In the literature, several rate control techniques have been proposed to aim at the optimal quality of digitally encoded video under given bit budget, channel rate and buffer size constraints. Typically, these approaches are group-of-picture (GOP) based. For longer, heterogeneous sequences, they become unacceptably complex or struggle with model mismatches. In this paper, an off-line segment-based rate control approach is proposed for controlling the distortion variation across successive shots of a video sequence when encoding with single-layer (MPEG-4 baseline, MPEG-4 AVC) and scalable (wavelet) video codecs. Consistent quality is achieved by optimally distributing the available bits among the different segments, based on efficient rate-distortion (R-D) modelling of each segment. The individual segments are defined based on shot segmentation and activity analysis techniques. The algorithm is formulated for three different distribution models: download, progressive download and streaming. The results indicate that the proposed technique improves the quality consistency significantly, while the processing overhead compared to classical two-pass variable bit-rate (VBR) encoding is limited. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
- Rate control
- Constant quality video coding
- Video content analysis
- Scalable video coding
- Compression for multimedia on demand