Picture coding in viewdata systems
Viewdata systems in commercial use at present offer the facility for transmitting alphanumeric text and graphic displays via the public switched telephone network. An enhancement to the system would be to transmit true video images instead of graphics. Such a system, under development in Britain at present uses Differential Pulse Code Modulation (DPCM) and a transmission rate of 1200 bits/sec. Error protection is achieved by the use of error protection codes, which increases the channel requirement. In this thesis, error detection and correction of DPCM coded video signals without the use of channel error protection is studied. The scheme operates entirely at the receiver by examining the local statistics of the received data to determine the presence of errors. Error correction is then undertaken by interpolation from adjacent correct or previousiy corrected data. DPCM coding of pictures has the inherent disadvantage of a slow build-up of the displayed picture at the receiver and difficulties with image size manipulation. In order to fit the pictorial information into a viewdata page, its size has to be reduced. Unitary transforms, typically the discrete Fourier transform (DFT), the discrete cosine transform (DCT) and the Hadamard transform (HT) enable lowpass filtering and decimation to be carried out in a single operation in the transform domain. Size reductions of different orders are considered and the merits of the DFT, DCT and HT are investigated. With limited channel capacity, it is desirable to remove the redundancy present in the source picture in order to reduce the bit rate. Orthogonal transformation decorrelates the spatial sample distribution and packs most of the image energy in the low order coefficients. This property is exploited in bit-reduction schemes which are adaptive to the local statistics of the different source pictures used. In some cases, bit rates of less than 1.0 bit/pel are achieved with satisfactory received picture quality. Unlike DPCM systems, transform coding has the advantage of being able to display rapidly a picture of low resolution by initial inverse transformation of the low order coefficients only. Picture resolution is then progressively built up as more coefficients are received and decoded. Different sequences of picture update are investigated to find that which achieves the best subjective quality with the fewest possible coefficients transmitted.