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Title: Research and developments of Dirac video codec
Author: Tun, Myo
ISNI:       0000 0001 3537 7076
Awarding Body: Brunel University
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2008
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In digital video compression, apart from storage, successful transmission of the compressed video data over the bandwidth limited erroneous channels is another important issue. To enable a video codec for broadcasting application, it is required to implement the corresponding coding tools (e.g. error-resilient coding, rate control etc.). They are normally non-normative parts of a video codec and hence their specifications are not defined in the standard. In Dirac as well, the original codec is optimized for storage purpose only and so, several non-normative part of the encoding tools are still required in order to be able to use in other types of application. Being the "Research and Developments of the Dirac Video Codec" as the research title, phase I of the project is mainly focused on the error-resilient transmission over a noisy channel. The error-resilient coding method used here is a simple and low complex coding scheme which provides the error-resilient transmission of the compressed video bitstream of Dirac video encoder over the packet erasure wired network. The scheme combines source and channel coding approach where error-resilient source coding is achieved by data partitioning in the wavelet transformed domain and channel coding is achieved through the application of either Rate-Compatible Punctured Convolutional (RCPC) Code or Turbo Code (TC) using un-equal error protection between header plus MV and data. The scheme is designed mainly for the packet-erasure channel, i.e. targeted for the Internet broadcasting application. But, for a bandwidth limited channel, it is still required to limit the amount of bits generated from the encoder depending on the available bandwidth in addition to the error-resilient coding. So, in the 2nd phase of the project, a rate control algorithm is presented. The algorithm is based upon the Quality Factor (QF) optimization method where QF of the encoded video is adaptively changing in order to achieve average bitrate which is constant over each Group of Picture (GOP). A relation between the bitrate, R and the QF, which is called Rate-QF (R-QF) model is derived in order to estimate the optimum QF of the current encoding frame for a given target bitrate, R. In some applications like video conferencing, real-time encoding and decoding with minimum delay is crucial, but, the ability to do real-time encoding/decoding is largely determined by the complexity of the encoder/decoder. As we all know that motion estimation process inside the encoder is the most time consuming stage. So, reducing the complexity of the motion estimation stage will certainly give one step closer to the real-time application. So, as a partial contribution toward realtime application, in the final phase of the research, a fast Motion Estimation (ME) strategy is designed and implemented. It is the combination of modified adaptive search plus semi-hierarchical way of motion estimation. The same strategy was implemented in both Dirac and H.264 in order to investigate its performance on different codecs. Together with this fast ME strategy, a method which is called partial cost function calculation in order to further reduce down the computational load of the cost function calculation was presented. The calculation is based upon the pre-defined set of patterns which were chosen in such a way that they have as much maximum coverage as possible over the whole block. In summary, this research work has contributed to the error-resilient transmission of compressed bitstreams of Dirac video encoder over a bandwidth limited error prone channel. In addition to this, the final phase of the research has partially contributed toward the real-time application of the Dirac video codec by implementing a fast motion estimation strategy together with partial cost function calculation idea.
Supervisor: Loo, J. ; Cosmas, J. Sponsor: BBC R&D ; Brunel University
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Dirac video codec ; Digital video compression ; Error-resilient transmission ; Source and channel coding