05/01/1998 09:00 AM
We propose and analyze several strategies for performing timestamping of an MPEG-2 Transport Stream transmitted over a packet-switched network using the PCR-unaware encapsulation scheme, and analyze their effect on the quality of the recovered clock at the MPEG-2 Systems decoder. When the timestamping scheme is based on a timer with a fixed period, the PCR values in the packet stream may switch polarity deterministically, at a frequency determined by the timer period and the transport rate of the MPEG signal. This, in turn, can degrade the quality of the recovered clock at the receiver beyond acceptable limits. We consider three timestamping schemes for solving this problem: (i) selecting the deterministic timer period to avoid the phase difference in PCR values altogether, (ii) fine-tuning the deterministic timer period to maximize the frequency of PCR polarity changes, and (iii) selecting the timer period randomly to eliminate the deterministic PCR polarity changes. For the case of deterministic timer period, we derive the frequency of the PCR polarity changes as a function of the timer period and the transport rate, and use it to find ranges of the timer period for acceptable quality of the recovered clock. We also analyze a random timestamping procedure based on a random telegraph process and obtain lower bounds on the rate of PCR polarity changes such that the recovered clock does not violate the PAL/NTSC clock specifications. The analytical results are verified by simulations with both synthetic and actual MPEG-2 Transport Streams sent to an MPEG-2 Systems decoder.