StreamComm 2011 Keynote Lecture

A Closer Look by Streaming Video

Bernd Girod        Stanford University, USA

Abstract - We review recent advances in the technology and applications of interactive region-of-interest (IRoI) video streaming, which allows each user to interactively control pan, tilt, and zoom during playback. This is familiar for high-resolution stills (say satellite imagery and maps), and not yet ubiquitous for video. A high-resolution video is available at the source, but either bandwidth or display size prohibits the streaming of the full video to a desktop computer, tablet, or smartphone. Solutions can be built in a standards compliant manner by breaking up the video into tiles at different resolution levels and simultaneously streaming multiple sub-videos that make up the overall display. Over-the-top delivery can use a client-server model or, for live multicast to large audiences, a P2P overlay. I will report our experiences with ClassX, an experimental IRoI video streaming platform for capturing lectures and seminars at Stanford University. In addition to IRoI, the system implements sophisticated video analysis techniques for automatic tracking of the lecturer and automatic synchronization of digital presentation slides, thus eliminating most human intervention for producing a compelling interactive viewing experience and reducing cost dramatically. ClassX works with Silverlight and Flash clients and now available as open source software at


Bernd Girod is Professor of Electrical Engineering in the Information Systems Laboratory of Stanford University, California. He also holds a courtesy appointment with the Stanford Department of Computer Science and serves as Faculty Director of the Stanford Center for Image Systems Engineering (SCIEN). His current research interests include image and video coding, networked media systems, and image-based retrieval.

He received his M. S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology, in 1980 and his Doctoral degree from University of Hannover, Germany, in 1987. He joined Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA, and was an Assistant Professor at the MIT Media Laboratory until 1990. From 1990 to 1993, he was Professor of Computer Graphics and Technical Director of the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne, Germany, jointly appointed with the Computer Science Section of Cologne University. From 1993 until 1999, he held the Chair of Electrical Engineering / Telecommunications at University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany, and was the Head of the Telecommunications Institute I and director of the Telecommunications Laboratory. He served as Chairman of the Electrical Engineering Department from 1995 to 1997.

As an entrepreneur, Professor Girod has worked successfully with several start-up ventures as founder, investor, director, or advisor. Most notably, he has been a co-founder and Chief Scientist of Vivo Software, Inc., Waltham, MA (1993-98); after Vivo's aquisition, 1998-2002, Chief Scientist of RealNetworks, Inc. (Nasdaq: RNWK). He has served on the Board of Directors for 8x8, Inc., Santa Clara, CA, (Nasdaq: EGHT) 1996-2004, and for GeoVantage, Inc., Swampscott, MA, 2000-2005. In 2007, he co-founded Dyyno, Inc. Palo Alto, CA. From 2004 to 2007, he also served as Chairman of the Steering Committee of the new Deutsche Telekom Laboratories at the Technical University of Berlin. He currently serves on the Boards of ToKBox, San Francisco, and of Droplet, Palo Alto, as well as the Scientific Advisory Board of Technicolor, Paris.

Professor Girod has authored or co-authored one major text-book (printed in 3 languages), four monographs, and over 450 book chapters, journal articles and conference papers, and is a named inventor of over 20 US patents. He has been a member of the IEEE Image and Multidimensional Signal Processing Technical Committee from 1989 to 1997 and has served on the Editorial Boards for several journals in his field, among them as founding Associate Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Image Processing and Area Editor for Speech, Image, Video & Signal Processing of the IEEE Transactions on Communications. He has served on numerous conference committees, e.g., as Tutorial Chair of ICASSP-97 in Munich and again for ICIP-2000 in Vancouver, as General Chair of the 1998 IEEE Image and Multidimensional Signal Processing Workshop in Alpbach, Austria, as General Chair of the Visual Communication and Image Processing Conference (VCIP) in San Jose, CA, in 2001, and General Chair of Vision, Modeling, and Visualization (VMV) at Stanford, CA, in 2004, and General Co-Chair of ICIP-2008 in San Diego, and General Co-Chair of VCIP 2010 in China.

Professor Girod was elected Fellow of the IEEE in 1998 'for his contributions to the theory and practice of video communications.' He has been named 'Distinguished Lecturer' for the year 2002 by the IEEE Signal Processing Society. He received the 2002 EURASIP Best Paper Award (with J. Eggers) and the 2004 EURASIP Techical Achievement Award, the IEEE Multimedia Communication Best Paper Award in 2007, and the EURASIP Image Communication Best Paper Award 2008. He was elected a member of the German National Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina) in 2007 and a Fellow of EURASIP in 2008.