ILMETA - Interconnected Lab for MEdia Technology Analytics

The large-scale facility is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Free State of Thuringia (represented by the TU Ilmenau).

Duration: 2020 - 2022


ILMETA (Interconnected Lab for MEdia Technology Analytics) is a large-scale networked facility for the investigation of audiovisual media technology systems. It will enable fundamental research on media content (content: signals and metadata) in areas such as media production, IP-based infrastructure and transmission (streaming, production, distributed data), content and signal analysis, human perception and quality of experience (QoE).

The content recorded and produced by means of appropriate media technology is modified by various processing steps along the chain from recording and transmission to presentation. Different people are involved in these processes, such as engineers from system manufacturers, streaming providers or network operators, cameramen or end customers. According to their role in the processing process, they have different quality criteria with regard to the content, e.g. with regard to scene content, sharpness, colouring, noise behaviour, processing artefacts etc. In addition to the analysis of the various instances of the content, specific metadata can be collected along the chain for each processing step, e.g. on system configuration, scene description, viewing behaviour, user ratings, etc. These metadata enable the reproducibility of the processing as well as a systematic investigation of the interaction of technology and processing algorithms with the multimedia content itself, with the content as essential "measurement information". The contents resulting from the production process determine the effectiveness of all subsequent processing steps in the chain and their analysis. High-quality content that is at the same time representative for the application is only available to a limited extent for research, also for copyright reasons, especially for younger immersive media formats such as 360° or High Dynamic Range (HDR) video. For the creation of such research content, the production and the corresponding laboratory technology is a crucial part of the large-scale ILMETA equipment. In addition to the use of the content for measuring subsequent processing steps, meta and measurement data are also to be recorded to analyse the production process.

The integration of IP-based production technology and production-related measurement technology will allow research into significant current developments in media production technology. The systematic analysis of media content requires not only comprehensive computing resources but also dedicated approaches for the storage and processing of the resulting heterogeneous research data. Therefore, a second essential component of ILMETA is a networked computing and storage technology for the analysis of content and measurement or metadata in order to ultimately gain insights for the improvement of components of the end-to-end chain.