Traffic and quality characterization of single-layer video streams encoded with the H.264/MPEG-4 advanced video coding standard and scalable video coding extension

Geert Van Der Auwera, Prasanth T. David, Martin Reisslein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

149 Scopus citations

Abstract

The recently developed H.264/AVC video codec with Scalable Video Coding (SVC) extension, compresses non-scalable (single-layer) and scalable video significantly more efficiently than MPEG-4 Part 2. Since the traffic characteristics of encoded video have a significant impact on its network transport, we examine the bit rate-distortion and bit rate variability- distortion performance of single-layer video traffic of the H.264/AVC codec and SVC extension using long CIF resolution videos. We also compare the traffic characteristics of the hierarchical B frames (SVC) versus classical B frames. In addition, we examine the impact of frame size smoothing on the video traffic to mitigate the effect of bit rate variabilities. We find that compared to MPEG-4 Part 2, the H.264/AVC codec and SVC extension achieve lower average bit rates at the expense of significantly increased traffic variabilities that remain at a high level even with smoothing. Through simulations we investigate the implications of this increase in rate variability on (i) frame losses when transmitting a single video, and (ii) on a bufferless statistical multiplexing scenario with restricted link capacity and information loss. We find increased frame losses, and rate-distortion/rate-variability/encoding complexity tradeoffs. We conclude that solely assessing bit rate-distortion improvements of video encoder technologies is not sufficient to predict the performance in specific networked application scenarios.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4547482
Pages (from-to)698-718
Number of pages21
JournalIEEE Transactions on Broadcasting
Volume54
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2008

Keywords

  • Frame loss ratio
  • H.264/AVC
  • Hierarchical B frames
  • Rate variability- distortion (VD)
  • Rate-distortion (RD)
  • SVC
  • Single-layer video
  • Statistical multiplexing
  • Video quality
  • Video traffic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Media Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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