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Channel 4 video: The technical truth

As a specialist in video coding I decided to look into this video footage and verify the technical features of the video against the claim that it came from a mobile phone. I was a head of R&D in a Major British Broadcasting company and later worked in global companies like Cisco and Cable and Wireless and Ericsson.

Looking at the footage, the first thing I found strange was the high quality of the video and lack of cascading effects and motion blur associated with mobile video coding.

I got hold of an original video that was on Quicktime format and another that was on AVI format and decide to put them through various analysers to see origin of the video from the mobile source.

Looking at the results, I can say this video never came from a mobile phone since the original video is of quite a high standard and motion vectors were of high quality. (That never comes from a mobile phone. I also found that Tamilnet had tried to put this video on 3GPP format associated with mobile phones. This also gives some clues since mobile phones that are older are on 3GPP format, while all the new ones are of H-264 which is mpeg4 part 10.

The original video is from a good quality video camera and later some one has tried to transfer this to 3GPP QT format where we can see some cascading errors.

I was involved with global Broadcast R&G for almost 25 years and Ch-4 used to have good people but it has now gone down to gutter journalism. Any broadcast engineer should have picked the lack of cascading errors on the video since Ch-4 uses Flash format on their web site.

Siri Hewawitharana

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