Computer networks and the internet have taken an important role in modern society. Together with their development, the need for digital video transmission over these networks has grown. To cope with the user demands and limitations of the network, compression of the video material has become an important issue. Additionally, many video-applications require flexibility in terms of scalability and complexity (e.g. HD/SD-TV, video-surveillance). Current ITU-T and ISO/IEC video compression standards (MPEG-x, H.26-x) lack efficient support for these types of scalability. Wavelet-based compression techniques have been proposed to tackle this problem, of which the Motion Compensated Temporal Filtering (MCTF)-based architectures couple state-of-the-art performance with full (quality, resolution, and frame-rate) scalability. However, a significant drawback of these architectures is their high complexity. The computational and memory complexity of both spatial domain (SD) MCTF and in-band (IB) MCTF video codec instantiations are examined in this study. Comparisons in terms of complexity versus performance are presented for both types of codecs. The paper indicates how complexity scalability can be achieved in such video-codecs, and analyses some of the trade-offs between complexity and coding performance. Finally, guidelines on how to implement a fully scalable video-codec that incorporates quality, temporal, resolution and complexity scalability are proposed.
Modern video coding applications require transmission of video data over variable-bandwidth channels to a variety of terminals with different screen resolutions and available computational power. Scalable video coding is needed to optimally support these applications. Recently proposed wavelet-based video codecs employing spatial domain motion compensated temporal filtering (SDMCTF) provide quality, resolution and frame-rate scalability while delivering compression performance comparable to that of the state-of-the-art non-scalable H.264-codec. These codecs require scalable coding of the motion vectors in order to support a large range of bit-rates with optimal compression efficiency. Scalable motion vector coding algorithms based on the integer wavelet transform followed by embedded coding of the wavelet coefficients were recently proposed. In this paper, a new and fundamentally different scalable motion vector codec (MVC) using median-based motion vector prediction is proposed. Extensive experimental results demonstrate that the proposed MVC systematically outperforms the wavelet-based state-of-the-art solutions. To be able to take advantage of the proposed scalable MVC, a rate allocation mechanism capable of optimally dividing the available rate among texture and motion information is required. Two rate allocation strategies are proposed and compared. The proposed MVC and rate allocation schemes are incorporated into an SDMCTF-based video codec and the benefits of scalable motion vector coding are experimentally demonstrated.
Video transmission over variable-bandwidth networks requires instantaneous bit-rate adaptation at the server site to provide an acceptable decoding quality. For this purpose, recent developments in video coding aim at providing a fully embedded bit-stream with seamless adaptation capabilities in bit-rate, frame-rate and resolution. A new promising technology in this context is wavelet-based video coding. Wavelets have already demonstrated their potential for quality and resolution scalability in still-image coding. This led to the investigation of various schemes for the compression of video, exploiting similar principles to generate embedded bit-streams. In this paper we present scalable wavelet-based
video-coding technology with competitive rate-distortion behavior compared to standardized non-scalable technology.
Techniques for full scalability with motion-compensated temporal filtering (MCTF) in the wavelet-domain (in-band) are presented in this paper. The application of MCTF in the wavelet domain is performed after the production of the overcomplete discrete wavelet transform from the critically-sampled decomposition, a process that occurs at both the encoder and decoder side. This process, which is a complete-to-overcomplete discrete wavelet transform, is critical for the efficiency of the system with respect to scalability, coding performance and complexity. We analyze these aspects of the system and set the necessary constraints for drift-free video coding with in-band MCTF. As a result, the proposed architecture permits the independent operation of MCTF within different resolution levels or even different subbands of the transform and allows the successive refinement of the video information in resolution, frame-rate and quality.