Driven by the rapid growth of computer multimedia and digital broadcast television production and facilitated by the ever-increasing speed of digital video processing circuits, the development and issuance of standards addressing the transfer of images continues to accelerate. While this proliferation appears to widen the options available to the systems designer, it also tends to obscure the basic similarities among the various standards without revealing their key differences. Understanding the implications of these differences, especially as they involve critical timing and channel configuration issues, is important to the user who must assure successful video data transfer. Unfortunately, and despite the many projects underway, the available standards defining the interfaces to image input devices remain inadequate to fully support the designer tasked with producing and maintaining high quality video data acquisition.
In this review. we w ill consider each of the key interfaces in turn, describe and compare the standardized choices available, point up shortcomings in the application of these choices, describe ongoing work intended to address these shortcomings, and suggest additional standards development which might benefit the user of image input devices. We also hope to help the user to ask the right questions and develop the right answers.
The Image Processing and Interchange (IPI) standard has been developed by the International Standards Organization and the International Electrotechnical Commission to provide a common means for the processing and interchange of digital images. The standard presently consists of three parts. Part 1, entitled a Common Architecture for Imaging, defines an architectural framework for the standard and specifies an abstract description of image data objects and non-image data objects related to images. Part 2, called the Programmer’s Imaging Kernel System (PIKS), is an Application Program Interface for image processing. The third original part is the Image Interchange Facility, which specifies general means for transporting images and image-related data objects between an application and PIKS or between two applications.
Work is underway within the IPI standards committee to specify two new parts to the IPI standard. One of these parts is the Basic Image Interchange Format, which specifies a simple interchange format for the transport of monochrome and color images. The other part, called Object-Oriented PIKS, specifies PIKS functionality for an object-oriented programming environment.
This paper provides an overview of the three existing parts of the Image Processing and Interchange standard and the two parts under development.
The National Imagery Transmission Format Standard (NITFS) is the collaborative result of a US Government and industry effort to provide a common facility for exchanging imagery and image-associated data among a wide range of legacy, migration, and future intelligence systems. The purpose of the NITFS is to provide a common standard for the transmission of files composed of images, symbols, labels, text, and other information that relate to imagery. NITFS had its genesis in the early 1980s as a vehicle to meet the challenges imposed by a changing military/intelligence paradigm. Early successes spurred increased interest in the standard’s evolution. Non-DoD program offices and commercial vendors began to develop NITFS compliant systems and products. The National Imagery Transmission Format (NITF) component of the NITFS was selected as the basis for a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Standard Agreement (STANAG) for secondary imagery dissemination. Similarly, the International Standards Organization (ISO) recently accepted a new work item, using the NITF as a point of departure, called the Basic Image Interchange Format (BIIF). Products based on this new standard are expected to be NITF compatible while at the same time providing for increased functionality.
The digital exchange of graphic arts material - particularly advertising material for publications- in an open standardized environment represents the ultimate challenge for electronic data exchange. To meet the needs of publication advertising, the graphic arts industry must be able to transmit advertisements in an open environment where there are many senders and many receivers of the material. The material being transmitted consists of combinations of pictorial material, text, and line art with these elements superimposed on top of each other and/or interrelated in complex ways.
The business relationships established by the traditional workflow environment, the combination of aesthetic and technical requirements, and the large base of existing hardware and software play a major role in limiting the options available. Existing first- and second-generation standards are focused on the CEPS environment, which operates on and stores data as raster files. The revolution in personal computer hardware and software, and the acceptance of these tools by the graphic arts community, dictates that standards must also be created and implemented for this world of vector/raster-based systems.
The requirements for digital distribution of advertising material for publications, the existing graphic arts standards base, and the anticipation of future standards developments in response to these needs are explored.
Electronic visual displays have been evolving from the 1960’s basis of cathode ray tube (CRT) technology. Now, many other technologies are also available, including both flat panels and projection displays. Standards for these displays are being developed at both the national level and the international levels. Standards activity within the United States is in its infancy and is fragmented according to the inclination of each of the standards developing organizations.
The latest round of flat panel display technology was primarily developed in Japan. Initially standards arose from component vendor-to-OEM customer relationships. As a result, Japanese standards for components are the best developed. The Electronics Industries Association of Japan (EIAJ) is providing their standards to the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) for adoption. On the international level, professional societies such as the human factors society (hfs) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) have completed major standards, hfs developed the first ergonomic standard hfs-100 and the ISO has developed some sections of a broader ergonomic standard ISO 9241.
This paper addresses the organization of standards activity. Active organizations and their areas of focus are identified. The major standards that have been completed or are in development are described. Finally, suggestions for improving the this standards activity are proposed.
The ISO TC42/WG18 and ANSI/NAPM IT10 Technical Committees are developing the following standards related to electronic still photography: ISO 12231 - Glossary of technical terms; ISO 12232 - Determination of ISO speed; ISO 12233 - Resolution measurements; ISO 12234 - Removable memory; and ISO 14524 - OECF measurement methods. ISO 12231 is at the DIS stage, ISO 12234 and 14524 are at the CD stage, and ISO 12232 and 12233 will most likely reach the CD stage within a year. Since most of these documents are approaching final form, it is useful to examine them in some detail.
Presented here are summaries of the contents of these standards accompanied by comments on their application and state of development. These standards are viewed from a broad digital photography perspective, and placed in context with other work in this area. Significant research has been accomplished in these committees, and is discussed in relation to fundamental imaging issues. Also discussed are future projects and areas where standardization is needed but little has been accomplished. In addition to providing a forum for the development of standards, technical committees are an important avenue for interaction between companies, user groups, and the government. Such avenues can have a great impact on emerging technologies.
The permanence of recording materials is dependent upon many factors, and these differ for photographic materials, magnetic tape and optical disks. Photographic permanence is affected by the (1) stability of the material, (2) the photographic processing and (3) the storage conditions. American National Standards on the material and the processing have been published for different types of film and standard test methods have been established for color film. The third feature of photographic permanence is the storage requirements and these have been established for photographic film, prints and plates.
Standardization on the permanence of electronic recording materials is more complicated. As with photographic materials, stability is dependent upon (1) the material itself and (2) the storage environment. In addition, retention of the necessary (3) hardware and (4) software is also a prerequisite. American National Standards activity in these areas has been underway for the past six years. A test method for the material which determines the life expectancy of CD-ROMs has been standardized. The problems of determining the expected life of magnetic tape have been more formidable but the critical physical properties have been determined. A specification for the storage environment of magnetic tape has been finalized and one on the storage of optical disks is being worked on. Critical but unsolved problems are the obsolescence of both the hardware and the software necessary to read digital images.
"Smart cards" are plastic cards the size of credit cards which contain integrated circuits for the storage of digital information. The applications of these cards for image storage has been growing as card data capacities have moved from tens of bytes to thousands of bytes. This has prompted the recommendation of standards by the X3B10 committee of ANSI for inclusion in ISO standards for card image storage of a variety of image data types including digitized signatures and color portrait images.
This paper will review imaging requirements of the smart card industry, challenges of image storage for small memory devices, card image communications, and the present status of standards. The paper will conclude with recommendations for the evolution of smart card image standards towards image formats customized to the image content and more optimized for smart card memory constraints.
A demonstration of high definition television (HDTV) was given in the United States in the early 1980’s. It inspired the imagination as to what might be seen, someday, in the homes of television viewers. Now, some fifteen years later, we are on the verge of adopting a new television broadcasting standard. In the near future, the Federal Communications Commission is expected to make its final ruling on the new technology. The new standard will be 100% digital, something nobody would have guessed watching those early demonstrations.
This paper will briefly review some key technical debates. The debates were related to HDTV production standards and analog HDTV broadcasting during the 1980’s. They began to shift focus in 1990 as the first digital HDTV broadcasting proposals were made public. More recently, the debates have centered on the tremendous flexibility that can be obtained with a digital broadcasting system. The Digital HDTV Grand Alliance system, that has been under study in the FCC’s Advisory Committee on Advanced Television Service and documented by the Advanced Television Systems Committee, will be highlighted. Current status of the technical standard will be explained. To conclude, comments on the future potential of this new television broadcasting technology will be offered.
This paper reviews image telecommunications standards that exist or are under development. Included are a broad range of services, from facsimile to desktop videoconferencing systems and other multimedia applications. Image compression standards including T.4, T.6, JPEG, JBIG, MPEG, H.261 and H.263, and supporting communication protocol standards are examined. Communication facilities that carry these applications include the switched telephone network (PSTN), Integrated Services Data Network (ISDN), LAN and the mobile cellular telephone system. Still image communication of bilevel, gray scale and color images by means of Group 3 and Group 4 facsimile using T.4, T.6, JPEG and JBIG coding is included. Families of standards for videoconferencing applications (H.320 for N-ISDN, H.324 for PSTN, H.310/H.321 for ATM networks, H.322/H.323 for LAN and the T. 120 multi-point data protocol) are examined. Audio standards that support the videoconferencing applications are reviewed.
Distributed multimedia information systems (DMIS) are concerned with multimedia information processing, multimedia information models, and multimedia information delivery in distributed computing environments. Today there are two approaches being pursued for developing large scale DMIS: the world-wide web and interactive television systems. This paper examines and compares the state and direction of these two systems. Areas of comparison include systems architecture, content models, client and server services, extensibility, and limitations. We conclude the paper with a review of the role of imaging technologies in distributed multimedia information systems, including content-based retrieval and processing of digital video.
There is recognised need to provide interoperability in the coming conversion from analogue to digital technologies to support audio-visual applications and services but there is no ready normative environment to provide the technical means to achieve interoperability. DAVIC, The Digital Audio-Visual Council, has been established for the purpose of developing specifications of interfaces and protocols that maximise interoperability across countries and applications/services.