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Why a book

The MPEG-2 System standard is around already since 1994 and is deployed widely for digital television broadcast and for optical discs (DVD and Blu-ray). Over the years (until 2013) in total more than 4000 million Set Top Boxes, digital TV sets, DVD players and Blu-ray players were shipped worldwide, each supporting MPEG-2 systems. In other words, MPEG-2 systems is deployed already for twenty years and most probably will continue to be applied for many more years to come.
However, despite its enormous deployment on the market place, a comprehensive book on MPEG-2 Systems did not exist yet. Perhaps the MPEG systems experts who specified this standard were more interested in solving problems than in documenting their solutions in a book. Obviously, the standard should clear enough..., and indeed, the MPEG-2 Systems standard is very accurate and of high quality. But the MPEG-2 systems specification is not a clarifying document that explains in depth how MPEG-2 Systems works and why it works the way it does, and does not provide the information one needs to know to build a system that really works well and performs as robustly as expected.
To fill this gap, this book was written; it describes the expertise needed to further extend the MPEG-2 system specification in future, for example when support in transport streams is needed of next generation video and audio codecs. It is thereby an essential source of information for the huge number of engineers working in this field.

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Jan van der Meer Consultancy
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