This paper develops a new intraframe scalable coding framework based on a subband/wavelet coding approach for MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 scalable video coding (SVC). It attempts to join the subband filter banks with the traditional macroblock and DCT based video coding system. We demonstrate that the current H.264 coding system can be efficiently integrated with the traditional subband filter banks for providing the improved efficiency for intraframe scalable coding. More importantly, unlike the classical wavelet coding, the proposed framework still allows the downsampling filter to be flexibly designed to generate the ideal low resolution video for target applications. Under a wavelet critical sampling setting, the proposed system can perform similar to a conventional single-layer (non-scalable) coder without any performance overhead. Thus, by just reuse of the existing H.264 coding tools to work together with the
added subband filter banks, we can provide the H.264 standard with an alternative intraframe coding scheme that is primarily based on the transform coding approach with the additional spatial scalability and other attractive benefits and useful for both scalable and conventional single-layer intraframe coding applications. The proposed algorithm has been thoroughly evaluated against the current SVC test model JSVM, Motion-JPEG2000, and H.264 high-profile intra coding through extensive coding experiments for both scalable coding and single-layer coding. The simulation results show the proposed algorithm consistently outperforms JSVM and is competitive to Motion-JPEG2000 in PSNR performance. As such, the efficient and highly scalable wavelet image/video compression, as demonstrated by JPEG2000, can be additionally accommodated by the slightly modified MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 standard with low extra implementation costs. Image and video coding applications, traditionally serviced by separate coders, can be efficiently provided by an integrated coding system.