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SWE 423: Multimedia Systems

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  1. SWE 423: Multimedia Systems Chapter 7: Data Compression (5)

  2. Outline • Introduction to H.261 • H.261 Image Preparation • H.261 Coding Algorithms • H.263 • H.261 & H.263 Properties • H.261 vs. H.263 • H.264

  3. Introduction to H.261 • ISDN [Integrated Services Digital Network] is (and was) behind H.261 • A circuit-switched telephone network system, designed to allow digital transmission of voice and data over ordinary telephone copper wires. • In ISDN, there are two types of channels, B (for "Bearer") and D (for "Delta"). B channels are used for data (which may include voice), and D channels are intended for signaling and control (but can also be used for data). • In a narrow-band ISDN connection, exactly two B-channels and one D-channel is available • One or both B channels can transfer video data, in addition to speech. • This requires that both ends have to use the same video data coding schemes

  4. Introduction to H.261 • The primary applications of ISDN were video phones and video conferencing. • Such dialogue applications require that coding and decoding being carried out in real-time. • In 1984, Study group XV of CCITT formed a committee to draw up a video standard for compressing moving pictures • The standard, H.261 “Video CoDec for Audiovisual services at p64Kbit/s” was finalized after 5 years and got accepted in December 1990. • North America adopted it with slight modifications • Since data rates of p64 Kbit/s are considered, the recommendation was also known as p64. • Maximum combined signal delay is 150 ms

  5. H.261: Image Preparation • Very precise format, unlike JPEG • Refresh frequency at the input must be 30000/1001 frames/s • During encoding, lower frame rates are possible (10 or 15 frames/s) • Images cannot be presented at the input to the coder using interlaced scanning • The image is encoded as a luminance signal Y and chrominance difference signals Cb, Cr, according to the CCIR 601 sub-sampling scheme (2:1:1) • This was later adopted by MPEG

  6. H.261 Image Preparation • Two resolution formats are supported, both with an aspect ratio of 4:3 • Common Intermediate Format (CIF) • Optional • 352 lines, each with 288 pixels of luminance (Y) component • As per the (2:1:1) requirement, the chrominance components are sub-sampled with ....... lines, each with ....... Pixels. • Quarter CIF (QCIF) • All H.261 CoDec’s have to implement QCIF • Has exactly half the resolution in all components.

  7. H.261 Image Preparation • H.261 divides the Y, Cb and Cr components into blocks of 88 pixels • A macro block results from combining 4 blocks of the Y matrix with 1 block each from the Cb and Cr components. • A group of blocks consists of 311 macro blocks. Hence, • CIF consists of ...... groups • QCIF consists of ....... groups

  8. H.261 Coding Algorithms • H.261 uses two different modes of coding • Intra-frame coding • Inter-frame coding • H.261 does not specify any criteria for choosing one or the other. • That decision is taken during encoding

  9. H.261 Coding Algorithms • Intra-frame coding • Considers data from image being coded • Like JPEG, each block of 88 pixels is transformed into 64 coefficients using DCT. • DC coefficients are quantized differently than AC coefficients • Entropy encoding using variable-length code words is then performed.

  10. H.261 Coding Algorithms • Inter-frame coding • Considers data from other images • A prediction method is used to find the most similar macro block in the preceding image. • Motion vector is the relative position of the previous macro block w.r.t. the current macro block • According to H.261, the encoder needs not determine a motion vector, thus may only consider differences between macro blocks located at the same position in successive images. • The motion vector is processed and entropy encoded using variable-length code words • The DPCM-coded macro block is processed and transformed using DCT if and only if its value exceeds a certain threshold value, linearly quantized, and entropy encoded using variable-length code words • An optical low pass filter can be optionally inserted between the DCT transformation and entropy encoding to delete any remaining high-frequency noise.

  11. H.263 • Developed in 1996 to replace H.261 for many applications • Designed for low bit rate transmission, but also suitable for higher bit rates applications • Provides one of the most efficient video compression techniques available.

  12. H.263 • Inclusion of four negotiable options to improve performance (achieving same quality as H.261 with less than half as many bits) • Syntax-based arithmetic coding • Defines the use of arithmetic coding instead of variable length coding • Forward and backward frame prediction • Can increase frame rate without changing the bit rate by coding two images as one unit. • Unrestricted Motion Vectors • Makes it possible for motion vectors to point outside image boundaries. • Useful for small images with motion in the direction of edges • Advanced Prediction • Uses the overlapped block motion compensation (OBMC) technique for P-frame luminance. • An algorithm that obtains motion vectors from blocks next to the current macro block and uses them with the current macro block to achieve a more accurate predication and a smaller bit stream. • Requires the use of unrestricted motion vectors.

  13. H.261 & H.263 Properties • The data stream contains information for error correction, although the use of external error correction standards (e.g. H.223) is recommended. • Each image in H.261 includes a 5-bit image number that can be used as a temporal reference. H.263 uses 8-bit image numbers • During decoding, a command can be sent to the decoder to “freeze” the last video frame. • It is possible to switch between still images and moving images using an additional command sent by the coder.

  14. H.261 vs. H.263 • Use similar coding algorithms • With some enhancements and error correction in H.263 • H.263 uses half pixel precision for motion compensation, while H.261 uses full pixel precision with “loop filter”. • Some parts of the hierarchical structure of the data stream are now optional, so the codec can be configured for a lower data rate or better error recovery. • Inclusion of four negotiable options to improve performance (achieving same quality as H.261 with less than half as many bits) • Unrestricted Motion Vectors, • Syntax-based arithmetic coding, • Advance prediction, and • Forward and backward frame prediction • similar to MPEG’s P and B frames. • H.263 supports three more resolutions (SQCIF, 4CIF, and 16CIF) in addition to the two supported by H.261 (QCIF and CIF) • SQCIF is approximately half the resolution of QCIF. • 4CIF and 16CIF are 4 and 16 times the resolution of CIF respectively. • The support of 4CIF and 16CIF means the codec could then compete with other higher bitrate video coding standards such as the MPEG standards. • Check http://www-mobile.ecs.soton.ac.uk/peter/h263/h263.html for samples

  15. H.264 • H.264 was finalized and published in March 2005 and represents an evolution of the existing video coding standards (H.261,H.262, and H.263) • It was developed in response to the growing need for higher compression of moving pictures for • various applications such as videoconferencing, digital storage media, television broadcasting, Internet streaming, and communication and enable the use of the coded video representation in a flexible manner for a wide variety of network environments. • It also allows motion video to be manipulated as a form of computer data and to be stored on various storage media, transmitted and received over existing and future networks and distributed on existing and future broadcasting channels.

  16. H.264 • The revision contains modifications of the video coding standard to • add four new profiles, High, High 10, High 4:2:2, and High 4:4:4 profiles • improve video quality capability • extend the range of applications addressed by the standard (for example, by including support for a greater range of picture sample precision and higher-resolution chroma formats). • define new types of supplemental data has been specified to further broaden the applicability of the video coding standard.