Karsten Grüneberg, Scientist, video coding and transmission systems expert at the Heinrich Herz Institute in Berlin, Germany:
“Fundamentals and Evolution of MPEG-2 Systems” is at the same time a good introduction to the topic of MPEG-2 systems and a precise source for all details related to the standard. I have always missed such a book because, on many occasions, an implementer does need not only the specification written in the standard but also a deep understanding of the background. This book provides both. It also contains many figures showing examples, which help comprehend the complex matter, e.g., the timing and buffer requirements. The author explains all the details of the standard in an illustrative - and sometimes even amusing - way.
The book is well-structured, so you can read it from first to last page – if you have the time, being guided through the evolution of MPEG standards. However, if you are just looking for a certain detail, the index is most helpful and lets you find the appropriate text in the “hardcopy” as fast as any search engine would do. I recommend that book not only as an accurate reference into MPEG-2 Systems for anybody implementing software, devices, or systems based on this widely deployed technology. At the same time, any student or engineer can use it as an introduction to the wider topic of audio-visual compression and transport systems.