media access procedure enables a guaranteed quality of service. In HOMEPLANE, these enhancements were implemented in the WLAN-Manager component. It configures the network modules and leads to an autarchic self-organization of the network.

 

Conception of a media network

UTo verify and present the extensive management functions of the WLAN-Manager in typical scenarios, the Communication Technology Institute conceived a stand-alone media network.

Within the media network, there are two device classes: the media server and the media client. The server provides local content and/or DVB Live-TV. The client offers a comfortable user interface for choosing and displaying the media content. Both device classes behave according to the UPnP-AV specification.

The figure to the right shows the architecture of the media server. The core component is the UPnP-Server which hosts all media sources and distributes the content using the WLAN interface. The server contains a QoS-Entity which is appropriate to register the media links in the WLAN-Manager. The communication is done via a webservice interface for QoS signaling.

There are two architectures of media clients. The architecture type I is based on a PC with Linux. Due to the unrestricted configurability of this architecture, UPnP-Renderer,  Controlpoint and WLAN-Manager can be integrated in one device. Because of the server entity for QoS-Signalling, the client can use unmodified UPnP AV-compatible software like the XBOX Media Center (XBMC).

 

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DThe media client type II supports the usage of commercial available UPnP-AV devices within the media network. The media client type II is connected to the commercial UPnP-AV device via Ethernet and acts like a gateway. This is possible due to the QoS-Signalling on the server-side which enables the functional separation of the QoS-management and the presentation of the media content. Therefore, from the commercial client’s side of view, the network behaves like a standard-conform UPnP-AV server which seems to be connected via Ethernet.

Showroom

To present all possible functions of the WLAN-Manager, the Communication Technology Institute owns a demonstrator consisting of two media servers, three clients and one interfering node. During extensive tests, the interoperability with several commercial device like Sony Playstation 3, Pinnacle Showcenter 500, Fujitsu-Siemens Activy Media Player 150 was proven. The ability of integrating available device into the HOMEPLANE network was an important factor for reusability and commercial usage of the HOMEPLANE Technology.

 

 

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M.Sc. Henry Hermanns