CS448a: Experiments in Digital Television


The technology of television is about to change radically. The old analog broadcast standard is being replaced with a digital standard. Although most of the current argument about digital television (DTV) focusses on aspect ratios, resolutions, and progressive scan vs. interlacing, the flexibility and extensibility of an all-digital system raises a wide range of bigger issues and more interesting possibilities. Are there other more innovative methods for encoding video? What types of interaction are possible within the context of television? What forms of 3D television might catch on? And, given the broadcast nature of the medium, can it be used for other types of information dissemination?

The goal of this course is to explore what new experiences are possible within the constraints of DTV. We will begin with a series of background lectures on the basics of digital television, including its history, the transport protocols and compression methods used, proposals for additional capabilities in emerging standards such as MPEG-4/QuickTime and data casting, and the latest image-based modeling and rendering algorithms. There will also be 4-5 guest lectures from industry, and discussion and debates on controversial topics of interest. Finally, we will break the class up into a small number of project teams each building a working extension to a DTV subsystem. These projects will be done on the DTV receiver infrastructure built by Intel for the PC. The final day will consist of a live broadcast from the Intel/KICU model DTV station in Santa Clara to Stanford of the demonstrations produced by the class.

The class is open to students with a background in computer graphics, image processing, and multimedia. Enrollment is limited to 20.

A variation of this class, ECE594: Special Topics in Electrical and Computer Engineering: Internet Computing and Digital TV, will be simultaneously taught by Prof. Ed Chang at UC-Santa-Barbara. Monday lectures will be shared and remotely broadcast to both sites.


Project ideas
Project proposals


Pat Hanrahan
Rm 370 Gates Computer Science Building
(650) 723-8530

Serge Rutman
(408) 765-4657

Teaching assistant

Milton Chen
Rm 396 Gates Computer Science Building
(650) 725-3648


When: 2:30-3:45pm, Mon/Wed
Where: Interactive Workspace, Gates B23 on Mondays and Graphics Conference Room, Gates 392 on Wednesdays
Home Page: http://graphics.stanford.edu/courses/cs448a-00-winter/
Mailing Lists: Instructors and Students.