A Direct Inter-Mode Selection Algorithm for P-Frames in Fast H.264/AVC Transcoding

Bin SONG  Haixiao LIU  Hao QIN  Jie QIN  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Communications   Vol.E95-B   No.6   pp.2101-2108
Publication Date: 2012/06/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1345
DOI: 10.1587/transcom.E95.B.2101
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Multimedia Systems for Communications
video transcoding,  H.264/AVC,  rate-distortion optimization,  mode decision,  

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A direct inter-mode selection algorithm for P-frames in fast homogeneous H.264/AVC bit-rate reduction transcoding is proposed in this paper. To achieve the direct inter-mode selection, we firstly develop a low-complexity distortion estimation method for fast transcoding, in which the distortion is directly calculated from the decoded residual together with the reference frames. We also present a linear estimation method to approximate the coding rate. With the estimated distortion and rate, the rate-distortion cost can be easily computed in the transcoder. In our algorithm, a method based on the normalized rate difference of P-frames (RP) is used to detect the high motion scene. To achieve fast transcoding, only for the P-frames with RP larger than a threshold, the rate-distortion optimized (RDO) mode decision is performed; meanwhile, the average cost of each inter-mode (ACM) is calculated. Then for the subsequent frames transcoding, the optimal coding mode can be directly selected using the estimated cost and the ACM threshold. Experiments show that the proposed method can significantly simplify the complex RDO mode decision, and achieve transcoding time reductions of up to 62% with small loss of rate-distortion performance.