9

The MPEG multiplex

A ‘packetized’ interface

We shall see that the MPEG system for transmission of digital television relies heavily on the idea of small ‘packets’ of information moving together in a much larger data ‘pipe’. This idea originated in telecommunications, where hundreds – perhaps thousands – of telephone calls travel together down one coaxial cable or optical fibre. We have seen something similar to this in relation to MADI, in Chapter 3, although in that case each multiplexed channel was ascribed a particular time position in the multiplex. A packetized system is much cleverer. Consider the metaphor of packets for a moment. Think of the London to Glasgow post train. The train may carry thousands of parcels (packets) all jumbled ...

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