Adaptive Search Range Decision and Early Termination for Multiple Reference Frame Motion Estimation for H.264

Gwo-Long LI  Mei-Juan CHEN  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Communications   Vol.E89-B   No.1   pp.250-253
Publication Date: 2006/01/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1345
DOI: 10.1093/ietcom/e89-b.1.250
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: LETTER
Category: Multimedia Systems for Communications" Multimedia Systems for Communications
H.264,  motion estimation,  video coding,  search range,  early termination,  

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The newest video coding standard called H.264 provides considerable performance improvement over a wide range of bit rates and video resolutions compared to previous standards. However, these features result in an extraordinary increase in encoder complexity, mainly regarding to mode decision and multiple reference frame motion estimation (ME). This letter presents two algorithms to reduce the computational complexity caused by motion estimation. The adaptive search range decision method determines the search range size according to the motion vector predictor dynamically and the early termination scheme defines a criterion to early terminate the search processing for multiple reference frames. Experimental results show that the proposed algorithms provide significant improvement of coding speed with negligible objective quality degradation compared to the fast motion estimation algorithms adopted by reference software.